Valley of Histories
Vendéen War - French Révolution
In 1789 the Revolution established a new government but amongst the promises there were numerous deceptions. The clergy were obliged to swear allegiance to this new regime and the Vendeans obliged to obey to the compulsory conscription to help in combat abroad.
The rebellion was organized in the Vendée and in the South of the Loire, it was the beginning of the Vendeen war.
Charette was a major personality of the resistance during the Vendeen wars. A French Royalist, soldier and politician he served in the French Royal Navy during the American War of Independence and was one of the leaders of the Revolt in the Vendée against the revolutionary regime.
A tragic end but what style and panache! Sentenced to be shot, he himself led the firing squad and refused to be blind folded. He told the firing squad that when he closed his eyes they could fire! His death marked the end of the rebellion.
His death masks can be seen in the exhibition dedicated to his memory at the Chabotterie.
Logis de la Chabotterie
The Chabotterie is a central piece of the Vendée War: Charette was arrested here in 1796, bring an end to the Vendéen resistance. This house is a typical example of Poitevin architecture, with its refined interiors reflecting the way of life of country gentlemen.
Built at the end of the 14th century by the Chabot family, the Logis de la Chabotterie is a remarkable example of vendéen construction. Its particularity is that it has furniture and accessories and gives the impression that the inhabitants still live there.
Refuge de Grasla
The Refuge de Grasla is a reconstruction which provides an insight into the daily lives of the local population during the war in the Vendee.
The theatrical production “Pierre Captain of the parish” was written, produced and is performed by both professional actors and more than 30 volunteers.
The story begins : A great number of families fleeing from the « infernal columns » of General Turreau came for refuge, abandoning their homes and farms. Here they found shelter under the thick canopy of the forest. Life and living conditions were hard for these refugees, surviving the cold harsh climate, hunger and the wild animals was a daily struggle.
Le Mont des Alouettes
At 232m above sea level the Mont des Alouettes, near the Puy du Fou, is one of the highest points in the Vendee and offers a spectacular view over the rest of the surrounding hills. Constructed during the 16th century, only two of the eight original windmills remain, one of which is in perfect working order. They can be visited between April and September.