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St. Benoist

Not far from Angles and on the edge of the Marais Poitevin, this village was once a thriving port. It is known that the Romans were here as early as 58 BC to 51 BC. The commune, along with others, undertook to drain the marshes from the XIII century onwards, and the port survived until the XVII century where commodities such as Wood called Gabares, Salt from the local Marais Salants de Curzon, cerials and wine were exported to countries such as Germany, Holland and England, and with Coal, Tar products, and resin being imported. During the 17th century the marshes were further drained by Madame de la Taste of Moricq causing the waterways to silt up, with the harbour finally ceasing activity in 1722.

The ancient church which dates from the XI century was fortified during the middle ages and is typical of churches of that period that became refuges against the constant invasions that took place. St. Benoist church has a curiosity, that of a stone carving of a rabbit smoking a pipe high up on the roof. There are several legends regarding it origins, one is that one of the roofers used to smoke a pipe and his co-worker made fun of him by placing a smoking rabbit on the roof. The local bar/restaurant goes by the name  lapin qui fumee .

Marais Communaux; The common lands of St.Benoist which dates back to the XII century and reinforced after the revolution of 1793, they consists of 87 hectares of prairie and marshland where the locals can graze their livestock during the spring and summer. The communaux are opened with a fete in April.
Besides their use as grazing land these areas are an outstanding natural habitat for flora and fauna, there are well marked walks with regular notices indicating what to look out for and also on the history of the area. Canoes are available for hire during the season.

Resaurants. Le Lapin qui Fume. 9, rue Ocean. Tel. 02 51 97 42 93

Camping St.Benoist;
Camp municipal le marais st benoist sur mer.

TaxisTaxis Corinne. 19, rue Barthelemy Barbiere,  Te. 02 51 97 48 80.

Photo Gallery for St.Benoist

Curzon, another attractive village with ancient crypt and communaux

Moricq. Just down river, this ancient fortress guarded the entrance to the Lay River.

Return to find more interesting towns and villages in the Vendee
The Commons, St.Benoist
The Church, St.Benoist
Photos of St.Benoist
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