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“Visit Brantome, France” by K.J.S.Chatrath

I am fortunate to have the privilege of knowing the world famous French historian Prof. Jacques Weber of Nantes University in France. Prof. Weber is widely respected as the top academician on the history of Indo-French interface. He has published several important books and innumerable articles.

Last time that I was in France, I went to Nantes to meet Prof. Weber. On return to India I wrote a photo article on Nantes and sent it to him. He wrote back liking it and also told me about Brantome. This is what he wrote:

“Presently I am in Brantome. It is a small village with a population of around 4,000. It is quite peaceful from October to May. This summer it was really invaded by tourists.   Around it one finds several lovely chateaus, Bourdeilles, Puyguilhem and Mareuil, which all deserve to be visited.  Besides the place and the monuments, it is an important lieu of  the gastronomy of the Perigord region.  I am also sending you two phoots of Brantome taken by me.”

Friends let me share some background  information on, and photos of Brantome. But first the photos sent by Prof. Weber:

 Photo of the Abbey by Prof. Jacques Weber

Photo by Prof. Jacques Weber

Brantome is a pretty little village located to the north of Perigueux on the banks of the River Dronne. It is possible to go for boating in this river.

One can also visit the nearby caves dating back to the pre-historic times and beautiful medieval Abbey buildings. A monastic community for over 100 years, the Abbey was founded by Charlemagne in 769. The Abbey in Brantome has its origins in the 8th century. A Benedictine abbey, it was founded by Charlemagne who allegedly donated the relics of Saint Sicarius, one of the children massacred by Herod. The original abbey was destroyed by Vikings and then rebuilt in the tenth century and again in the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. It was then radically restored in 1850 by the architect Paul Abadie, a student of Viollet-le-Duc, so the abbey buildings we see today span a period of almost 800 years.

One of the oldest parts is the bell tower which dates officially to the 11th century but may be even older and is one of the oldest in France.

There is also a permanent exhibition of ‘dessins mediumniques’ by Fernand Desmoulin (drawings done when apparently under the influence of a spiritual experience).

Behind the abbey at the foot of the cliff are the troglodyte dwellings used by the original monks and in here is the cave with the remarkable sculpture of ‘The Last Judgement’.

Bell Tower, Abbey and monastic caves are open to visitors on  the Market Day, i.e. Friday (and Wednesday’s in summer).

The town is known locally as the Venice of Perigord.

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Jardin du Chateau de Bourdeilles

 Brantome is famous for its truffes. These are located with the help of trained dogs and pigs.  Brantome has a Group consisting of about 150 farmers who search for truffes.The truffe market is held from December to February on friday mornings, on the days of the weekly market and the festivals of  Brantome. The producers come during these days to sell their truffes.

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 L’arche de Noe”

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 Chateau-Puyguilhem

So peaceful and so green

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A popular local plate- Bon apetit!

The town has some good restaurants including the Michelin starred Moulin de l’Abbaye.

Practical Information: How to reach:

By air:  The closest airports are  Bergerac and Limoges although Bordeaux is about 1.45 hours away. The main airlines are  British Airways, Ryan Air, Easyjet and Flybe.

By Car: The main highways from Paris into Brantôme include (i) A20 Paris-Limoges then RN 21 – Limoges-Nontron-Brantôme 500km, and (ii) A10 Paris-Poitiers then RN10 Poitiers-Angoulême then D939 to Brantôme 500km

By train: There is a TGV service directly into Angoulême, which also has a service from Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2!

Bus: There is also a bus service that connects with some of the TGV services.

(Photos and text inputs from the internet.)

 By K.J.S.Chatrath

IMPORTANT: This website does not sell any hotel rooms/air tickets/packages/insurance cover etc.  It is intended only for providing information to the Fifty+/younger travellers and sharing of travel experiences. The above information is being shared only for the convenience of the readers who are advised to double check the information and satisfy themselves before taking any decision.

I am happy to share with you about the starting of another website by me:       www.gravematters.in 

Grave matters….matters of graves…graves and cemeteries….tombs and graves…cemeteries and graveyards….photos of gravestones from all over the world…inscriptions from all over the world…sad, inspirational and some with a sense humour… I look forward to receiving your encouragement and advice.

 

2 Responses to ““Visit Brantome, France” by K.J.S.Chatrath”

  1. Sukhdev Bedi says:

    Thanks for sharing information about this beautiful part of France.

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