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Photo of Saint Amand de Coly

Visit Saint Amand de Coly

Saint Amand de Coly nestles on the edge of a hill in the lovley Dordogne countryside. At the heart of the visit is its fortified church which is reputed to be the most beautiful fortified church in the Perigord. The village is named after Saint Amand who was a hermit living in a cave in the hillside in the 6th century.

Explore Saint Amand de Coly

The abbey church dates back to the 12th century and next to the church are the abbey remains. In the 14th century the church was converted into a fortress but despite its additional defences it remains a beautiful Romanesque church with simple lines and a simple interior. Its defences include very thick walls, holes for archers and several blind staircases built to mislead attackers into running into stairs which lead to a dead end.

The church is unusual for having a mix of Gothic and roman styles and because of its fortifications the church of Saint Amand is one of the most fortified and best preserved in the area.

Saint Amand de Coly

The church is used for concerts in the summer. As you arrive in the village the huge bell-tower and door are the first thing you will notice. They really are immence and dominate the church.

The church and abbey remains are in the centre of the village. If you head to the right you will find the tourist office of the village and also a large tobacco barn which has been beautifully renovated and now sells regional products.

In the other direction is the old hospital for the poor which was built in the 14th century though not much remains of this time, the current building is 18th century. There is also the communal bread oven and a very solid looking square pigeonnier. Continue out of the village beyond the old hospital and you get to the lavoir (wash area) of the hospital.

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Opposite the church is the mairie and also a bar restaurant. A pleasant place to stop for a drink and admire the view of the church in front of you. Near here is also the 'Maison Romane' whose bricked-up arches attest to a grander existance at some point in its past!

Most of the buildings in the village are built in the lovely local yellow stone and have either grey slate tiles or grey lauze (stone) roofs. It really is charming and worth a wander. If you are more energetic there is a walk that runs along the edege of the church and on into the surrounding countryside.

Saint Amand de Coly

Saint Amand de Coly is classified as one of the "most beautiful villages of France".

Places to visit near Saint Amand de Coly

A little way out of the village on the south west is the very impressive Chateau de la Filolie. It is private but if you drive on the GR461 then you get excellent views of the castle.

Saint Amand de Coly is about 20km from Sarlat. Sarlat is the highlight of a visit to the Dordogne. It is a stunning medieval town with a lot to see and explore. Another highlight are the fabulous Lascaux caves in the pretty riverside village of Montignac. The caves are a copy of the original which is closed for protection but you really would not know you were in a replica, it is totally true to the original.

See also: 

Photos of Saint Amand de Coly

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • castle-ruins
  • centre
  • centre1
  • centre2
  • church-windows
  • maison-romane
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  • salon-de-the
  • tobacco-barn-shop
  • vieux-hopital

Map of Saint Amand de Coly and places to visit

 
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Saint Amand de Coly places to visit

Condat-sur-Vezere

Condat-sur-Vezere

Condat sur Vezere is a small village with a cascade of water next to the main square.

Condat-sur-Vezere guide
Lascaux caves

Lascaux caves

The Lascaux caves are filled with awesome prehistoric paintings.

Lascaux caves guide
Montignac

Montignac

Montignac is a lovely riverside village and home to the Lascaux caves.

Montignac guide
Saint Genies

Saint Genies

Saint Genies is a lovely village with a small castle and church at its centre.

Saint Genies guide
Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire

An attractive contemporary garden above the town of Terrasson.

Les Jardins de l'Imaginaire guide
Terrasson

Terrasson

Terrasson is a very attractive town with its pale stone walls and slate roofs.

Terrasson guide
 
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