1 Best Sight in Brantôme, The Dordogne

Abbaye Bénédictine

Possibly founded by Charlemagne in the 8th century, Abbaye Bénédictine has none of its original buildings left, but its bell tower has been hanging on since the 11th century (the secret of its success is that it's attached to the cliff rather than the abbey, and thus it withstood waves of invaders). Fifth-century hermits carved out much of the abbey, and some rooms have astonishing 16th-century sculpted reliefs of the Last Judgment. Also here is a small museum devoted to the 19th-century painter Fernand-Desmoulin. At night the abbey is romantically floodlighted.