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or lower Bocage is by far the largest of all the regions in the Vendée,
it is a land of gently rolling hills, with small fields and the
occasional wood. It is a land through which wind endless lanes and roads
with tall hedges which is punctuated by quiet villages and small towns.
It is a land of people at peace with their surroundings, yet with a
history of struggle and conflict. This is the land of the great Lords of
Western France and even the Kings of England, a land of great religions
and equally great religious conflicts. As you wander around the
picturesque countryside you will uncover the many facets of this land’s
natural beauty as well as its interesting historic monuments that reach
back to the early Neolithic period, through the roman occupation, the
medieval period, the Wars of the Vendée up to the early industrial revolution.
The Rivers of the Vendée shape the landscape and the life of its people, of these the River Lay
and its tributaries is by far the largest and most important. As the
River Lay meanders through the Bocage it leaves a valley rich in natural
habitats and beauty. It provides ideal conditions for the production of
wine around the Mareuil-sur-lay and Rosnay
which has the highest concentration of wine producers per capita in
France. The Lay Valley is also a prolific fruit growing region with
predominately apples further to the north, it also supports endless
activities including fishing, canoeing and hiking.
Other Rivers that flow through the Bas Bocage are The River Vie which flows into the Atlantic Ocean at St.Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, The River Yon which is a tributary of the River Lay. The River Boulogne which flows north from St.Martin-des-Noyers and after leaving the Vendee entres the Lac de Grand-Lieu
is literally the heart of the Vendée, It was made the capital of the
department after the wars of the Vendée when Napoleon wanted a central
site from which to control the troubled province. He took a small
village and created a geometric town, designed from scratch with a tape
measure, its pentagonal shape has within it a series of roads and
boulevards on a grid system and at its heart is the large square of
Napoleon sporting a large statue of the Emperor on horseback, which was
initially surrounded by barracks.
Towns & Villages in the Bas Bocage