Tourist Information, Vendee History, Accommodation, Photos, Reviews, Maps,
it was the island of 'condet' (meaning meeting of two rivers or more
correctly two islands) with a fishing village back in the time of the
Gauls, it stood out in the former bay of Picton, now the Marais
Poitevin, even though it's only 17m above sea level.
The village with it's typical low whitewashed houses, around the large church, is today on the busy D746 which crosses the polders of Triaize on route to L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer.
Just north of St.Michel-en-l'Herm this farm is built on a hillock of
millions of oyster shells, whether it was for protection from the sea
that would have lapped at its door or not nobody is sure, but still an
interesting sight. It is the last of what was a huge number of such
piles, the rest were used for grinding into fertilisers and feed for
chickens. Also amongst the oyster shells was a whales jaw bone which is
now at the Royal Abbaye.
Abbeye Royale du St.Michel-en-l'Herm.
In 682 the monks from Noirmoutier founded a priory, in what was then a
deserted place "in eremo" (in the desert or en l'herm), by the orders of
the bishop of Poitiers. It was seized by the Vikings in 877, turned
into an Abbey in the 10th century, but was destroyed by fire in 1048.
Each time the abbey recovered and from the 12th to 16th century the
monks undertook drainage works on the Marais Poitevin including the "
canal de Cinq Abbes" the first of the major drainage projects to recover
the marsh lands.
The Wars of Religion(1562-98) saw great destruction when the protestants
from La Rochelle attack the abbey in 1569 killing several hundred
Catholics who had taken refuge there, before sacking the treasury.
In the 17th century it was again restored by Benedictine monks of
St.Maur directed by Francois Leduc who under took the
rebuilding of the refectory, lodgings of monks and abbots. The 19th
century saw the rebuilding of the Gothic chapter house and calefactory
who's vaulted arches arise from 4 pillars. With the Revolution it was
deconsecrated before being sold along with the Chateau-de-Abbeye as a
Today the parts of the Abbey are open to the public ( see information
office in main square for detail and tickets) who can view the 11th
century church and 12th century chapter house which contains the tomb of
abbot Aszo,the warming room of the 13th century and 17th century
Photo Gallery of Abbaye Royale de St.Michel-en-l'Herm.
Open: 15th June to 15th September
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10h 11h 15h 16h and 17h
Tarifs: Adults 3.5€ 7-12 year olds 1€
Museum Andre Deluoc.
1, rue de l'Etendard. St.Michel-en-l'Herm. Tel. 02 51 30 21 89.
Exhibition of 150 sculptures in stone, marble and wood from 1929 to
1995. See full details of musee Andre Deluoc.
Open: 15/6 to 15/9 Tuesdays to Sundays 15.00 till 18.30.
Tarif: 3€ under 12 years old free.
Restaurants in St.Michel-en-l'Herm.
La Rose Tremiere. 4,rue Eglise. Tel. 02 51 30 25 69.
Le St.Michael. Bar Restaurant. Tel. 02 51 30 20 19.
Camping; Camping des Mizottes.41, rue Anciens Quais. Tel.02 51 30 23 63.
La Dive. 12 rue Mer. Tel. 02 51 30 26 94.
Taxis; Taxis Auvinet. 3, rue Grands Murs. Tel 06 64 88 66 87.
Paillat. 4, Chemin du Booth des Rats. Tel. 06 20 37 32 58.
Taxis Cote de Lumiere. Rue Basse, Tel.02 51 27 13 33.
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