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Saint Amand de Coly is a beautiful little village in the heart of the black Perigord, in the Dordogne. You can find it approximately twenty kilometres from Sarlat and about ten kilometres from Montignac. The outstanding feature is the abbey, built during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and now under renovation. I’m not much into churches but this building had an amazing feeling when I walked in. The sheer size of it combined with a lack of the usual paintings and statues, the adornment of cobwebs, the smell of damp, the infiltration of a few pigeons and the musty silence has given it a kind of abandoned but magical feeling which I loved. We couldn’t walk all the way in due to the renovations, but stood at the barrier and just soaked up the ‘enormous silence’. That was until the pigeons came to life and started cooing. I’ve never heard anything quite like it! There were a maximum of about five birds but the echoes of their song was incredible, amplified in the hollowness it filled the entire abbey. I was mesmerized by it and wished I’d brought my camera which has a video function. Two days later we went back to try and record them but they weren’t quite as vocal that day. Hopefully you’ll get a little of the feeling from the video I did make.


Four Ducati visitors



Hoping you can read French



Steps so smooth and worn by hundreds of feet over hundreds of years




Two of the choir




Possibly many of you would be more interested in the history of this lovely building than the sound of the pigeons!