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Towns and Villages of the Vendee


On the D948 (not the new dual carraigeway) just 8 kms from La Roche-sur-yon in the direction of St Hermine is the large village of Chaize-le-Comte.
Aimer 1V, viscomte of Thouars a companion of William the Conquerer with whom he fought along side constructed in the village in the 11th century, a Chateau (castle), a priory of St.Nicholas and a church dedicated to John the Baptist. Today nothing is left of the chateau except the remains of 3 towers and a section of wall. The church has disappeared completely. The priory church of St.Nicholas saw many trials and tribulations being burnt down by the protestants on the 15th March 1568. Later the bell tower, aspe and transit arms fell down in the 15th century and were never replaced. The new bell tower was built in 1757.
After the Revolution the noble houses were sold off as national goods. Because of its central position the village was thought of by Napolean as being his new prefecture for the Vendee, but then chose La Roche-sur-Yon as it had less importance.
The 900 year old church is the Vendee's largest Romanisque church, the fortications were added in the 16th century. It has 3 Romanesque round arched aisles and a transept crossing, the strong squinches which carry the weight of the bell tower are formed by 3 sets of of arch stones.
The facade has beautiful historiated capitals while inside the fine carved capitals are of Genre and fantasy. Built in granite it has both Poitevin and Norman archetecture.
During the 19th century the trades of weaving and tanners along with trade in Kaolin,slate and quarries made the village prosperous, there were large cattle fairs and the railway which arrived in 1870 helped with trade. Today with the bypass of major traffic the village has dropped back into a more leisurely way of life. There are some pleasant walks around the village and quiet country lanes.
Return to towns and villagers of the Vendee
Place St Jean, La Chaize-le-Vicomte, Vendee.
Priory church of St Nicholas, La-Chaize-le-Vicomte.
Remains of the Ramparts and towers of the old Chateau (castle)
The Old Prison
Bell tower