The Hamlet of Saint-Avit

Between the Périgord Noir and the Quercy, a short distance from the Chateaux of Bonaguil, Biron and Gavaudun, the picturesque valley of the Lède of Gavaudun offers its canvas of verdure to the hamlet of Saint-Avit, a remarkable architectural ensemble where is to be found the supposed birth place of Bernard Palissy.

A remarkable architectural ensemble

A tiny hamlet running along the hillside attracts the eye. One is first of all struck by its expression of harmony. The unity, without being uniform, the ochre and pink shades of the stone, the warm tints of the tiles and lauze of the church, the elegant rigour of the buildings, the gentleness of the narrow lane, bordered with a dry stone wall, leading to unsuspected treasures.

The gentle curves of a semi dome apse decorated with ornamental brackets welcomes the visitor at the top of the steep lane.

Above the apse, a squat bell-tower seems to rise up into to the sky.

A small cobbled path leads to a pure roman style portal, bare of decoration.
Inside, partially preserved frescos give clues to personages drawn directly from the fertile imagination of some medieval artist, guided by the wish of a Church to educate illiterate peasants in the faith.

A single street

Around the square and along the unique street, each house demonstrates an art of construction, privileging sobriety and plainness, while traces of ancient merchant stands give clues to the former rich past of the hamlet.

Here and there, elegant mullioned windows evoke a peaceful life, but an imposing fortified house at the end of the village is a reminder of the bitter battles of the wars of religion.

Discover the village in pictures

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