Parcours troglodytique de l'Abbaye de Brantôme

Useful Information

Location: Brantôme
Open: FEB to MAR daily 10-12, 14-17.
APR to JUN daily 10-18.
JUL to AUG daily 10-19.
SEP to Mid-OCT daily 10-18.
Mid-OCT to DEC daily 10-12, 14-17.
Fee: Adults EUR 4.50, Children EUR 2.50.
Groups (+): Adults EUR 3.50, Children EUR 2.50.
Classification: SubterraneaCave House SubterraneaCave Church
Light: n/a
Guided tours: Available for groups after appointment
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
Address: Parcours troglodytique de l'Abbaye de Brantôme, Abbaye, 24310 Brantôme, Tel: +33-553-058063, Fax: +33-553-354518. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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769 Abbey founded by Charlemange and the Diocese of Périgueux.
12th century caves constructed.
179? abandoned during the french revolution.
1840 abby declared a historic monument.
1957 caves declared a historic monument.


The Abbaye de Brantôme (Abbey of Brantôme) is a Roman Benedictine Abbey founded in 769 by Charlemange. It existed for a millennium until it was abandoned during the French Revolution in the 1790s. Today it is again a church and visited by many visitors every year. The sights are the church, the cloister, the various monastery buildings containing two museums, and the town hall of Brantôme.

The important part for us is a series of ten caves, which were created in the 7th century and declared a historic monument in 1957. The caves were used for various purposes, some for living, one as mill, one as bathroom for the monks, and one as a dovecot. One of the caves contains a miraculous spring which is dedicated Saint Sicaire.

The biggest cave is called Grotte du Jugement Dernier (Cave of the Last Judgment). It contains two monumental bas-reliefs. The bigger one at the rear wall of the cave shows the Last Judgement or Doomsday, the day when God will judge mankind and the good people will go to heaven and the bad people will go to hell. The smaller one on the right wall shows the crucified Christ.

The caves are located behind the church and can be visited during a visit to the Musée Fernand Desmoulin. Fernand Desmoulin (*1853-✝1914) was an academic painter and irreproachable printmaker. He believed in Spiritism, which was very fashionable around 1900, and produced a series of phantastic drawings. Important is the fact that those works differ radically from his previous style.