The village: Paunat
Paunat is a small village located in the "Périgord Noir", or the black Périgord.
The Périgord Noir is France's crown jewel, situated around the triangle, situated between the Vézère and Dordogne rivers, and littered with natural wonders, historical places and magnificient views over either of both rivers.
The village name Paunat is derived from 'E palo nata', 'the reborn staff'. According to an old legend, a pilgrim swore to build an abbey there, where he put his staff in the ground, a tree grew. That same abbey would replace the original church, which was destroyed around 850 AD by the Normans.
Once rebuilt by the monks, the new church was consecrated by bishop Frotaire. The surrounding abbey belonged to the Bendictine order and started off with around ten monks.
Soon a settlement arose around the abbey. Until 1815, this village was a civil parish. From that year on, it obtained the status of a "commune". Through the ages, the name of the village evolved from Palnatum, through Poanat and Paunac to present-day Paunat. The village has around 300 inhabitants nowadays.
The local community started a typically périgordian restaurant, "Chez Julien" , right behind the church of the abbey.