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where the Prairie meets the bocage in the south of the Vendee just 12km from Fontenay-le-Comte is l'Hermenault a mainly agricultural village. It has an V11 century church but the village is best noted for its Chateau
once the summer residence of the bishops of La Rochelle which was built
on the remains of castle of which only one of the towers remains, The
gardens which are open to the public during afternoons in the summer
contains the best example of a 'Bateau Barn' in western France as well
the a watermill and lavatoir. The guided tour is well worth the entrance
The village also contains several other small chateaux, one of which was
a protestant stronghold which did battle with the main chateau which
village has a small supermarket, a Boulanger, a post office, dentist,
two Doctors (both speak English) a notaire and a public swimming pool
with water-slide, open July and August €3.5
Though market days are Wednesdays it is not worth a visit as rarely are there more than two or three stalls these days.
The first Sunday in September see the annual fete 'foire de l'Ancien'
and old time fair with the selling of all manner of animals and birds,
produce and crafts traditional to the region and at the main square the
region show for the 'Pathensais' cattle. The steak and chips (Pathenais
of course) in the large restaurant tent is the finest I've had in
2009 show was held at the Loges d'Aspiron, in the ground of the pretty
chateau which gave the show a great back drop. This was the largest show
in recent years and was well attended. I understand that this is to be a
permanent home for the show, as having it in the streets of the village
caused to much interruption.
There are some excellent walks to be had along the river Longeves that runs through the village, on it's way to join the river Vendee just south of Fontenay-le-Comte.
Taxis; Taxis Tierry Garnier. 6, Rue de la Stade Beaulieu. Tel. 02 51 87 65 41
Return to find more interesting towns and villages in the Vendee