Places of Interest

Written by Super User. Posted in Places of Interest

Futuroscope and Puy de Fou are just two of the "must do" attractions for all visiting the Vendee.  Both parks need a day's visit minimum to even scratch the surface of the numerous attractions for adults and children alike.  

Les Hirondelles and Pomme D'Amour both have extensive information folders, packed with ideas to spoil you for choice.  The Vendee is geared towards holidays packed with outside fun, historical sites of interest, beach fun, watersports, rambling, cycling, museums etc.

Venture further afield and you'll discover famous cities like Cognac, Saintes, our Vendee capital La Roche sur Yon, Niort and Nantes.

During the summer there are numerous music events, fetes, fairs, and markets.  

Fontenay-le-Comte is our local town, where you'll find the nearest large hypermarkets on the outskirts of the town, and a traditional "high street" with cafes, bars and restaurants to munch on a croque monsieur and watch the world go by.  Saturday mornings sees the centre of the town come alive with an open food and clothes market and a covered seafood and delicatessan market.

"Fontenay” comes from the Quatre-Tias Fountain which translated means Fountain of the four pipes.  The Fountain is still there for all to see today. The King's coat of arms complete with salamander emblem is engraved on the pediment and the Fountain is also inscribed with the names of various magistrates who have sat on the bench in Fontenay. 

During the Middle Ages, “Fontenay” which at that time was the capital of lower Poitou was a fortified town which was very frequently under attack. In the year 1372, local heroine, Jeanne de Clisson defended the town when it came under attack by Bertrand du Guesclin who was one of the generals who had played a large part in getting the English out of France. At the end of the 16th century, Fontenay was a town much disputed by both the Protestants and Catholics and two centuries later the Republicans fought the Royalists twice beneath the city walls.

In the town today, you will see many limestone houses; some coated with roughcast sprawling between two thoroughfares which run perpendicular to the river. The centre of the town is the Place Viete, which occupies the site of the Bastian, originally part of the old curtain wall.

The old town may be found to the East in the areas around Eglise Notre-Dame and Eglise St-Jean (beyond Rue des Loges).  L'Eglise Notre Dame: with its 15th century belfry remodelled in 1700 and its 82m tower topped by a spire decorated with rockets and its flamboyant Gothic main doorway.  Numerous tiny back streets with pretty houses in many styles, with plaques indicating their history; some lining the riverside, others leading to "secret" Parc Baron with fairytale chateau.  The old quarter Rue de Loges teams with tinay artisanal businesses including artists, sculpters and restaurants.