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La Chataigneraie

La Chataigneraie the viaduc at Coquilleau
Situated on the lower slopes of the ancient Armorian Massif this once important town looks down  towards Vouvant and the Mervent forest and on towards Fontenay-le-Comte and the Marais Poitevin.
Today it is a quiet town through which we pass on route north to the haut bocage and the Puy-du-Fou or south to Vouvant,Mervent forest, Fontenay-le-Comte and the Marais Poitevin.

Piscine Intercommunale.  Rue Bonsejour La Chataigneraie, Tel. 02 51 69 61 43
                                  Swimming pool open June to end of August.

Base  de Loisirs de L'Etruyere La Tardiere Tel 02 51 87 40 63.
                                  Fishing, swimming, mini golf, picnic, pedalos. campsite
                                  Open May 15th to October 15th

Elastique Bungee. Bungee jumping. Caquillier Viaduct, Bareuil Barret Tel. O2 51 52 62 37
                         52m jump  Open, March to November.  50€ single.

Montgolfiere du Bocage. Hot Air Balloning. St. Pierre du Chemin Tel. 05 49 80 10 45.

Domaine St.Sauveur. Mouilleron-en-Pareds. Tel.02 51 87 56 78.
                               Paintball open; every day July/August. Weekends May/june/Sept.

La Garreliere.   Horse riding. St Maurice des Noues Tel. O2 51 00 81 55,

Air Vendee Loisirs.  Breuil-Barret. Microlite flights Tel 02 51 87 42 87

Vouvant.  One of the prettiest villages in France.

Mouilleron-en-pareds.   The musee des Deux Victories and the windmills.

Restaurants; There are many restaurants in and around La Chataigneraie for details see our page on la Chataigneraie restaurants,

The History
Back in early medieval times the family Chasteignier built a chateau here around which a parish called Castaneria ( old French for Chataigne = Chestnut) quickly developed. In the 14th century with the death of ThibaultVI this branch of the family ceased and the area passed to the family Vivonne (one of his descendants Andre de Vivonne became Lieutenant-General of the British Army).
During the Wars of Religion (1562-98) la Chataineraie was to suffer badly and again when the Protestant-Catholic trouble erupted the church of St.Christopher de Bois was sacked. Charles de Vivonne later built a Jacobins convent on the ruins, The Chateau Chapel which was dedicated to St.John later became the Parish church.
The Present church of St. John was built in the 19th century on the site of the ancient manor chapel.
In the 16th century the town had many weavers and trade with the Protestant ship owners and merchants of La Rochelle flourished, but during the 17th century with the defeat of the Protestants and the repeal of the Edict of Nantes which led to many master weavers fleeing to America, the weaving trade was in ruins.

The town was sold in 1651 to Deis Marino and by sale after sale to finally arriving in the hands of the house of Asnieres. In 1698 the King created a royal Court, the "Bailiwick of Vouvant" which sat at La Chataigneraie this brought in Lawyers, scholars, surgeons and general Bourgeois so by the dawn of the revolution in 1789 the town was seriously Republican unlike the peasant farmers who had only the Sunday sermons for information and remained Catholic and Royalist.
During the Wars of the Vendee the town was taken by the Vendee army on the 13th May 1793, it then changed hands several times before becoming a Republican strong hold. A year later in May 1794 the Colonnes infernal under General Becker were ordered to destroy La Chataigneraie, he disobeyed the order and the town was saved, though it was said that the general lost his post.
Anecdote.  In 1795 the Republican general Lamarque, in charge of Pacification of the region arrived in the town to find it was in the middle of a Fete. The general demanded "you dance while the vendee is on fire" the inn keeper replied "but my general the birds sing well between the gun shots". The general retorted "this la Chataigneraie is a nest of nightingales on a barrel of gun powder"

CampingCamping le Curtys 19,rue Jean-Gabriel Gallot  Tel. 02 51 52 65 88.

TaxisTaxis Unies;21, rue Mal de Lattre Tassigny.  Tel.02 5169 60 13.

Return to find more interesting towns and villages in the Vendee
Restaurants la Chataigneraie
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