The heart symbol seems to be everywhere in this part of France, Carved above doorways, on roadside markers, on market crosses etc. The medieval symbol of the sacred heart. The Village of Astaillac can trace its history back to medieval times, and in the garden of the house across the street are the remains of a medieval monastery. Walking around the village you will notice that many of the local houses have incorporated bits of ecclesiastical masonry here and there, and we seem to have more than most. In our lounge there is a huge stone fireplace, which is obviously centuries old, very likely robbed from the old Monastery on the site. On both sides a Heart is carved.
But even if we did not have this symbol carved into the heart of our home, we consider it as very apt. As it is a very happy place to be, and when we aren't there we feel as though our hearts are there.
Astaillac is on top of a steep rocky outcrop overlooking the valley of the Dordogne River. It is basically one street with houses either side with the land dropping off steeply from each garden. It is a farming community with some tourism. It has kept its quaint rural character, the most recent building in the village being a stone barn built before WW2. Typical of the area are houses with a Pigionnier, small one-roomed turrets for keeping pigeons. Now mostly flown the roost! One of which we are lucky to have. The area is also famous for its walnut trees. We have one just outside the kitchen window, and the nuts are very good! Astaillac is on the famous Route du Noix (Walnut Road).
Beaulieu Sur Dordogne, which is our local town, about 5Km away, is an Abbey town, dating back to the 12th C, with its famous Romanesque Portal Abbey Church, (which John Piper found a stimulating subject for a drawing in 1951 and a watercolour in 1979). A maze of medieval town houses running down to the river, tucked away behind the modern main square.
The Abbey Church holds classical concerts on Saturday evenings through the summer months and there is a community BBQ with music every Monday eve by the river.
Beaulieu sur Dordogne is a famous beauty spot, with its wide views across the river. But it is also know as a regional centre for the growing of strawberries and is called “Pays de la Fraise”. With a huge street party festival held each year in May to celebrate the fact, 5 tonnes of strawberries are said to be consumed on the day.
Our house of hearts has a large living room with sofas and library of art books with Internet. A balcony with views out over the valley, ideal for warm summer evenings with a drink, good company and views of the two castles on the far side of the valley. Well-equipped kitchen. Patio areas with loungers, a covered al fresco dining area, and 4 bedrooms en-suite.
"Briance", Rue des Mellons, Astaillac is on the site of a medieval monastery and although mostly built in the early 19th Century there is a lot of ecclesiastical stonework incorporated in its construction, including a huge fireplace with the symbol of the sacred heart carved into its stonework. It has wonderful views out over the Dordogne river valley and the Chateau de Castelnau de Bretenoux.
The house was built around 1814, it is of typical local architecture in stone with a turreted pigeonnier. It is actually two houses joined and set in its own grounds. It is an ideal painter's retreat, quiet but on the edge of a village only 4Km from the busy Abbey town of Beaulieu sur Dordogne.
There is ample patio and garden space in which to relax either in the hammock or loungers or in which to sit and paint under the large parasols set about the grounds.
All the rooms are furnished and decorated in a traditional French farmhouse style, but with all modern conveniences. All rooms have both French and UK plug adaptors, extra pillows and covers, an en-suite bathroom with towels, soap and shampoo. We have 3 twin bedrooms and one double bedroom (all ensuite). So we can accommodate a mixed party 8. There is also the opportunity to rent three extra rooms in the holiday home directly opposite us. Two twins and a double. (all meals etc would be taken at "Briance").
This property has been run for several years as an Art and Sculpture course holiday venue. The house therefor has catering facilities for up to 15 people, with outside seating, loungers and hammocks for a number of guests. We don't run Art holiday courses in the Summer (July- August) only in the Spring and Autumn, so the house is available to let during the summer months.
|Size||Sleeps up to 8, 4 bedrooms|
|Will consider||House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||4 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Brive-Soulliac, Valley de la Dordogne 43 km, Nearest railway: TVR to Brive then local train to Biars sur Cere, about 15 mins 9 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||TV, Video player, CD player, Telephone, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 4 En suites|
|Furniture||Double beds (1), Single beds (6), Dining seats for 10, Lounge seats for 10|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
A beautiful, rural region of the South of France. Know locally as the "Valley of Wonders" there are no less than 8 "Le Plus Beau Village de France" within half an hour from the house, as well as the Beautiful Dordogne river and the famous pilgrimage site of Rocamadour is only 40mins away, and the Gouffre de Padirac, with its underground river boat trips is only 25 mins away. You can also hire both bicycles and canoes in the local Abbey town of Beaulieu sur Dordogne.
The village of Astaillac is a small village located center of France. The town of Astaillac is located in the department of Corrèze of the french region Limousin, with beautiful rolling countryside, authentic 19th century and earlier architecture and features. The town of Astaillac is located in the township of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne part of the district of Brive-la-Gaillarde. The area code for Astaillac is 19012 (also known as code INSEE), and the Astaillac zip code is 19120.