On the outskirts of Périgueux, on the way to Brantôme and tucked away in a wooded valley, Chancelade Abbey, one of the oldest abbeys in Périgord, welcomes visitors searching for a peaceful and calm environment.
Chancelade, a thousand-year-old abbey
Chancelade Abbey was founded by the monk Foucault de Cellefrouin, a native of the Charente region. It was a perfect place for a hermit to settle: a secluded spot for prayer with a stream and a natural spring. Not surprisingly, he was soon joined by others, and in 1132, they founded an abbey under the order of Saint Augustine. Generously supported by numerous donations from the Counts of Périgord, knights and wealthy Périgord families, Chancelade Abbey rapidly prospered.
The Hundred Years’ War : a chaotic history !
Du Guesclin The Saviour !
During the Hundred Years’ War, the English military seized the abbey and expelled the Augustine monks. On his return from Spain, Bertrand Du Guesclin, Chief Commanding Officer to the king, drove the English out of Périgueux in an historic battle, thereby liberating the abbey. Monastic life resumed, but after such chaos it took a while before the monastery was restored to its former glory.
Waiting for a brighter future
The truce was short-lived, as the Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants once again ruined Chancelade Abbey. It wasn’t until the 17th century that Alain de Solminihac, the bishop of Cahors but a Périgordin by birth, restored the abbey and turned it into an important religious and intellectual centre. Unfortunately, during the French Revolution, the abbey was badly damaged and was sold off.
A gentle stroll
Calm and serene
Have you ever noticed the deep peaceful atmosphere of an abbey? Even if, centuries ago, the monks found an ideal place to retreat and pray, we can still appreciate the serenity today, particularly in Chancelade. Stroll down to the banks of the Beauronne river and admire the wonderfully located abbot’s dwelling….
A perfect place for hiking
Chancelade Abbey is the ideal starting point for numerous hikes and bike rides. Don’t hesitate to download our trail maps, get online help or meet one of our travel consultants in person at the main tourist office of Greater Périgueux in Niversac.