Visit Vouvant and his legend of Mélusine

Vouvant
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During your stay in the east of the Vendée, take a detour to Vouvant. This picturesque village is doubly labeled for its beauty and the richness of its heritage. Both classified among the “Most beautiful villages in France” and distinguished as “Petites Cités de Caractère”, you cannot fail to fall under its spell... Unless it is the fairy Mélusine, who bathes the village in a gentle atmosphere of legend, who captivates you with its beauty?


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Mélusine, the building fairy

Legend has it that the young fairy received a bad spell. Every Saturday, his legs turn into a long, scaly tail. A possible curse follows: if her husband surprises her in this guise, the unfortunate fairy will be condemned and will never be able to resume human form.


Mélusine, the serpent fairy

Mélusine, the serpent fairy


Married to Raymondin de Lusignan, nephew of the Count of Poitiers, she makes him swear never to seek to see her on Saturdays. In return, she agrees to make him a powerful person. She built the castle of Lusignan, in one night and from a few stones. She repeated the feat on several occasions by building incredible fortresses. Pouzauges, Mervent, and Vouvant are among them…

Unfortunately, the brother of her new husband, jealous of his success, pushes him to make mistakes by evoking the possibility of a lover… Suspicious, Raymondin betrays his sweet wife, he surprises her in her bath on a Saturday. The curse comes true and Mélusine ends her life, cursing the fortresses she had built.


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Vouvant, a village of character

To discover the main heritage assets of Vouvant, do not hesitate to go to the Tourist Office. There is a city discovery trail, in the form of a map. During your walk you will discover the picturesque places and buildings that characterize the pretty city of Mélusine.

  • Mélusine's house: Currently, it houses the Tourist Office. It dates from the 19th century, the fairy is therefore never lived! On the other hand, its name comes from the museography which is installed there and which is dedicated to the legendary fairy.

The Mélusine house

    The Mélusine house, the starting point of the discovery tour


    • The Mélusine Tower: This is the only architectural element testifying to the ancient presence of the castle of the lords of Lusignan. This old 45m dungeon overlooks the river, it is the charming and mystical asset of the village. It also served as a Watchtower.

    The Mélusine Tower

      The Mélusine Tower


      • The walls and the Postern: They were erected in the 12th century to protect the village and fortress of Lusignan. Moreover, Vouvant is the only example of a fortified town in Vendée. They design an esplanade, called the Place du Bail. This square was once the inner courtyard of the castle. La Poterne is one of the 3 gates that once protected the medieval city.

      The walls  The walls

      The very well preserved ramparts

      The postern

      The postern which gives access to the city

      Panorama from Place de la Bail

      Panorama from Place de la Bail


      • La Cour des Miracles: This is a small, almost secret place. A legend says that a missionary healed a child with cherries picked in the middle of winter.

      Place des Miracles and its cherry tree

        Place des Miracles and its cherry tree


        • The Church: Dependence of the Abbey of Maillezais, the oldest parts date from the 6th century. Only the wall and its 3 spans remain from this period.
          • The Priory garden: a real hidden gem, this garden is located behind the church. The view of the octagonal bell tower and the apses (semicircular chapels) is truly remarkable. This small space of greenery lets those who walk there blow a wind of serenity and appeasement.

          The Church of Vouvant  The Church of Vouvant

            At the back of the church, a pretty garden, sheltered from prying eyes


            • The Romanesque bridge: It also dates from the Middle Ages. It was built between the 13th and 14th century. Perfectly integrated into the current landscape, it brings a romantic and bucolic side to the city, with water flowing peacefully and a sublime weeping willow that magnifies it. It's a real postcard landscape!

            The Roman bridge

              The Romanesque bridge in a green setting


              • Reproduction of the grotto of Lourdes: While your walk will follow La Mère (the river!), Do not be surprised to discover a replica of the grotto of Lourdes. It dates from 1958 and was carried out as part of a Mission. Appreciate this natural setting that surrounds you. Why not take the opportunity to fish or have a picnic with family or friends?

              Reproduction of the grotto of Lourdes
              No, you are not in Lourdes, but in Vouvant!
              On the banks of the Mother  On the banks of the Mother
              On the banks of the Mother


              Our discovery tour of the charming village of Vouvant ends. Hope you enjoyed the visit. If you appreciate the green nature, go a few kilometers away, and stroll through the heart of the Mervent-Vouvant forest. There are many activities there. In addition to the traditional hike or the classic equestrian or mountain bike circuit, you can indulge in climbing, kayaking, sailing and even pedal boating!


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              Article and photos prepared by Charline Prod'Homme


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