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Chavagnes-en-Paillers is one of the holy towns of the Vendée and as one approaches from Montaigu which is twelve kilometres to the north, one can see the spires and bell towers. The imposing buildings of the church and convents which were built from 1801 still dominate the town.
The Seminary founded by Father Baudouin, was the first to be to be granted after the Revolution, and was for training boys for the priesthood. Today it is still in use as Chavagnes International College, which is an international boarding school for boys, teaching in English.
The site has been occupied since at least the Roman era as there was a Roman villa here. During the 11th century a priory was built here, but that along with other buildings were destroyed during the 100 years war, and again in the Wars of Religion when in 1563 a party of Protestants came to the town, torturing the population, stealing their money and burning down the church. In the Wars of the Vendée the town fared no better, its church was burnt down in October 1793 along with many of its houses. On 23rd February 1794 the great massacre took place when men, women, children and babies were slaughtered, in total  nearly a quarter of the town perished in the conflict.

The area around the town, which is on the Petite Maine river, is very attractive with wonderful walks through the wooded valley.

Sanctuarie de Notre Dame de Salette. Nestling in the wooded valley of the River Petite Maine about five kilometres south of Chavagnes-en-Paillers near the village of La Rabateliere, one can find this unusual folly. Built in 1889 of bricks and stone it consists of twenty or so towers and turrets that cling to the steep slope terminating in the square castle like chapel.
2010 saw the opening of the site after a major renovations including the landscaping of the grounds and additional facilities

Photos of Sanctuarie-Salette

Restaurants. Domaine du Bocage. 1 Esperance.  Tel. 02 51 43 57 00.
Meli Melo Centre Cial Pre de la Cure  Tel. 02 51 42 26 50.

TaxisTaxis D Retailleau.  13, rue Dr. Mignon Tel. 02 51 94 28 44
APFI Leporte.  Rue des Vignes.  Tel. 02 51 38 17 94.

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