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Photos of L'Hermenault
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 fee.
The village also contains several other small chateaux, one of which was a protestant stronghold which did battle with the main chateau which was Catholic.

The 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 France.

The 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
Bateau Barn ,l'Hermenault
Chateau de l'Hermenault
Foire de l'ancien, l'Hermenault