The ancient, mystical and sacred town of Brantôme has fascinated visitors for centuries. Nestled in a cluster of limestone caves high on the Aquitaine plateau, Brantôme’s natural beauty, bubbling spring, and well-stocked river attracted its earliest inhabitants over forty thousand years ago.

The Celts, and their mystic Druid priests, gave Brantôme its name, a combination of the Celtic words for water and rocks. After the Celts, the town was inhabited by Romans, then early Christians, and a community of monks whose early monastery was to evolve into the splendid abbey we see today.

After surviving the Black Death and 100 Years War, Brantôme saw a new era flower in the Renaissance, when magnificent structures like the new abbey and the Jardin des Moines (Monk’s garden) were built.

Brantôme withstood many invasions from the Visigoths and other barbarians, until the Franks, and notably Charlemagne, established the town as a leading religious destination. From the Middle Ages, Brantôme was a key stop on the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela, one of the three most important pilgrimages of the period.

Today, Brantôme is considered by many to be one of the world’s most sacred sites, a special place that can heal the body, enlighten the mind, and awaken the soul.