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Brantome

BRANTOME, a town of south-western France, in the department of Dordogne, 20 m. N. by W. of Périgueux by steam-tramway. Pop. (1906) 1230. The town is built, in great part, on an island in the river Dronne. It is well known for the remains of an abbey founded by Charlemagne about 770 and afterwards destroyed by the Normans. The oldest existing portion is a square tower dating from the 11th century, built upon a rock beside the church which it overlooks. It communicates by a staircase with the church, a rectangular building partly Romanesque, partly Gothic, to the west of which are the remains of a cloister. The abbey buildings date from the 18th century, and now serve as hôtel-de-ville, magistrature and schools. Caves in the neighbouring rocks were inhabited by the monks before the building of the abbey; one of them, used as an oratory, contains curious carvings, representing the Last Judgment and the Crucifixion. In the middle of the 16th century Pierre de Bourdeille came into possession of the abbey, from which he took the name of Brantôme.

Brantôme has some old houses and a church of the 15th century, which was once fortified and is now used as a market. Truffles are the chief article of commerce; and there are quarries of freestone in the neighbourhood. The dolmen which is known as Pierre-Levée, to the east of the town, is the most remarkable in Périgord.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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