Thursday, November 4, 2021

Cabanes du Breuil is a fascinating living museum

This cluster of huts at Cabanes du Breuil is connected to the home of the site's owners.

A beautiful autumn day entices us to take a drive to the Vézère Valley to visit a site that's been on my "to-see" list for a long time: the Cabanes du Breuil. This living museum showcases round stone huts built in the pierre séche method. Known in the U.S. as dry stone, in England as drystack, and in Scotland as drystare, this method of construction involves stones, but no mortar. Stone walls and buildings of this type are found many places in the world, but to walk among these charming huts in such an idyllic rural setting is a real treat.

A resident of the goose hut at Cabanes du Breuil checks us out.

A brochure (in English) helps guide us through Cabanes du Breuil.

Cabanes du Breuil is a family-owned attraction and is also the home of its owners, Jean-Marc and Carine Audit and their sons Samuel and Mathias. Jean-Marc's grandparents and parents moved to this farm in the 1940s. As years went by, the preservation and restoration of the stone huts became central to the family enterprise. 

The Cabanes du Breuil were built by stone using no mortar.

Pointed stone roofs are a distinguishing characteristic
of the Cabanes du Breuil.

Today, the family cultivates vegetables and vines, bakes bread with a recipe passed down from Jean-Marc's grandfather, raises geese and chickens (and, according to the Cabanes du Breuil website, sheep and peacocks), and welcomes visitors of all ages. 

Visitors can step inside some of the huts at Cabanes du Breuil.

The interior of this hut at Cabanes du Breuil contains a fireplace and
various cooking paraphernalia. 

Visitors can walk among the huts and even go inside some of them. A series of buildings-in-progress illustrate their unique method of construction. There are a couple of photo exhibits and a film, as well as an area where aspiring young artisans can try their hand at building cabanes. In the high season, bread-baking demonstrations and tastings are offered.

Children can try their hand at building miniature stone huts
in this area at Cabanes du Breuil.

One of the exhibits at Cabanes du Breuil features photographs of similar
structures found around the world.

Geese freely wander and eat chestnuts found on the ground at Cabanes du Breuil.

The beautiful setting has caught the eye of producers too: Evidently, several movies and TV shows have been filmed here.  

Visitors can check out huts in various stages of construction at Cabanes du Breuil.

We've picked an awesome fall day to visit Cabanes du Breuil.

Cabanes du Breuil welcomes visitors of all ages. It's definitely a place I'd like to bring my grandchildren some day. Its location between des Les Eyzies and Sarlat allows for same-day visits to the prehistoric sites in this part of the Dordogne.

Artwork by Xavier Barthalon is displayed at Cabanes du Breuil.

From admiring photos of snow-covered huts at Cabanes du Breuil, it would probably be quite beautiful here in winter, however, the site is closed from mid-November until April. For more information, look on the Cabanes du Breuil website.

This small stone hut at Cabanes du Breuil would make
an awesome playhouse for my granddaughter.