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Puy du Fou
Today, the Château de Puy du Fou is a big adventure park, but it was discovered by a French student driving through the Vendéen countryside in a Renault 4! This dreamy student was looking for a castle as mysterious as the one in Alain Fourniers book, Le grand Meaulnes and he chose the Puy du Fou having come across the name in a newspaper article.
The curious name Puy du Fou comes from the Latin Podium and fagus, meaning beach tree hill. For Phillippe de Villiers, who wanted to create a big show celebrating the Vendée, this easy to remember name evoked the hint of craziness in every one of us “Fou” meaning crazy in French. When he finally found his castle, Philippe fell under its spell. It was partly in ruins and had already lived through one of the great chapters in Vendéen history and it had been left untouched since the passing of the infernal columns in 1794.
The script for the show was written in the month that followed and the Cinescenie concept,a show based on motion, took shape. The hardest part in the inception of the Puy-du Fou was convincing the thousand people needed to bring such a project to life, but this problem was solved following a practice show held on one cold December evening. The Association des Puyfolais was created and then as now it relies entirely on volunteers. The show is not subsidised and its founder receives no royalties.
The first show was held on 16th June 1978, merely a year after the overgrown castle was discovered, and it was an instant success. By the end of the first season, the Cinescenie had won the hearts of 84,000 people and it now welcomes 1.2 million visitors each year. The Assoc des Puyfolias has 3000 members and 1000 are on stage at any one time. Just before each show, the backstage bubbles over with excitement. In the Puy-du Fou it is called the village and it is easy to understand why. You'll come across lively children in costumes between the camps, Vendéen peasants with wide brimmed hats and forks, knights in armour and brides in lace gowns all take to the stage every night to perform in this Cinescenie show that celebrates the Vendée and its history. What a great show.

Le Grand Parc et Académie Junior.

Ten years after the first show, a theme park devoted to French history was created on the same site. Over the years, different shows and mock towns and villages have been created including an 18th cent rural village, a medieval town and a village dating from the year 1000 whose fortress is ransacked by Vikings, a besieged keep a Gallo-Roman collesseum and much more. The Grand Parc is a kind of maze featuring different worlds separated by a curtain of trees. You can wander the streets of the medieval village and mingle with the pigs, craftsmen, stone restorers and jugglers while watching someone in an flying machine trying to teach the geese to fly. This theme park is not based on visual effects but rather real flesh and stone. It focuses on the historic, even if the Vikings never actually wore horn helmets.
Of course one of the aims of this adventure is to pass the history of the Vendée down through the generations and since 1998, when the Académie Junior was created, twenty schools have been set up with the aim of training new payfolais members - knights, jugglers, horse breakers, actors and technicians to take part in this crazy adventure for the delight of visitors.

Dates Open 2014.

La Grand Parc 2014

April;  12th - 30th

May; 1st to 11th, 15th to 18th,
22nd to 25th &  29th to 31st

June;  1st to 3rd,  5th to 10th & 12th to 30th

July & August; Open every day.

September; 4th to 7th
                11th to 14th. 19t to 21st.
                26th to 28th


   Adult;                     offer reservation         29€,    2 days 43€,   3days   48€
                                without reservation     33€,    2days 47€,    3 days  52€        
  Chldren 5-13 years  reservation                 20€,    2days  23€,   3 days  35€
                               without reservation     22€      2 days 33€,   3 days  38€
Includes Orgues de Feu. Closes 22h30

Open 10h to 19hh except nights of Orgues de Feu

Ouverte 2014;   June 7th & 14th.   20th & 21st.   27th & 28th
July August Every Friday & Saturday     
September. 1st & weekends 7th- 8th & 14th - 15th.

Tariffs 2014:   Adults, €26  Child €18 (5-13 year old)
Reservation is highly recommended.

Premium Pass; 
Unlimited admission to the Grand Parc for the whole of 2014 season;  Adult 63€,  Child  43€

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New for 2014  The Renaissance at the castle