From Castles and stately homes, knights and princesses, mad scientist, picturesque songs ... the Middle Ages has left its mark in the Vendée Valley. Montaigu, Tiffauges, Pouzauges, Saint Mesmin ... these fortresses protect the Brittany Marches, and open their doors for a journey through time and history!
Guided tours, animated visits, costumed visits ... night shows, torchlight walks or "Dolce Farniente" in the gardens ... a unique experience to create super memories.
Castle of Saint Mesmin
The castle of St Mesmin is the ideal place to become a medieval knight or a beautiful princess! Throughout the summer the castle comes to life with various shows representing the daily way of life of people during the Middle Ages - what they ate, how they dressed, their amusements, but also how they prepared for war!
Le château de Tiffauges
Le Château de Tiffauges : This medieval castle built in the 12th century was home to the infamous Gilles de Rais. French people say that this strange personage was the inspiration for the “Blue beard” fairytale written by Charles Perrault. Others say Henri VIII from England also influenced this legend.
The castle today contains a large collection of medieval war machines which allow visitors to learn about armaments in the Middle Ages. Numerous workshops are available to visitors.
Château de Pouzauges
Pouzauges has a great deal of charm with its steep winding streets and old stones buildings. The old fortress dating from the 11th century evokes a mystical and errie atmosphere similar to the castle of Winterfell in the Game Of Thrones. A place full of intriguing mystery and history.
It had originally ten towers but today only the Great Keep remains. It is over 27m high and 18m square and is an excellent example of military architecture.
Poussages : puy- auger literally meaning “the hill from where we can see”. This etymology is very accurate as the town is set on the hilltops overlooking a very steep and rugged landscape. The most impressive view are from the old medieval castle perched high up above the town. Follow the « le Fil Vert », the green line to discover other interesting panoramas. Additional scenic vantage points such as - Les moulins du Terrier Marteau (twin windmills), Puy-Crapaud (295m) are worth a detour.
Points of interest: The church St. Jacques (St James) has an architectural mixture between a Roman style and a Gothic influence. Standing in a grassy courtyard is the church of "Notre Dame” : interesting wall paintings dating back to the 13th century were discovered in 1948, hidden under layers of plaster.
Renaissance castle and heraldry in Sigournais
The existing castle was rebuilt around 1480 during the reign of King Charles VIII , when a period of peace and prosperity followed the Hundred Year war. Notable features include two drawbridges, an impressive keep, a covered parapet walk with machicolation, typical arrow-slits in the restored towers.
There is a unique and remarkable display of Heraldry representing many towns and countries in France and Europe. Can you see your region?