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At the confluence of the River Sèvre Nantaise and its tributary the river Moines lays the picturesque town of Clisson with its roots in medieval history. Although just inside the Loire Atlantique Department, the border of the Vendée comes to the very edge of this great fortified town which played a central role in the Wars of the Vendée. At that time the Department of the Vendée, which was created on 26th February 1790, was only 4 years old and most of Clisson’s citizens still considered themselves as inhabitants of the Bas Poitou.
The castle and the town were torched and ruined by the conflict in 1794 leaving only the market hall (a barracks for the Republicans) and two river bridges standing. After the conflicts were concluded the town was rebuilt by the wealthy Cacault brothers (from Nantes) and the sculptor Francois-Frederic Lemot. His influence in particular lead to the Italian look and feel of the town, so much so in fact, that many of the business in the area built their water-mills and dwellings in similar style. Lemot bought the ancient hunt de la Seigneurd de Clisson in 1805 and the chateau in 1807.

The walks along the Sèvre Nantaise River both north into the Loire Atlantique or south into the Vendée are well rewarded. Just a mile or so from town at Fouques on the Vendée side of the river starts the "Chemin Vendée Vers Composte" which was opened in 2004,and is the start of the walk way around the Vendée.  Nearby is the Chapel Templar, founded by the Knights de Malta who succeeded the Knights templar, and at the time it was remarked as being the finest chapel in this area of France. Here at Fouques you will find the old wooden decked road bridge that crosses the river Sèvre Nantaise.

The town is well served by restaurants, bars and cafes and the tourist information office by the town's old market hall was information, not only on the town, but also
on the local wine route with wine on sale in their office. The Medieval Market hall is a network of old oak posts and beams held together by oak pegs.

Return to find more interesting towns and villages in the Vendee
Photos of Clisson
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