07 November 2018

Vouvant : l'église

Vouvant, the only (I believe) fortified towns in the Vendée, is also officially one of the most beautiful villages in France. Les plus beaux villages de France is an association to which villages apply to win that designation. It was created in 1982, and now 158 villages are members. The rules are strict.

The church in Vouvant dates back to the late 1000s and early 1100s. Like most French buildings, it has been significantly restored, enlarged, and rebuilt over the centuries. There were great wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants in the 1500s, and many old churches were laid to ruin. And then the French Revolution came, and further damage was done.  Still, the Vouvant church is historically significant and was one of the first churches in the Vendée to be classified as a historical monument. That happened in 1840.

Walt and I drove to Vouvant on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We had a picnic lunch on a park bench on the grounds of the old fortress, almost in the shadow of the Tour Mélusine. The Mélusine tower was erected nearly 200 years after the first church in Vouvant was built. Notice how in the photo above the church seems to be crowned with a halo.

We couldn't do much in terms of going inside places like the church and the tower because we were traveling with the dog, and it was too sunny and warm to leave Tasha in the car for even a short time. However, we could walk around and take in the scenery — in other words, take some pictures.

I really enjoy taking long zoom photos of historical monuments like these churches and then editing them to reveal details that I can't see with my naked eye. The photos above are examples. The carvings in my photos represent, on the lower level (in each photo), The Last Supper, and on the upper level, Christ's Ascension to Heaven. They are Gothic in style (1400s). You can enlarge them to see more details. It's pretty amazing that they have survived for so long, but then I don't know how many times they have been restored over the centuries..


  1. Great carvings on that church.

  2. If we make it to that area, we'll definitely visit Vouvant. It looks beautiful. We've been big fans of the Plus Beaux Villages organization since we discovered it while in Collanges-la-Rouge in the 1908's, where it all started. Out of all the PBV we've visited, I think there was only one that we felt didn't deserve the designation. Instead, we often visit villages and remark "Why isn't this a PBV?" But the population maximum keeps many villages out, and I believe a village has to apply to get considered. But there's also the Cites-de-Caractere for other towns.

  3. A beautiful church. The stone has a nice patina on the west front.

  4. Oh, I, too, love what you do for us with that zoom lens! Thank you!


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