This lovely village is teeming with ancient treasures and sits at the confluence of two rivers, the Aveyron and the Bonnette in the stunning Gorges de L’Averyron. Taking nothing from the spectacular countryside that surrounds it; it celebrates an intensely natural world (a protected environmental area) that creeps right to its outer edges. In Celtic times the village was simply known as Condat (confluence) and Valis Nobilis (Noble Val) was later introduced in Roman times.
The Saint Antonin of today then developed around a Benedictine Monastery, dedicated to Saint-Antonin and built in the 8th century. Some of the buildings in the main square and the surrounding narrow streets date from the beginning of the 12th century – in many cases much older than most of the country’s 'medieval villages'.
Many will recall that this was where they filmed ‘Charlotte Grey’, the 2001 film, with Cate Blanchett and based on the book by Sebastian Faulks. Then in 2013 it was also used as a location for the film with Helen Mirren ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’.
All year the village is alive with river-based, water-sports; at the same time on the hill-sides, cliffs and slopes further adventure seekers abound. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, river views and interesting corners to explore. Narrow passages give way to ancient squares and then further warrens of little streets.
The Place de la Halle, featuring the medieval market hall on its broad, stone-legs makes a stunning centre point and a great place to sit, have a drink and watch the world wander by. There’s also a 12th century town hall with its noteworthy belfry (now a small museum of prehistory) reportedly this is the oldest civil building in France.
The Tourist Office can be contacted at email@example.com
Photo Credits (unless otherwise stated) the Tourist Office in St Antonin.