Pouzauges is a village in the East of Vendée department, in Pays de la Loire region. The village is nicknamed Perle or Reine du Haut Bocage (Pearl or Queen of Haut Bocage area). Pouzauges was granted a three “flowers” label in the “Concours des villes et villages fleuris” which rewards the green cities and villages of France.
Pouzauges is 1h from the beaches of Sables d’Olonne and of the Futuroscope, a futuristic attraction park. It is also 10mn from the medieval attraction park, le Puy du Fou.
By car, Pouzauges can be reached via the A83/A87 towards Cholet-Sud or Les Herbiers.
The closest airport is Nantes Atlantique (60mn from Pouzauges).
As for railway services, there is a line La Roche sur Yon-Bressuire to Pouzauges train station.
The name Pouzauges would come from the latin “puteus” meaning “well” and the suffix “-alia” which designates a spring located on a high point. Celts were living in this place, followed by Gallo Romans as numerous underground refuges in Bois de Bede and the monolith stone of the Marchais prove it. Nearby the village, Le Bois de la Folie was a druidic shrine and a sacred wood during the Gallo Roman period. The castle and its fortifications were built during the 12th and the 13th century.
Le Vieux Chateaux is the medieval stronghold that towers above the city. It is heritage-listed and today it consists of an impressive keep and of a curtain wall with towers and buttresses.
The two windmills of Terrier Marteau were built in the 18th century, ruined in 1794. They were rebuilt during the 19th century, only to be abandoned at the beginning of the 20th century. Today they are fully renovated and visits are allowed during the summer.
L’Eglise Saint Jacques is a Romanesque and Gothic style church. It was built in the 11th century and modified during the 15th century.
Food and Drink
In Vendee there are a few specialities such as Bonnotte de Noirmoutier, which is a peculiar type of potatoes grown on the island of Noirmoutier, the Brioche vendéenne or La Fionnaie custard tart.
In the past, bakers would have a bite of the pastry they were making to check the temperature of the oven. This little loaf of bread, hardly cooked and eaten with a butter and garlic sauce, became a speciality of Vendee.
Noirmoutier salt is a local product and its harvesting is a traditional activity dating from the 8th century.
- LE CASSE CROUTE VENDEEN, traditional cuisine. 31 rue de la Mare, 85700, Pouzauges. Tel : 02.51.61.72.80