La Vienne, medieval destination

Living History

Free activities
All year round
Medieval Fair in Château-Larcher ©Bastien SAUVE - Agence Zebrelle

Fancy a nostalgic trip to the past? Direction the Vienne ! Our department is rich in whole centuries of history. Between places, festivals and legends, Those are a thousand and one medieval secrets waiting for you. Enjoy your next outing in the Vienne to dive into the heart of medieval mysteries !

Discover the Vienne and its fascinating historical monuments

Notice to lovers of beautiful stones and history: the Vienne is full of exciting monuments that we enjoy visiting and revisiting! Right away, an overview of the most unmissable medieval constructions in the region…

   •   The Royal Abbey of La Réau : a fabulous Middle Ages monastery located in the town of Saint-Martin-l'Ars, just 40 km south of Poitiers. This renowned historical monument in Poitou offers visitors an idyllic setting. With its 20 hectares of greenery along the Clain, the estate is ideal for a romantic getaway or with children. You will even have the opportunity to embark on an unprecedented Expériences Famille.
Your thrilling mission? Save the Royal Abbey from British invaders!

   •   The Square Tower of Loudun : from the height of its 31 m, it is the dizzying symbol of the medieval past of the city. Listed as a historic monument in 1877, this remarkable building has experienced a thousand and one adventures. Built between 1162 and 1195 during the reign of Henry II Plantagenet, the place was destroyed then rebuilt in its current form. This ancient strategic observation point invites you on a thrilling journey through time. 
And after having climbed the 156 steps which lead to the summit, don't forget to immortalize the breathtaking panorama.

   •   The Dungeon of Moncontour : this ancient fortress was built in the XIrd century at the initiative of the Count of Anjou, nicknamed Foulques Nerra. It was the scene of famous battles, including that of 1569, opposing Protestants and Catholics. Its visit is worth the detour, as much for its walls steeped in history as for its impregnable horizon.
From the top of its 25 m, you will have the chance to admire a magnificent panoramic view over nearly 20 km. At the end of the visit, take a stroll through Moncontour, a charming village.

   • THE Castle of Monts-sur-Guesnes : the opportunity to discover the history of Poitou from a fun angle. In this medieval building, immerse yourself in the heart of the origins of the Kingdom of France!
Through a fantastic epic, you will go to the encounter byEleanor of Aquitaine et by Richard the Lionheart, iconic historical figures. 8 rooms with immersive decor as well as 2 m² experiences await young and old. It's time to get on your mounts and embark on this captivating adventure.

Castle of Monts sur Guesnes and the story of Eleanor in Monts©Bastien SAUVE – Agence Zebrelle

   • THE medieval castle of Gençay : space for the remains of a superb military fortress located on the borders of Poitou and Marche. Built in the XIIrd century by the lord of Gençay, Geoffroy IV de Rancon, with the help of the king of France, Louis IX, this Middle Ages building is rich in numerous historical anecdotes. In particular, it was a real issue during the famous 100 Years War.
Although today only 2 towers and 1 gate remain, this exceptional place is worth your visit. 

 •   The feudal keep of Scorbé-Clairvaux : during a stroll in the charming town of Scorbé-Clairvaux, located to the north-east of Poitiers, come and contemplate the impressive dungeon of Haut-Clairvaux. Built in the 11thrd century, this monument does not go unnoticed from the height of its 28 m. Perched on a natural mound, it majestically dominates the city. A true medieval treasure, the feudal keep was the scene of various conflicts between lords. History buffs will love this iconic place.

Visit the most emblematic cities of the Middle Ages

If the Vienne is so much appreciated, it is also for its authentic little medieval villages! So, how about a charming stroll through the heart of the Middle Ages? Let's discover Poitou and its share of historic towns...

 •   Poitiers : you can only appreciate this city of Art and History, its small medieval streets full of charm, but also its many monuments. St. Peter's Cathedral, Notre-Dame-la-Grande church, St. John's Baptistery, Palace of the Counts of Poitou and Dukes of Aquitaine … many visits await you. End your getaway with one of the Expériences famille : an escape game in search of Eleanor of Aquitaine's treasure.

   •   Chauvigny : zoom on another fascinating medieval city about twenty km from Poitiers. Chauvigny is distinguished by the remains of its 5 fortified castles, all built on the same rocky spur; a unique spectacle in Europe which is worth the detour. Want to discover the town with a touch of fantasy? 
Dare to go on a life-size treasure hunt using the app Tèrra Aventura or an cycle-rail ride in the Chauvin countryside.

   •   Angles on the Anglin : classified among the Most Beautiful Villages in France, Angles sur l'Anglin is a destination ideal for a change of scenery. With its river and its plateau perched on a majestic rocky spur, the village offers a picturesque setting. And what a pleasure to stroll along its authentic medieval streets, even the names of which evoke history.
What to visit : the XNUMXth century fortressrd century, and the Roc-aux-Sorciers Interpretation Center.

   •   Lusignan : located south-west of Poitiers, Lusignan is one of those villages where mythology and history mingle. land of the builder fairy Mélusine, this city with Celtic imprints will seduce you with its medieval past. Between the remains of feudal castles, narrow streets full of charm and half-timbered houses, the visit promises to be rich in surprises.

   •   La Roche Posay : widely known for its spa, the city also has an exciting medieval heritage. Fortified in the Middle Ages, it shelters numerous vestiges from another time; its 13th century Bourbon doorrd century is in particular a true emblem. Don't miss this town between historical heritage and velvet water.

   • Nouaillé-Maupertuis: just 10 km from Poitiers, this village is renowned for its superb XNUMXth century abbeyrd century. In the heart of a wooded valley, this high place of the 100 years war has experienced many twists and turns. In addition to its walls steeped in history, you will appreciate its fantastic medieval-inspired garden; an address to treasure.

   •   Chateau-Larcher : another medieval city near Poitiers, Château-Larcher, classified among Small Towns of Character, and its castle remains. Passing through this lovely town, you will have the opportunity to admire the Notre-Dame church, the former chapel of the fortress, whose walls date from the XNUMXth century.rd century. The facade of the building, its 2 towers, its interior courtyard and its large postern are also worth contemplating.

   •   Charroux : former medieval capital in the heart of the Vienne, Charroux is labeled Small Cities of Character. Among its many monuments to explore, we include the Charlemagne Tower, a souvenir of one of the most powerful French abbeys of the Middle Ages. Not to mention its authentic castles, cellars, half-timbered houses, fairgrounds and other interesting traces of the past.

The Charlemagne Tower, Abbey of Charroux©ACAP

   • Lussac-les-Châteaux: to the south-east of Poitiers, the town is a real treasure for archaeologists. A major place of occupation during prehistory, it is full of fascinating historical memories. But there are also several vestiges of the Middle Ages, such as the piles of the old bridge, above the pond.

   •   Mirebeau : we end in a pretty town in Haut-Poitou, about 25 km from Poitiers. Rich in history, the lands of Mirebeau were once home to one of the great castles of the west. It was also an essential fairground of the XIrd century. Don’t hesitate to explore all its secrets with the course Tèrra aventura.

Participate in the warm medieval festivities of the department 

Each year the Vienne wishes to celebrate the richness of its historical heritage. And it is in conviviality that she honors her precious heritage!

The pleasure of a medieval fair in Château-Larcher

La medieval fair of Château-Larcher awaits its happy visitors! Created in 2003, this fun event, bringing together more than 15 people, will take place this year from 14 15 in September 2024, for his 20rd edition. The objective is to reproduce the fair as it existed in the Middle Ages, with the motto: “Merry, Discoveries and Good humor!” ».

At the foot of the ramparts of the castle, this historical reconstruction will be interspersed with activities and artistic performances. Even visitors will dress up in their most beautiful medieval costumes!

Nouaillé-Maupertuis and its legendary medieval day

To live another immersion in the past, towards Nouaille-Maupertuis. For 24 hours, the 30 June 2024, meet dancers, storytellers, singers, fire eaters, stilt walkers and villagers. And to the delight of the whole family, the mood is one of celebration on the theme of the Middle Ages! This will notably be an opportunity to explore the medieval market under the protective gaze of soldiers, archers and knights.

Perhaps you will cross paths with a mysterious old lady, the famous and legendary witch of Maupertuis... Fun guaranteed!

Fun immersion in the Middle Ages in Chauvigny

August 17-18, 2024, it is the town of Chauvigny which launches the festivities. On the program: activities, shows, sales and camps on the theme of the Middle Ages. Start by shopping at the medieval market before playing a period game with your family. Between Angloise pass, François billiards or chamboule-tout, you will be spoiled for choice! Finally, end the day with a crossbow shooting demonstration or a representation of Viking battles.

Lovers of beautiful handicrafts will also find what they are looking for in the Le Clou space, a noble landmark for small creators in the region.

Party in Lusignan with the Fairy Mélusine

Also during the summer, another medieval festival takes place in Lusignan. The next one, 20 at 21 July 2024, will be the 20thrd editing. Nice ladies and nice ladies are invited to feast around a wide choice of shows, events and exhibitions. Among these various activities, historical figures will be honored as well as the legendary fairy Mélusine. The medieval market will offer delicious local products as well as many craft creations: embroidery, leather work, calligraphy, stonemason, cutler...

Zoom on …

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Heir to the Duchy of Aquitaine, Aliénor left its mark on Poitiers and its surroundings. Several places lead you in his footsteps and tell you his story. Explore the extraordinary life of this queen...

Eleanor of Aquitaine
Escape Game in Poitiers, Eleanor's Treasure ©ACAP
Castle of Monts sur Guesnes

Treat yourself to a trip to the past and the history of France, at the Château de Monts sur Guesnes. It is in the village of the same name, counted among the "Small towns of character" that this freshly renovated castle…

Chateau Monts sur Guesnes
Castle of Monts sur Guesnes ©Monts sur Guesnes

So, what will be the planning of your next getaway to Vienne ? Feel free to take a look at Agenda so you don't miss any local event!