Brantome, makes a great day trip in the Perigord

From the hotel in Periqueux to Brantome takes about 30 minutes drive, and it is really worth the time. Basically the town centers on the Abbey de Brantome, originally founded by Charlemagne. It is one of the finest religious buildings in existence in the Perigord. Actually the area began in the Grottes (limestone caves behind the main building) in the 9th C . The area was the home to a large group of monks, who converted the caves into living quarters, kitchens, a fish hatchery, and other uses. Eventually it became the area where the limestone blocks to build the Abbey.

The first photo shows reliefs carved by the monks depicting the Last Judgement. There is also a natural fountain believed to have healing powers in the waters. Note how the buildings in the lower photo were built right into the sides of the caves.
Overhead view of the village. Main part surrounded by the river. The Abbey is easily sited across the river. One of the small tour boats can be seen on the lower right Several historic sites in the village.

We found this to be one of the nicest small villages we have seen in some time. The surrounding river offers a lot of scenic sites. One can rent kayaks to have some fun or take the small tour boat.

We enjoyed a really nice lunch in the small building toward the back of the photo, with the white pillars. Covered patio overlooking the river.
Almost every property on the river had a private door or small landing place. Obviously the river was a means of transportation
Just a few more of the houses along the river. Notice the steps next to the house with the blue shutters.
Watching the kayaks go by as we enjoyed lunch
The backside of the Church in the Abby.
The river had two small waterfalls This one with the ducks at the top was a fun place to see kayakers ride down the falls.
Second set of waterfalls. The Abby really looked great from this angle. The small building at the left was a guard house protecting that bridge.

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