Tourist Information, Vendee History, Accommodation, Photos, Reviews, Maps,
Tel 02 51 40 40 71
The 15th Century feudal castle at Sigournais on the border between the Haut and Bas Bocage
is one of the finest listed historic monuments in the area. It features
a multi-sided enclosure with seven towers, a dry moat and a splendid
keep. There is an excellent model of the château in the guard room.
This keep is unique in the Vendée by virtue of the herringbone formation
of its structural timbers, its machicolated parapets and its
characteristic loopholes for archers and muskets.
In the large rooms of the keep visitors will find the banqueting hall
and court and though the upper floor and ceiling have still to be
renovated, as the two massif beams and support timbers are missing, you
can appreciate the atmosphere this room would have had in medieval
times. A reconstruction of a 15th century lord's bed chamber (bed,
table, writing desk and chandelier) and childrens’ room, these are
typical of a 15th century lord’s accommodation and there is even an
en-suite toilet with a "His & Hers" thunder boxes and a note on the
equivalent of medieval toilet paper.
As you climb the helical (spiral) staircase which has been lovingly
remade in the original Perigord stone, you will note that they (the 63
steps) are of differing heights and widths, this was to make it more
difficult for men in heavy armour to climb. These stairs lead to the
Coveret Parapet which completely rings the keep, built out on corbels so
that the defenders can throw stones through the machicolation (spaces
in the floor) at attackers below. It also offers a 360 degree panoramic
view of the village and the countryside for miles around. There are two
smaller stair-cases that lead to the two watch towers.
There is a collection of sculpted coats of arms of the French provinces,
a unique display of the coats of arms of the towns of the Vendée and
French regions and all the countries in Europe. There are explanations
on the development of heraldry from the 11th century.
There is also a fun learning competition, in the Guards room, encompassing three centuries of Anglo-French rivalry in western France
(1154 - 1453)
In the second guards room is an exhibition on "The middle-ages Vineyard". And notes on the ancient "folle" wine which is still produced by the château which can be bought at the entrance desk.
Evening visit with Medieval Snacks for 2010
July 22nd and August 5-12-19 & 26th. for info Tel. 02 51 09 45 77
This really is a medieval château worth a visit, you are not bombarded
by knights on horseback or any other gimmick, it is simply authentic,
unique and interesting.
Photos of the Château Sigournais
Open: 01/07 to 14/9 every day 14.30h till 18.30
Tariff: Adult €5.0, Youth (12-17 years) €3.00, under 12years old 1€
Return to find more Châteaux and Churches in the Vendée
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