stories ...

An accumulation of degradation


This Abbey, which was once one of the largest monastic establishments in the Perigord, has succumbed to many trials and tribulations over the years, to summarise:

  • Destroyed in 1345 during the 100 Years War

  • Restored under Louis XI

  • Attacked again during the Wars of Religion, to the point where it became an Abbey in name only

  • Burned twice during the French Revolution, with a large part of the church destroyed and fortifications razed.

  • Increased damage from the floods of 1790

  • Some support work and reconstruction of the Nave between 1896-1906

  • Excessive expense of the works falling entirely on Tourtoirac commune, which led to the abandonment of the project to reconstruct the Apse, the current Sacristy.

This thousand year heritage, which bears witness to the technical and artistic prowess and also spiritual life of our ancestors, continues to suffer from the ravages of time.

It is with concern that everyone can see the scars of slow degradation in these buildings, classified since 1939 in the Inventory of Historic Building of France.

Amateur but revelatory excavations


In 1959, helped by a committed inhabitant of Tourtoirac, it was the Abbot De Chadols who, out of curiosity, brought to light the remains of the ancient Chapter House situated under the current Presbytery.

Today, one can admire the well-preserved capitals; those representing beard-pulling monks always exciting curiosity and diverse interpretations. Other capitals represent more classical subjects, such as plants, animals etc.

A more structured excavation in the future will probably reveal more architectural treasures.