Tourist Information, Vendee History, Accommodation, Photos, Reviews, Maps,
Chaize le Vicomte
is the large village on the D948 (not the new dual carriageway) just 8
kilometres from La Roche-sur-Yon in the direction of St Hermine.
The village was constructed in the 11th century by Aimer 1V, Viscomte of
Thouars a companion of William the Conquerer with whom he fought
alongside. He built a Chateau (castle), the Priory of St.Nicholas and a
church dedicated to John the Baptist. The only remains of the château
today are 3 towers and a section of wall. The priory church of
St.Nicholas has disappeared completely, when it stood it bore witness to
many trials and tribulations being burnt down by the protestants on the
15th March 1568. The bell tower, apse and transit arms fell down in the
15th century and the latter two were never replaced, but a new bell
tower was built in 1757.
After the Revolution the noble houses were sold off as national goods.
Because of its central position the village was initially thought of by
Napoleon as being ideally suited for his new prefecture for the Vendée,
but he subsequently chose La Roche-sur-Yon as it was of less importance.
The 900 year old church is the Vendée’s largest Romanesque church, the
fortifications having been added in the 16th century. It has 3
Romanesque round arched aisles and a transept crossing, the strong
squinches, which carry the weight of the bell tower, are formed by 3
sets of arched stones.
The facade has beautiful historiated capitals while inside, the fine
carved capitals are of Genre and fantasy. Built in granite it has both
Poitevin and Norman architecture.
During the 19th century the trades of weaving and tanning along with the
trade in kaolin, and slate quarries made the village prosperous. There
were large cattle fairs and when the railway arrived in 1870 it
increased trade substantially. Today most of the traffic bypasses the
village which has slipped back into a more leisurely way of life. There
are some pleasant walks through the village and in the surrounding quiet
Restaurants; Le Bon Accueil. 13, Rue Freres Payraudeau. Tel.02 51 05 77 81.
Moulin Rouge. 38, Rue Freres Payraudeau. Tel.02 51 47 98 10.
Taxis; Taxis Matisse Bernard. 17, rue Marillet. Tel. 02 51 05 85 95.
Return to find more interesting towns and villages in the Vendee
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