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Mouchamps

Sud Vendee.. Haut Bocage.. Coastal Region.. Marais Poitevin.. Marais Breton.. Bas Bocage.. Plaine.. Marais Olonne..
A village of small winding streets that stands atop a hill that overlooks the river Pitit Lay.
This interesting and picturesque village on the D48 is just 12 kilometers from Les Herbiers and was for centuries the centre of much of the power in the Bas Poitou. In the 12 century the Lusignan family held power not only here but abroad, in 1192 Guy de Lusignan was king of Cypress.
Mouchamps is on the old Middle ages route to Chantonnay which was abandoning it in the 16th century, it now lies quietly in the bocage where time now seems to pass it by.
The Church who's beginnings were that of a chapel of a chateau of the 12th Century when it was much smaller, the nave was shorter, the choir had a crypt but the latter is no longer accessible. In 1308 Guillaume VII de Parthenay enlarged the chapel adding 2 aisles and 2 buttress in granite, a bell tower in Romanesque style, tiled roof and exterior, to the left of the transept, a 5m buttress with a sculpture in stones of the Maltees cross. In the 15th century a large stained glass window in the flamboyant style was added.
In the 16th Century the church became a Protestant temple, in 1628 Richelieu the Bishop of Lucon came to reconcile the Catholic for their services to the church, the argument went on till 1628 when Richelieu commenced the war against the Protestants,it was at this time that the protestants retook their temple.
In the 19th century 2 stone staircases were erected to permit access to the Tribunes. The church was completely renovated from 1981 to 1983.

The town square has a busy and lively feel to it with a couple of restaurants, a bar and other shops, a mixture of old buildings with small streets leading off inviting you to go and explore.
If you wander off down the twisting streets towards the river Petit Lay you will find old and interesting buildings, a reminder of more glorious days in the past. Days when the town was more affluent, when the train stopped here. Today the train station is part of the manicipal sports complex.
The past is never far away at Mouchamps, there are reminders in the form of stately homes a reminder of when this area housed some of the most influential and richest families in the land.

Le Colombier. The great French politician Georges Clemenceau ( father of Victory) is buried in a plain grave amongst the trees next to his father in the grounds the family's 16th century manor house with turrets at each corner. See images of Le Colombier.

Chateau de Parc Soubise. This large estate of 750 hectares was once the home of the richest and most important family in the Bas Poitou which become the Vendee during the Revolution. It had a colourful, turbulent and often tragic history. For more details of the Chateau du Parc Soubise, view images and see the video.

Chateau de la Bobiniere. 19th Century chateau, built at the height of the industrial period when the railway brought much wealth to the area. A pretty Chateau in good park land with magnificent dependences (Barns, stables, and other working buildings). See Chateau de la Bobiniere images.

Loges le Fief Goyau. Early 17th century nobles home. Open on Journee du Patrimoine on the 3rd weekend in September. See images of Loges le Fief Goyau.

Images of Mouchamps

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Mouchamp village square
12th church at Mouchamps
Hill top town of Mouchamps
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