Located less than ten kilometres from Sainte-Alvère in the Dordogne, Saint-Laurent-des-Bâtons welcomes you with open arms and an ancient stream, the Verdançon, which has been trickling through there for centuries. The Saint Maurice castle and its neighbour, the church of Saint-Laurent, are at the heart of this village, which celebrates the humble walking stick with a festival called “les Bastonnades”, every year at Pentecost.
A magical village!
If you’re a lover of fine stonework, take a stroll through this charming village of characterful houses in an unspoilt agricultural landscape. Saint-Laurent-des-Bâtons is a village of legends and traditions. Indeed, its name comes from its 13th-century Romanesque church, but it is above all its stream, named Saint-Laurent and then Verdançon, which was considered miraculous. It was said to cure rheumatism, and many pilgrims drank from it and thereafter supposedly threw away their crutches ! In gratitude, they would hang them in the church before they left on foot to continue their pilgrimage !
The second part of the name of the village, “bâtons”, is a nod to the walking sticks or ‘bâtons’ used by pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela, and who enjoyed the miraculous benefits of a stopover in the village. Every year in May, the village celebrates the “Bastonnades”, the festival of the walking stick ! There are arts and crafts, music and games for young and old. In 2012, a monumental tower made of sticks was erected, a fitting hommage to the significance of the humble stick for St Laurent des Bâtons.
Visit Saint Maurice Castle
Classified as a historic monument thanks to its facades and roof, the castle in Saint-Maurice was a fortified house in the High Middle Ages. Unfortunately, the ramparts, moat and drawbridge have now all disappeared, but in one of the square towers, there is the widest spiral staircase in Périgord, decorated with mullioned windows.
For the sporty amongst you, The Boucle du Verdançon, or the Verdançon loop, is a great way to get out and about on foot or by bike. Head off into the wonders of Périgord !
Where to stay ?
Spend your holidays in Saint-Laurent-des-Bâtons, for a timeless break!
Properties to rent
List of rental partners of the Greater Périgueux Tourist Office in Saint-Laurent-des-Bâtons.
The annual walking stick festival in springtime.