Byzantine from the 11th century (L 53 m X W 21 m), it was
probably constructed with three domes (Like the church of
Trémolat., La Cité at Périgueux and others). Two fortress
towers were added in the 12th century the highest being called
Alexandre ‘after Pope Alexandre III” was built towards 1270.
Philippe le Hardi order to fortifying the village, with three
separate surrounding walls (1270 – 1285). From this date the
village of St Avit was called “Castrum Sancti Aviti Senioris”
in the books.
The monk’s dormitory
5 - The monk’s dormitory adjoins the church :
The porch gives access to the cloisters and the geological and
archaeological museums. This building is older than the church
itself. The ground floor contains the vestry and chapter
house. The chapter house has a groined vaulted ceiling, built
in the 12th century standing on two square pillars with
simple, undecorated mouldings.
They appear to built in a traditional
“gallo-roman” style, crafted with picks into small rectangular
blocks rather than with hammer and chisel. This indicates the
use of this traditional technique at quite a late period.
Today the presbytery is regularly used for exhibitions.
Leaving by the porch, turning right, you see a defensive wall
with loopholes and a curious low arched doorway.
The exterior of the presbytery also has original loopholes.
The doorway is recent. As you return to the Place Leo Testut,
take the path to the left of the post office.
- The Mairie and Esplanade
The Mairie used to be hostel for pilgrims on their way to Saint
Jacques de Compostelle. There was also a leper hospital in an
adjoining building. From the esplanade one can see the cliff in
which Avitus lived in his cave. The wash house is fed from the
water source where Avitus quenched his thirst. There is a Roman
track in the valley which went from Beaumont to Molières and
9 - The monk's terraces :
These cultivated terraces located on the site of ancient
quarries, employed an irrigation system dug into the rock at the
foot of the cliffs.
The Town’s Regular Events
- Every year, the “Votive Festival” takes place the last weekend
- Every other year, the “Festival of Rural Traditions” takes
place the second Sunday in August.
- Every other year, the “Autumn Festival” takes place around mid-October.
- From June until September, an art exposition, which brings
together painters, sculptors...is presented in the presbytery.
- From the beginning of July until the end of August, the
association “As Time Goes By” of Cadouin leads workshops for the
whole family about calligraphy, illumination and sculpture, and
proposes discovering the village and its history during a
- Every second Sunday in February, the Sunday after July 14, and
the first Sunday in October: flea market.