Brantôme

The town of Brantôme sits
on an island, encircled by a
loop of the river Dronne.
Its buildings cluster around
the 9th-century Benedictine
abbey. The bell tower, dating
from the 11th century, is one
of the oldest in France. A
16th-century bridge links the
abbey to its gardens. Close by
is the Grotte du Jugement
Dernier, a cave with a 15thcentury
carved relief of the
Last Judgment.

 

Abbey
Tel (05) 53 05 80 63. # Wed–Mon
(Jul, Aug: daily) ¢ Jan

 

Environs
10.5km (6 miles) southwest of
Brantôme is the 13th-century
Château de Bourdeilles. It
has an octagonal keep and
later Renaissance buildings
and ramparts.
The 16th-century Château de
Puyguilhem, 10km (6 miles)
northeast of Brantôme, has an
elegant main house, towers,
dormer windows and battlements.
The château’s interiors
are also exceptionally fine.
The Grotte de Villars, 15km
(9 miles) northeast of Brantôme,
is a network of caves with 13km
(8 miles) of galleries, filled with
fascinating rock formations and
some prehistoric paintings.

 

Château de BourdeillesChâteau de BourdeillesTel (05) 53 03 73 36. ¢ Jan.

 

Château de Puyguilhem
Villars. Tel (05) 53 54 82 18.
¢ public hols.

 

Grotte de Villars
Tel (05) 53 54 82 36. # Apr–Nov:
daily. 8 & www.grotte-villars.com