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Towns and Villages of the Vendee

Talmont St.Hilaire

The name "Talmont" appears for the first time in a text of 1025. In the thirteenth century, it was found in two entries: "Talemont" and "Thalmont. According to linguists, the origin of the name would be pre-Indo-European: "Tala" means "earth, clay" and reveal the presence of a habitat on this site since the dawn of time.
Inhabited since the earliest times, Talmont was by the year 1000 a famous town, with a wooden castle. In the Middle Ages, Talmont was a stronghold, marked by an imposing castle washed by the waves and  owned by the princes of Talmont and from 1152 to 1204 by the English. Richard the Lion Heart spent much time hunting in the nearby woods. In 1628,the castle was dismantled by order of Cardinal Richelieu. Over time, the sea withdrew, leaving the town of Talmont sleeping and dreaming of his it's past reputation. Today, the ruins of the castle still dominate the town. As Talmont was once a port before the sea receded it was natural to build the castle with stone from the nearby coast, if you examine the walls you will find that the majority of the stone are well rounded by  the sea's action.
Port Guittiere. Though Talmont St.Hilaire had once been a port, with the sea recceding that function was taken over by this charming little port on the river Payre. From the little port which specialises in the culture of oysters to the sea is probibly the Vendees most spectacular seascape. The estuary of the Payre with its sweep of sand dunes and pine forest behind to the north and the rocky coast line with the nature park of point du Payre to the south it can be simply breath taking. The area is also important as a staging post for migrating birds and for rare flora and fauna.
Other interesting places to visit nearby are port-Bourgenay, a new marina complex and golf course.
Musee Automobile de Vendee, collection of motor car and bikes from 1885.
Plage du Veillon, one of the Vendees finest beaches.
Discover more interesting town and villages in the Vendee.
For more details on visiting the castle
The Town of Talmont St hilaire has other attraction besides the Chateau.
On the edge of town is a large leisure lake with goods walks around, a children's play area in the shape of castles and boats and a good sailing school.
There are a good variety of restaurants and shops and many old and intersting buildings
View from castle tower at Talmont St.Hilaire