The Royal Abbey of La Réau: treat yourself to a dive into history!

Living History

Paying activities

Want to take a leap into the past? Discover the Royal Abbey of La Réau, classified as a historic monument. Situated at Saint-Martin-l'Ars, about 40 km from Poitiers, this royal abbey of the 12thth century has passed through the ages. From the Middle Ages to today, its visit is the guarantee of an exceptional journey through history... several fun and family activities immerse you in the past!

The Royal Abbey of La Réau, a real jewel of Poitou

Welcome to Saint-Martin-l'Ars, a peaceful little town in France, located in New Aquitaine, between Poitiers and Angoulême! At the heart of this haven of peace hides a fascinating monument: the Royal Abbey of La Réau.

This fabulous monastery, built in the Middle Ages, is rich in centuries of history. Of royal foundation, under the reign of Eleanor of Aquitaine, it housed a community of canons in the 12thth century before being burned by English troops during the 100 Years' War. It was then sold to an individual, Pierre-Nicolas du Verrier de Boulzac, the day after the Revolution.

Considered one of the most prestigious historic monuments in Poitou, the Royal Abbey of La Réau also enjoys an idyllic setting, with its 20-hectare estate along the Clain. You will have the opportunity to survey:

   • The pleasure garden, between the abbey church, the defense tower and the conventual buildings; a soft place of nature composed of magnificent lawns, charming hedges of hornbeams and majestic trees. The joy of a stroll to the rhythm of birdsong and the clatter of water

   • The vegetable garden, a verdant corner almost out of time: place for permaculture, between medicinal herbs, botanical varieties and old fruits

The Royal Abbey of La Réau also invites discover all the secrets of monastic life. Stroll through the remains of medieval treasures, such as the abbey church, the Romanesque chapter house, the scriptorium, the abbot's dwelling, the cloister, the machicolation tower, the dovecote, the tithe barn, the old keep, the mill…

What to do during your visit to the Royal Abbey of La Réau?

What to do after your fascinating visit? Good news, several fun activities await you on the site of the Royal Abbey of La Réau, on the borders of Poitou. Promised, young and old will not be bored!

A unique treasure hunt in the heart of La Réau

Notice to visitors who have a taste for a challenge: discovering the Royal Abbey of La Réau while having fun, it is possible! On your next visit to this monument, opt for a great family treasure hunt. Accessible from the age of 7, this game for all ages can only seduce you.
Your mission ? Find the precious treasure of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela hidden by the Templars within the abbey. Throughout this thrilling adventure, you will have puzzles to solve and only correct answers will lead to victory. Attention: reward at the key!

FAMILY4 - Tourism Vienne©Thomas JELINEK – Agence Zebrelle

Save the Réau: live a unique experience!

If you like them life-size role-playing games, do not miss the"Expériences Famille" on the site. 1, 2, 3, jump in a time machine and save the abbey from British invaders ! In period costume, embark on breathtaking adventures...

And it must be admitted, the scenario is rather engaging: landing in 1372, in the midst of war against the English, who want to besiege and destroy the monastery. You will then slip into the shoes of a XNUMXth century monkth century, whose ultimate objective is to protect its abbey from its invaders. At your disposal: clues, a belt full of gadgets and a road book. Up to you !
You will explore every corner of La Réau, and even more secret places!

The investigation game lasts 80 minutes. It is at the single price of 10 € per player, and exists in English version.

Visit of the Royal Abbey of La Réau and temporary exhibition

Notice to curious visitors: the abbey still has a few surprises in store for you. Throughout the seasons, take advantage of various activities related to the monastery. At the moment, visiting the abbey gives you free access to a temporary exhibition on festivals and entertainment in Roman times.

Other thrilling activities around La Réau

After your excursion to the Abbaye de la Réau, there is no question of going home. Why not take the opportunity to explore the surroundings? Poitou is full of nice sites to discover ! Do not hesitate to take a tour by:

   •   The Floating Village of Pressac : a unique place in France composed of huts on the water; enough to offer you a 100% unusual stay, between swimming, fishing, Nordic bathing and hiking
   • L'Isle-Jourdain: on the edge of the river, this small town benefits from a rich cultural heritage, but also from lovely corners of nature. Bungee jumping, tree climbing, zip line, geocaching... a thousand and one experiences await you
   • Availles-Limouzine: village full of charm where mediaeval architecture, international fishing course and signposted walking path mingle; enjoy pleasant getaways by bike or on foot with Tèrra Aventura
   •   The Val de circuit Vienne at Vigeant : a must in motorsport, this automobile circuit offers experiences rich in sensations. From May 30 to June 2, 2024, it will be 24rd edition of Sport & Collection, an exhibition of Ferrari and demonstrations on the circuit, in favor of research against cancer
   •   The Valley of the Apes : south of Poitiers, this animal park allows you to discover the fascinating world of primates; 450 monkeys in semi-freedom, including the largest group of bo-nobos in the world, can be admired in this 22-hectare site

We wish you in advance a pleasant getaway to Réau Abbey and its surroundings! And if you love abbeys, we suggest that of Saint-Savin, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.