2021 Journées du Patrimoine Vendée: list of things to see

Welcome to the European Heritage days of 2020! The 3rd weekend of September ranks among the best weekends of the year for us! We challenge ourselves with a spring around our lovely Département du Vendée for the opportunity to visit well-known historical locations and monuments as well as sites that are rarely open to the public, for free or at a reduced rate. Join us for a list of options this year.

Historically, how did the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine or European Heritage days begin?
The French Ministry of Culture began the event  La Journée Portes Ouvertes in 1984. In the following year, at the 2nd European Conference of Ministers responsible for Architectural Heritage, the French Minister of Culture proposed that the project be internationalised under the European council. The Netherlands joined with their own Open Monumentendag in 1987, followed by Sweden and Ireland in 1989, and Belgium and Scotland in 1990. In 1991 the events were united as European Heritage Days at the initiative of the Council of Europe.

Why do we love the Journées du Patrimoine? For the younger generations it's important to learn, for tourists an interesting way to travel deeper, and by travelling local, expats embark on yet another avenue in the multi-faceted integration process. Heritage = treasure! Plan ahead to make it an adventure on 18 en 19 September, 2021! Please come prepared to wear a facemask and follow the requested rules.

ABOUT THIS LIST: we have done our best to mine the Internet for as much information as possible. We may have missed some locations, but there are so many events. We hope that no matter where you are in the Vendée, this list will allow you to build a fun itinerary for both days! Please use the 'directions' links to plug in your point of departure to get directions specific to you!

Aizenay (85190)
Guided tour of the future high school and sports complex under construction - FREE
  Saturday September 18 - 10h00. to 18h00
  Prior registration required from Monday August 30 to Thursday September 16, 2021 
in town hall - or Tel: 02 51 94 60 46 -  or email:
    Directions to Route de Nantes, Aizenay

Angles (85750)
**Donjon De Moricq FREE - Saturday 18 September 2021 - 17h
    The current square tower was built anno 1435 by Régnault Girard, mayor of La Rochelle to protect the port of Moricq which exported wine, grain and timber to La Rochelle and Bordeaux. More information
**Eglise Notre-Dame des Anges FREE - Sunday 19 september 2021 - 15h00
    Visit the church and crypt registration at tourist office or (space limited)
    Romanesque architecture. A guided tour of church and crypt will bring the public between history and legend in one of the most beautiful religious monuments of Bas-Poitou

Apremont (85220) 
**Château D'Aprémont FREE (must register) - Saturday and Sunday from 14h00 - 18h00
    Renaissance castle, on the site of a medieval fortress. Discover the castle differently: the entire mediation team offers thematic flash tours. Don'tmiss the "cavalier vault" cut in the rock, unique in France, which allowed visitors to arrive from by river in the valley below the castle.
**Puppet show with music @ Rives de la Vie (Lower garden of the castle) Usual price, On registration 06 03 83 26 22
    The Energie Musicale association invites you to discover the talents of CréaValCom as puppeteers and the instruments of Patrick Proust
    Saturday September 18 - 11h00 to 11h30 and 15h30 to 16h00
    Sunday September 19 - 11h00 to 11h30 and 15h30 to 16h00
**Townhall of Apremont FREE - Saturday September 18 and Sunday September 19 - 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    Exhibition and tea room in the garden
    Animation dance and Renaissance music Exhibition of Renaissance and musical instruments

Avrillé (85440)
**Château De La Guignardière (Discounted visit) 
    18/09 from 11h00 to 19h00
    19/09 from 11h00 to 19h00
    Renaissance chateau, completely restored. Also known as Chateau des Avonturiers with some prehistoric monuments on site.
    Open 11h00 to 19h00 on both Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th

Barbâtre (85630)
** Saint Nicolas de Barbâtre church FREE - Saturday September 18th and Sunday 19th - 17h00 to 18h00
     Presentation of the Saint Nicolas de Barbâtre church, by Jacques Santrot, chief heritage curator; with a signing session for his book "Barbâtre et son Église"

Bazoges-En-Pareds (85390)
**Donjon de Bazoges-En-Pareds (DONJON 2Euros, children free and MEDIEVAL GARDEN and MUSEUM)
    XIVth century Donjon, medieval garden and museum.
    Open 10h00 to 19h00 Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, discover the old forge and bakehouse (from 11h30 to 19h00)                    Directions

Beaufou (85170)
**Eglise Romane de Beaufou FREE - Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th from 09h00 to 19h00
    Romanesque church of Our Lady of the Annunciation (XIIth century), belonging to the Abbaye de Marmoutier-les-Tours (Indre-et-Loire). In March 1568, the church was burned by the Huguenots. restored in 1652. 

Benet (85490)
**Lime kiln of Benet FREE - Sunday, September 19 - 10h00 to 18h00.
    Guided tours of the lime kilns renovated with the help of the Heritage Foundation, exceptionally open to the public. Unique site in Vendée, quarry, ovens etc classified as Historical Monuments. Enjoy many activities, exhibitions; small market with local producers and creators, refreshment and catering. 46°22'27.0"N 0°35'00.8"W

Bellevigny (85170)
**Porch of the Old Church - FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 10h30 to 18h30

Bessay (85320)
**Château et Colombier de Bessay (no discount) - Saturday 19th from 10h00 to 12h30 and Sunday 20th from 14h00 to 16h00
    XVI and XVIIth centuries including a square dovecote and a Renaissance round tower with medieval character and Italian Renaissance decoration.
    King Henri IV stayed there in 1589. 

Bournezeau (85480)
**Abbaye De Trizay (FREE - guided tour for a small fee)
    Former Cistercian abbey founded in the XIIth century by monks of the abbey of Pontigny. An organized circuit with comments by a guide and explanatory panels displayed at each of the important places of the Abbey. A conference room will present to the visitor the steps taken by the new owners since their acquisition, illustrated with photos and plans.
   Schedule: Friday, September 17th from 14h00 to 17h30  
                      Saturday and Sunday from 10h30 to 12h30 and from 14h00 to 19h00

Cézais (85410)
**Château de la Cressonnière - donation - Saturday 19th September from 10h00 to 18h00   
    XVth century chateau recently renovated as wedding or events venue - privately owned
Chaille-les-Marais (85450)
**Maison du Maître de Digues - Sunday September 20 from 9h30 to 12h30 and from 14h00 to 17h15 FREE
    Discover the role of the dike and the Master of Dikes in the Marais poitevin. Special attention for children (no dogs please)
    Directions (tourism office)

Cheffois (85390)
** Château de la Rousselière  FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 15h00 - 17h00
  Guided tour of the exteriors of the fortified castle burned down during the Revolution and of the castle rebuilt at the beginning of the 19th century

Commequiers (85220)
**Château de Commequiers FREE - Saturday 18th from 10h00 - 18h00 and Sunday 19th from 11h00 - 17h00 FREE
    XVth century octagonal stronghold with 8 towers will exceptionally reveal all its secrets to you on the occasion of European Heritage Days. The volunteers of the Friends of the Old Castle association will help you discover a vestige of the past. You will also be able to discover medieval games, the work carried out by the association and have a good time on a pleasant and natural site.

Cugand (85610)
**Gites Communaux Cugand FREE - Sunday 19th September 9h30 to 19h00
    Walking route on the edge of Sèvre in the municipalities of Cugand and La Bruffière to discover heritage places, mills, old factories, chapels ...

Doix (85200)
**Eglise Saint-Pierre FREE - Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th from 09h00 - 19h00
    Built in Empire style in the 1845 (19th century) with traces of it from 1306, this church has three naves and the central vault has a coffered ceiling. To see: the paneled ceiling of 1889 bent and painted, the murals which overhang the choir representing three stages of the life of Saint Pierre, the painted wooden tabernacle of Prieur Gusteau, an occasional poet who had the church extended by 8 meters on the west side in 1732, restored in 2011.

Dompierre-sur-Yon (85170)
**La Haute Braconnière FREE 
    Guided tours of the exterior 17th, 19th and 21st century buildings. Guided tours at 11h00, 15h00, 17h00 Exhibition on Justinien Gillaizeau (former owner executed in 1944) "Juste par les Nations".

Essarts-en-Bocage (85140)
**Château des Essarts - Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th from 14h00 - 19h00 - 1 euro discount for 12 and up
    Activities: Adventure course (In the footsteps of Bevan and Le Trésor des Guillery), games of yesteryear, nature and legends course, bird refuge, squirrels course. Guided tours - 16h00, 17h00. and 18h00.
**Espace Gaston Chaissac (discounted tarif) Saturday September 18 - 14h00 - 19h00 Sunday September 19 - 10h00 to 18h00
    Located in the former public school of Ste Florence where the famous painter lived for 13 years view the latrines in the courtyard. The walls of which are still decorated with paintings by Chaissac.

Fontenay-Le-Comte (85200)
**Château De Terre Neuve (Preferential rate for the JEP from Friday 17th from 1.30pm until Wednesday 22/09
    - 8 euros for adults and free for children under 18)

    We LOVE château de Terre Neuve and highly recommend this lovely Renaissance home - privately owned and beautifully preserved with true treasures Website.  More information
     Open: Friday 09/17 from 13h30 to 18h00. Saturday 09/18 from 10h00 to 12h00 and from 13h30 to 18h00. Sunday 09/19 from 10h00 to 12h00 and from 13h30 to 18h00 Monday 20/09 from 13h30 to 18h00. Tuesday 21/09 closed Wednesday 22/09 from 13h30 to 18h00
**Hôtel de Lespinay de Beaumont FREE - Sunday from 10h00 to 12h00 and from 14h00 - 17h00 - 
     Presentation of the 18th century aristocratic mansion in its district, visit of the common areas listed in the supplementary inventory of      historical monuments (facade, hall, vestibule, main staircase, main courtyard). Historical journey and story of the evolution of the building over the centuries and the life of the city, to discover a story of stones, a story of lives. Exhibition on Guiller cycles and motorcycles manufactured in the building.

Foussais-Payré (85240)
**Eglise Saint-Hilaire FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h00
    XIth century, restored in the XVth and burned down in the XVIth century. Beautiful Romanesque portal 
    Open: Saturday and Sunday - 10h00 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h00
**Prieure De Foussais (Ancien) - Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h00 FREE
    Built from the 11th century, the priory was home to Benedictine monks until the Revolution. Rebuilt in the 15th century at the same time as the church, it was badly damaged by the Wars of Religion and fortified in the second half of the 16th century, then enlarged and embellished internally in the 17th century. Two of the four very beautiful fireplaces bear magnificent ornaments. The priory has been the Town Hall since 1982.
**Protestant Temple - Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h00 FREE
    1843 in Greek style - a sober church with schoolroom and teacher's quarters

L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer (85460)
**Observation point for bird migration FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 15h00 to 18h00
    Every year since 1993, the monitoring of bird migration from Pointe de l'Aiguillon begins on September 1. The volunteers who take part in these migratory bird counts will welcome you to share their passion for nature and their know-how. 

*****Reach the island by ferry*****
**Vieux-Chateau - FREE from 11h00 to 18h00.
    Refuge for the island population during the many incursions, the guided tour of this medieval fortress makes it possible to evoke the military architecture of the 14th to the 17th century and living conditions on the island under the Ancien Régime. Self-guided tour. Arrange ferry transport and local transport on the island before departure. 

La Chaize-Giraud (85220)
**Eglise Notre-Dame - REGISTRATION Tel: 02 51 22 96 37
    Friday September 17 at 8:30 p.m., Pascal Amoyel and the Parisii quartet, Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto.
    Saturday September 18 at 8:30 p.m., Parisii quartet, quartets by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven.
    Sunday September 19 at 5 p.m., Juan José Mosalini (bandoneon) and Parisii quartet, works by Astor Piazzola.

La Chataigneraie (85120)
**Villa Lionnet  FREE - Sunday, September 19 - 14h00 to 18h00
    19th Century villa of the painter Félix Lionnet, pupil of Corot, listed as historical monuments and decorated by the painter.

La-Roche-sur-Yon (85500)
**Haras de la Vendée - Saturday 19th from 14h00 to 18h00 and Sunday 20th and from 10h00 to 19h00 FREE
    Free visit of facilities and stables with horse riding demonstrations, interactive workshops and performances to music
*****The complete program for La Roche-sur-Yon here*****

Le Bernard (85560)
**Dolmen de la Frébouchère FREE  - Fri/Sat from 08h00 to 22h00 and Sunday from 08h00 to 19h00
    Several signposted cyclo-pedestrian circuits, departing from the town hall or the Frébouchère car park, will allow you to discover the many megaliths, the most important of which are the Cairn of Pey de Fontaine, the menhirs of Plessis and the dolmen of Frébouchère. 

Le Givre (85540)
**Château de la brunière FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 14h00 to 18h00
    16th century castle. Guided tour of the exteriors on the history, architecture and life of an estate.

L'Hermenault (85570)
**Château de l'Hermenault -  Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th from 14h00 to 18h00 (Entry fee)

     - Not to miss manmade canal, veg garden, dovecote and absolutely stunning barn.

Les Brouzils (85260)
**Château de Ligny FREE - Saturday September 18 - 14h00 to 19h00 and Sunday September 19 - 10h00 to 19h00
    Vintage car exhibition and activities related to the conversion of thermal vehicles to electric or hydrogen.

Les Herbiers (85500)
**Château du Bignon FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 14h30 to 19h30
    Guided tours of the exterior of the Château du Bignon, consisting of four towers surrounded by outbuildings, also called a manoir, dating from 1490. In the park, there is a pavilion, called the gardener's house and on the pond, the lavoir or washhouse. The entrance porch is marked by leopards from England that the Rouault family (first owners) wore in their coat of arms.

Les Landes-Genusson (85130)
**Cite des Oiseaux - Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th from 14h00 to 18h00 - FREE
    Birdlife with naturalist photographer Louis-Marie Préau.

Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne (85400)
**Historial et Memorial de la Vendée FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 19h00
    The Department of Vendée invites you to explore 7,000 years of history in a unique setting: the most beautiful museum in the department.
Discover seven permanent museographic spaces, archeological treasures, the children's museum (unique in France) and the Vendée Memorial.   

Les Sables d'Olonne (85100)
**Abbaye Saint-Jean d’Orbestier FREE - open Saturday and Sunday from 11h00 to 19h00
    Recently restored, the abbey was built in the twelfth century under the leadership of William IX, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou. The nearby forest was Richard de Lionheart's favourite hunting ground.  Sunday, September 19 - 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy LANDSCAPE- INSCAPE: an intimate choreographic performance, a space-time open to the deployment of sensations (performed by six dancers) Reservations recommended by phone: 02 51 32 01 16
**Prieuré de Saint Nicholas - Saturday/ Sunday 10h00 to 18h00 - FREE
    Erected by the religious of Holy Cross of Talmont in the XIth century, the priory was looted during the Wars of Religion, restored by Richelieu, and for 100 years (XVIII and IXXth) became a fort, guard house and powder magazine. Also Painting exhibition by Eric Moteau-Verneuille.
**Eglise Notre dame du Bon Port - FREE
    Church is open daily but at 16h00 (both days) there is a guided tour by the Association of Friends of Religious Heritage.
    Be aware this church is undergoing restoration at the moment
    Located on Place d'eglise, Rue Bisson (near the boardwalk - walking distance from large car parks in the city)
**Port Olona - FREE Saturday and Sunday 09h00to12h30 and from14h00to18:00
    Arrival (Saturday morning) and visit of historic fishing boats KIFANLO (tuna trawler classified as a Historic Monument by the OCEAM    Association) AND MUTIN (a French Navy training ship built in 1927 on the holds of the Sablais carpenter Damien Guignardeau)
**Quai Guiné - pleasure cruises on Saturday and Sunday at 10h00, 11h00, 14h00, 15h00 and at 16h:00.
    The owners of Classic Sablais Yachts offer you free short cruises. Take advantage of this heritage of old pleasure boats all in wood and varnish.
    Reservation recommended by email.
**Villa Charlotte - FREE Sunday September 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    Built in the years 1864-1867 at the initiative of the industrialist Laurent Tertrais, this beautiful building was originally in the Second Empire style. Later, Joseph Chailley deputy of the Vendée and mayor of Sables d'Olonne, transformed the villa to give it the seaside appearance. Visit includes a presentation of new acquisitions by the Friends of Villa Charlotte: a dressing table with violin and a mahogany music stand for the music room. Christophe Legeay, cabinetmaker, will present the restoration of the dressing table.
*****The complete offer of Journees du Patrimoine at Les Sables d'Olonnes here*****

Luçon (85400)
**Cathédrale Notre Dame de l'Assomption and cloisterVisites commentées FREE Saturday 18th at 15h00 and at 16h00

Maillezais (85420)
**Ancienne Abbaye FREE - Saturday from 10h00 to 14h30 to 21h45
    The magnificent abbey ruin, once powerful seat of Catholicism in the heart of the Marais Poitevin. Schedule:
    Saturday September 18 -  10h00 to 12h30 and 13h30 to 18h00
    Sunday September 19 - 10h00 to 19h00

Montaigu-Vendée (85600)
** As part of the European Mobility Week, Terres de Montaigu offers on the occasion of the Heritage Days weekend, the event "Les Échappées".
    2 loops> 4 starting points> 17 and 19 kilometers - join a starting point, and pedal to discover the heritage.
    Loop 1: Montaigu - Treize-Septiers (17 km, estimated duration: 2 hours) : the bread oven, the Marin gardens, the Meslay institute, the Meslay cave, the Logis de la Roche Thévenin.
   *  Departure from Montaigu: Léonard de Vinci sports center
   *  Departure from Treize-Septiers: Salle du Plan d'eau
   Loop 2: Rocheservière - Saint Philbert de Bouaine (19 km, estimated duration: 2 hours) : church of Saint Philbert de Bouaine, the Landefrère cave, the Château de la Source, the Château de Saint-André, Le Logis du Gué Bisfou.
   * Departure from Rocheservière: Place de l'Eglise 
   * Departure from Saint Philbert de Bouaine: Val des Sports
   Zero waste event. Refreshment area at each starting point. Refueling point on the course.

Montreverd (85260)
**Logis de la Chabotterie - Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th from 10h00 to 19h00 - FREE
    Not to miss! Visit and (on Sunday) painters competition -  see our article

Mortagne-Sur-Sèvre (85290)
**Village tour FREE - Saturday September 18 - 14h30  to 15h30 and from 16h30 to 17h30 by reservation     
    Immerse yourself in the story of this ancient medieval city steeped in history. Meeting point at Place de la Roseraie

Mouchamps (85640)
**Gravesite of  Georges Clemenceau - FREE
    See our article and directions

Mouilleron-le-Captif (85000)
** Château de Beaupuy
      Normally closed to the public, this is a great first for this guided tour of the Château de Beaupuy. Nestled in lush greenery, the place is ideal for a stroll after visiting the castle.

Mouilleron-Saint-Germain (85390)
**Manoir du Vigneau FREE - open Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th from 8h00 to 20h00
    Free access to the exterior of the building and the interior courtyard
**Temple of the United Protestant Church FREE - Sunday September 19th from 10h00 to 18h00
     Exhibition, video about the temple, the illustrious Protestants of the town and the local history of Protestantism.

Moutiers-Les-Mauxfaits (85540)
**La Cantaudière FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 13h30 and from 14h00 to 18h30
    Built in 1578, the building was initially a small fortress with four towers, ramparts, and a drawbridge (ramparts one tower were removed). The property was purchased in 1855 by Charles Duchaine and is, to this day, owned by his descendants. AMAZING restoration of this beautiful chateau. Don't miss it! 

Nalliers (85370)
**Réserve Biologique de Nalliers-Mouzeuil - Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th from 14h00 to 18h00 - FREE
    146ha of natural park and two hiking trails; exhibition of nature photography by Michel Pette

Nesmy (85310)
**Chateau de Nesmy FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 14h30 to 17h30 - FREE
    The estate and castle of Nesmy was owned by the famile of Tinguy Nesmy the XIXth century. Visit the park of 47Ha designed  by André Leroy in 1842, on the remains of an 11th century estate. The grounds are characterized by multiple viewpoints and a remarkable hydraulic network of 5 ponds.

Nieul-Sur-L'Autise (85240)
**Abbaye Saint-Vincent FREE - Saturday from 10h00 to 12h30 and from 13h30 to 18h00. Sunday from 10h00 to 18h00
    Founded in 1068, it was declared a royal abbey in 1141 by King Louis VII, husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Except for the Romanesque cloister, it was largely destroyed in the Wars of Religion, and restored. Animations and great with children. Recommended! 
**Maison de la Meunerie - (NOT FREE) Tours & tasting of Brioche on Fri, Sat, Sun (17,18,19 sept) 10h30 to 13h00 and 14h00 to 18h30
    The Maison de la Meunerie offers an open-hearted discovery of its heritage: Life in the mill and the job of grinding grain and baking bread
    *Guided tours start at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, & 5:00 pm.
    *Cooking and tasting of bricohes cooked in a wood-fired oven around 3 p.m. & 5 p.m.

**Vieux-Château - FREE flash tours Saturday from 14h30 to 18h30 and on Sunday from 10h00 - 11h00 to 18h30 - FREE
    XIth century fortress with its 350-meter long curtain walls. The donjon, built in the Poitou stone, is 26m high and was transformed into a residence by Catherine de Thouars, wife of the famous Gilles de Rais (Bluebeard) in the XVth century, with a granite spiral staircase, carved fireplaces and windows. Exceptional opening.

Réaumur (85700)
**Chapelle Ste Marie De Reaumur - FREE
    At the origin of this chapel lies the legend of the Virgin Mary to have provided a spring to quench the thirst of a knight.
    Self-guided tour - Open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9h00 to 19h00
**Prieuré Saint-Pierre - FREE

Rocheserviere (85620)
**Château de la Source FREE - history, park and flower gardens Saturday from 15h00 to 18h00 and Sunday from 11h00 to 18h00
**Château de Saint-André FREE - five concerts by " L’écurie musicale " :
    * Saturday 15h00 and 16h30: baroque
    *Sunday 11gh0: les Musiciens en Herbe
    *Sunday 15h00 and at 16h30: classical music

Saint-Etienne-du-Bois (85670)
**Forge de la Tulévrière FREE - Saturday from 10h00 to 18h00  and Sunday from 10h00 to 18h00 
    Discover this old 16th century house transformed into a forge in 1913. After 3 generations of blacksmiths from the same family there was a period of dormancy, until young blacksmith Arthur Muller took over the activity in a building next door. He will introduce you to his trade and its evolution over time and talk about the history of this remarkable site.
**Chapelle de la Tulévrière FREE - open Fri, Sat, Sun 8h00 to 19h00
    In full Terror, a refractory priest erecteda chapel in gratitude for the protection of the small hamlet where he took refuge. (1794) This chapel is also the memorial to 22 villagers killed on March 22, 1794. The liturgical vestments, worn by the abbot during the Wars of the Vendée are still here as well as a tabernacle arranged in a neighboring house by the abbot. The chapel has the first stained glass windows that speak of the Wars of the Vendée (1875) and is one of the only remaining religious building built at the time, still standing.

Saint-Hilaire-Le-Vouhis (85450)
**La Chevillonnière 
    The manor of the Chevillonnière XVth century has been restored since 2008, but the XIVth century ramparts have only recently been discovered and completely reassembled: 110 m long with 2 small corner towers overlooking the river Le Petit Lay. STUNNING!!!
  Tour schedule:
  18/09  - 14h00 to 14h45; 15h00 to 15h45; 16h00 to 16h45; 17h00 to 17h45
  19/09 - 11h00 to 11h45; 14h30 to 15h15; 15h30 to 16h15; 16h30 to 17h15; 17h30 to 18h15
    Directions  GPS 46°41'23.2"N 1°07'49.9"W

Saint-Juire-Champgillon (85210)
**Château De Saint-Juire (Saturday 18th - 10h30 to 12h30 and 14h30 to 17h30; Sunday 19th from 14h00 to 17h00) - FREE
    Private. History of the castle and grounds - huge moat with garden!! 

Saint-Martin-des-Noyers (85140)
**The Château de la Grève (3€/adult (children free), free visit) Open Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 18h00 
    one of the few medieval castles still standing in the Vendée and is very complete: many elements of medieval architecture have been preserved, as well as remarkable features such as the framework of the main tower, mullioned windows, vaulted cellar, medieval fireplaces, numerous outbuildings and more. Additionally, the archaeological portion of the site is quite exceptional featuring a complex water system with its moats, bridges and causeway (the pond and moats are currently dry).
**Moulin de Bois - Sunday 19th from 10h00 to 18h00 - FREE
    1835 windmill complete restored - operated until 1910. There are four more windmills nearby. Tour.

Saint-Martin-des-Fontaines (85570)
**Moulin de Garreau FREE - Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 18h00
   Tours with comments on the XIth century origins and Lordship of Beugnon-Pottereau which was then bequeathed to the Abbey of Saint-Maixent in 1093. It is the 1st of 11 water mills located along the riveer La Longèves. It not only ensured the production of flour to supply the bakeries of the region (very active during the World Wars), but moreover, its energy also allowed to operate a sawmill and a dynamo for the production of electricity. Equipped with 3 pairs of millstones, its mechanism was completely restored in 2005 in order to produce flour from a sieve allowing the selection of products. The site of the Moulin de Garreau measures 4ha, beautiful for a stroll. Its hydraulic device composed of 2 guillotine valves allows the regulation of water supply to the mill. 2 fishing ponds for the enjoyment of our fishing visitors.

Saint-Mesmin (85700)
**L'Audrière Chapel - Saturday 18 and Sunday 19th from 10h00 to 18h00 - FREE
    Guided or free visit of this XVIth century chapel - archeological excavations in progress (may be in scaffold as is currently being restored)

Saint-Michel-En-L'Herm (85580)
**L'Abbaye Royale (REDUCED RATE 3 euros, FREE UNDER 7)
    Guided tour of the gardens, refectory, scriptorium, the chapter house as well as (uniquely) the dining room and the other old buildings. Includes musical interludes. Highly recommended!!! It does get very busy here as this is normally a private summer residence.
     TOURS: SATURDAY at 15h00 15h30 16h00 16h30 and on Sunday at 14h30, 15h00, 15h30, 16h00, 16h30

Saint-Prouant (85110)
**Prieuré de Grammont FREE - Saturday from 10h00 to 12h30 and from 13h30 to 18h00; and on Sunday 10h00 to 18h00
    Beautiful little abbey from the XIIth century (see article) with its murals, inner courtyard etc... (STUNNING highly recommend!) including exhibition: Abbeys from the Sky

Sainte-Flaive-des-Loups (85150)
**Logis du Gué FREE - 
    Group of buildings probably dating from the 15th century and comprising a main building, outbuildings and a chapel forming an enclosed courtyard which is accessed by a porch. Confession made by Jean du Plessis 1417;Jacques Fouscher de l'Ementruère lord in 1469;home built in the 1470s;interior decorations v.1639 - 1683. 
    Guided tours Saturday at 10h00, 11h00, 14h30, 15h30 and 16h00 and on Sunday at 10h30, 11h30, 15h00 and 16h00

Sainte-Gemme-La-Plaine (85400)
**Logis De La Chevallerie (3.5 EUROS/ FREE up to 12) Tours on Sat and Sun from 9h15 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h15
    The Château de la Chevallerie is one of the 12 remarkable Logis of Vendée, it is fully protected as Historical Monuments (exterior and interior, lodgings and annex buildings). The origin of the castle goes back to the Templars whose site housed an important commandery. The location lives at the heart of royal conflicts until the Wars of Religion. It passed into the hands of Mathurin-Joseph Babin, Lord of the Chevallerie, born after 1703, Auditor in the Chambre des Comptes of Brittany. Two dates can be read on the farm buildings: 1770 above the portal and 1768 on the lintel of a bay in the newly restored east wing. History and website

Sainte-Pexine (85320)
**Logis de Chaligny  FREE 
    The Logis de Chaligny is a very complete example of what a “house in the fields” was in the 17th century: pleasure garden, vegetable garden, fruit garden, herb garden, river and woods. Located between the plain and the bocage and the Marais Poitevin , the logis has been known since Gallo- Roman times and has not undergone any alteration since the 18th century. As such it provides a valuable glimpse into Renaissance architecture of the Bas-Poitou.
    Opening hours: 18/09  and 19/09 from 10h30 to 12h00 and from 14h00 to 19h00

Sallertaine (85300)
**Moulin a Vent De Rairé  - Sunday 19th from 14h00 to 18h00 - (REDUCED RATE)
    Built around 1555, the Moulin de Rairé originally belonged to the lord of the Garnache, Jacques de la Touche. The windmill was spared from the wars in the Vendée and is in fact the only windmill in France which has never stopped functioning. Website (also visit the Romanesque Church in the village!!!) 

Sèvremont (85700)
**Château de La Flocellière - (Unguided tours of the park and carriage ride (children free): € 3.50; Guided tours: € 5; Concert and conference: € 10)
    Tour this absolutely stunning castle with a very long history from the XIth through the Renaissance, impeccably restored by the owners. WOW!
    Schedule: Saturday September 18: Guided tours: 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
                         Sunday September 19: Guided tours (exterior): 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
                                                                       Horse-drawn carriage rides: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
                                                                       Piano concert (Grégoire Humbert): 4 p.m.
"Napoleon and the Vendée": 5.30 p.m Lecture by Jean Tulard, historian

Sigournais (85110)
**Château Féodal - Saturday 19th from 14h30 to 18h30 and Sunday 20th from 10h00 to 19h00 - (REDUCED RATE)
    Remodeled in the 15th century on the foundations of a castle built around the year one thousand, with moats, polygonal enclosure, towers, covered walkway, latrines and much more. This feudal castle is one of the best examples of medieval military architecture in the Vendée and not to miss! LOTS of activities, excellent with children!! Our article on Castles in the Vendee for more info.  Website

Talmont-Saint-Hilaire (85440)
**Château de Talmont - Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th from 10h30 to 18h00 (FREE)
    Incredible medieval castle with a rich history - see our article Castles in the Vendee
    Program this year:

  • Photo exhibition of the dungeon floors accessible to PRM
  • Sensory visit for the visually impaired: at 11:00 am, limited to 20 people, by reservation at 02 51 90 27 43
  • Large print guide for visually impaired people
  • Easy to read and understand guide for people with a mental handicap
  • Family sensory visit: at 2pm, limited to 20 people, by reservation at 02 51 90 27 43
  • Guided tours of 1 hour for the general public, all day long
  • On Sunday, presence of painters on the site of the Castle

Tiffauges (85130)
**Château De Tiffauges FREE - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th from 14h00 to 19h00 
    Geoffrey Thouars built the castle in the 12th Century, its ramparts and towers protecting the village by the Crume river; but it is perhaps more (in)famous for Gilles de Rais or Bluebeard. Free guided tours and demonstrations of the war machines (no other animations)  more info see our article. Not to miss! Lovely with children.

Treize-Septiers (85450)
**Bread oven - open Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 18h00 - FREE

NOTE: We couldn't possible include every single event in this list as the Vendee is vast and with an interesting history. We included locations that seemed interesting to us, and a few churches and chapels.
** Join our Facebook Group for more announcements and charing of experiences.

Remember your pass sanitaire! 
Due  to pandemic, it is recommended to verify that events aren't canceled before heading out to explore 
Donjon De Moricq
Château De La Guignardière
Chateau ou Logis de la Chevallerie en Vendee monument historique
Logis de la Chevallerie
Château de Beaupuy in the Vendee
Château de Beaupuy
Abbaye de trizay
La Chevillonnière
Abbaye de Maillezais
Chateau de Terre-Neuve
Chateau ou Logis de la Chevallerie en Vendee monument historique
Chateau de l'Hermenault
Chateau de la Cantaudière
Manoir de Vigneau en Vendee
manoir de vigneau
Luçon Cathedral CLoisters
Château de La Flocellière
Château de Pouzauges
Château de Tiffauges
Chateau de Nesmy in the Vendee
Chateau d'Apremont
Scriptorium Abbaye Royale Vendee
Abbaye Royale st michel en l'herm
Prieurie de Grammont in Saint Prouant in the Vendée murals
Prieuré de Grammont
Moulin de Rairé

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