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Towns and Villages of the Vendee


In the Haut Bocage at the cross roads of the D960 and the D752 is the hilltop town of Pouzages. The step and winding streets are overlooked by the ruins of the 13th century Chateau (castle) that once belonged to the infamous Gilles de Rais (blue beard) and from the ramparts you can get a panoramic view over the lower bocage and even as far as the sea.
There were originally ten towers to this great castle, but now only the Great Keep remains,18m square and some 27m high, it is a very fine example of military architecture
Inside the ramparts of the castle stands a granite cross that commemorates where 32 Vendeens were executed on the 31st January 1794 during the war of the Vendee.
The pretty little town itself has great charm and is often referred to as the Pearl or Queen of the Haut Bocage. The impressive Mairie in the centre of the town also serves (on the ground floor) as the indoor market on Thursdays. Across from the Mairie is the church of St.Jacques, built in the 1202 in the Romanique stlye it was later added to in the 15th century in gothic style
The Dolmens, le Pierre Monolithe du Marchais at le Puy Trumeau is testimony that this area has been inhabitated since early times.
Just outside the main town of Pouzage standing in a grassy courtyard is the Eglise Notre Dame of Vieux Pouzage, built around 1066 in the shape of a Latin  cross. Just inside the door on the left of the Nave are some impressive Frescos,discovered in 1948 under layers of paint these wall paintings in ochre and terracotta which date from the 13th century depict the life of St.Joachim,husband of St Anne and the Virgin Mary and her family, in the friezes above the main paintings are depicted the months of the year as well as grotesque animals. Further paintings of Cain and Abel were more recently discovered over the door. A seven minute Son-et-Lumiere in French can be viewed by pressing the button on the opposite wall.
Other attraction in and around Pouzages include; L'Aumonerie a chapel of 1202 belonging to Guillaume de Chantemerle, it later became a Gendarmerie, then a Brasserie. It has now been completely restored.
Le Terrier-Marteau, These restored windmills are open to the public  and have exhibitions of the workings and life of the miller,
The Moulin de Frely. In a quiet countryside location this watermill of the 17th century is run by an association of artists,musicians and comedians with frequent exhibitions.
Lac de l'Esperance, A pretty lake where one can swim and relax a quiet get away, an ideal stop off for pic-nic lunch.
The Windmill on Puy Crapaud is 270m above sea level and is a wonderful place to view the not only the whole of the Vendee but well beyond. Still higher is Vendee's lighthouse at Folly Wood at 278m, formally a Druid sanctuary then a Roman sacred wood it got its name as sailors used it as a landmark.
The Dolmens, le Pierre Monolithe du Marchais
Chateau du Pouzages
The Keep of the castle at Pouzages
View from the Castle.
The Town of Pouzage as seen from the Church of St Jacques
The Nave of St Jacques church in Pouzages
The Mairie of Pouzages
Notre dames de Vieux-pouzages
The Church of Notre dame de Vieux-Pouzages
Frescos at Notre Dame de Vieux-Pouzages.
Frescos on the wall of the Nave
Le Terrier-Marteau. windmills restored and open to the public.
Images from Pouzages
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