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Close to the border with the Deux Sevres department this large village is situated where the plaine meets the Marais Poitevin. The village became prosperous as trade boomed in the nearby ports of Azire and to a lesser extent Courdault. The merchants, barge owners and other traders built substantial houses here as the trade in limestone, lime, timber and agricultural produce were exported through the ports.
Today it is best known for its 15th century church with its Romanesque facade to which was added a very decorative sculptured Gothic porch, in particular take note of the horseman and carved capitals.
Now it is the Marais Poitevin that brings tourists to this part of the Vendée and most make for the nearby village of Coulon. The self-appointed capital (of the) and without doubt is the commercial centre of the Green Venice. Coulon is a busy thriving town, but a trip around the nearby lanes will allow you to discover a quieter more natural side to this intriguing area of which Benet is an integral part.

Port de Azire. Just two kilometres from Benet, this was the closest port to the village. Like Courdalt it was basically a canal that terminated in a "sink" basin where the barges could turn and unload their cargo. The canal from Azire joins the 'Canal de Jeune Autise' (which terminates in the Port de Courdault) then enters the River Sevre Niortaise.
The lavoir at the port has recently been renovated and the whole port has been given a makeover, in addition a twenty two hectare strip of land for the two kilometers of canal has been protected as the 'Rigole d'Azire'.

Restaurants Benet; Les Alouettes. 2, Rue Fontenay.  Tel. 02 5100 90 50.
L'Esperanze, Moulin du Joug. 51, Route Niort.Tel. 02 51 87 34 18.

Camping; l'Ecurie du Marais, Tel. 02 51 52 98 38

Taxis; Taxis de L'Altizia 7 rue Cenan Sauvéré,  Nieul sur l'Autise   Tel.02 51 52 49 54
Autize Taxi Services,  23 Route Faye   Villiers en Plaine  Tel05 49 24 32 54.
Taxi Alouettes   32 rue Mervent,  BENET     Phone: 08 99 96 42 03

Photo gallery of Benet and Azire

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Photos of Benet
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