From Prehistory to the 20th century via the Middle Ages, Ancient Rome and the Renaissance, I am taking my husband and my two sons on a journey to the past of Grand Châtellerault.

If you are also part of the “FousdHistoire family”, let yourself be tempted by my 6 Heritage recommendations…

1. Immerse yourself in the Age of Enlightenment

Aux Ormes in the XVIII e century, an exceptional monument welcomed some of the most enlightened minds of the time: Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau... Today it is one of the largest castles in Vienne, located at the gates of the valley Of the loire.

During each of my visits to Château des Ormes, I am amazed by the large vestibule in white stone and white and black marble paving, as well as the dining room, the library, the lounges, the kitchens... All the living rooms have regained their former glory thanks to a selection of beautiful furniture and elegant decoration.
The French garden was recreated according to the original plans.

Opening from June 1 to September 30, every day from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays

OT Grand Châtellerault

My advice :

Spend time visiting three curiosities: the oldest motorboat known to date, the small power station dating from the 20th century and the buried icebox.

2. Step into the shoes of a Cro-Magnon man

À Angles-sur-l'Anglin, a Magdalenian frieze nicknamed “the Lascaux of sculpture” constitutes a true prehistoric gem. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors carved their history in stone there 15 years ago.

Like all budding archaeologists, Arthur and Hugo had a revelation during their first visit to the interpretation center located 2,5 kilometers from the original rock shelter. At the Roc aux Sorciers, in an Ice Age setting, the visitor can see lions, bison, reindeer, human bodies and faces... So many emotions!

My advice : To better understand the fresco, attend the projection on 30 meters of rock of a 3D film with immersive sound effects.

Open every day from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m. in July and August. Wednesday to Sunday in September 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 13:30 p.m. to 18 p.m.

3. Follow in the footsteps of the gladiators

In Naintré stand the remains of the ancient city of Vetus Pictavis, built almost 2000 years ago. On the Old Poitiers site, my sons and their dad take part in the game to find the traces of an intense daily life: temples, artisanal district, potters' shops, grid of streets worthy of a Roman city...
The most visible testimony: the ruins of a Gallo-Roman theater which measured 116 meters in diameter and accommodated up to 10 spectators (more than the Orange theater!).

Good plan 2022: on September 4, the Association for the Safeguarding of Old Poitiers is offering an exhibition on Roman tanks as well as the presentation of old cars.

My advice : In case of heat, bring a hat and water because shade is rare on the site.

Opening from June 12 to September 25, every Sunday from 14 p.m. (15 p.m. in September) to 18 p.m. for discovery walks.

4. Unravel a mystery of the Early French Renaissance

An intriguing example of military architecture, around twenty meters high, began to reveal its secrets only around ten years ago. It was in 2010 that the scientific community validated the hypothesis according to which Monthoiron fortress tower constitutes one of the rare examples of Leonardo da Vinci's genius as an architect. 
Classified as a Historic Monument, it can be discovered through a course of 20 puzzles, Leonardo's Treasure. This Da Vinci Code for children captivated my youngest son, Arthur, thanks to its references to the characters from the comic strip “ Leonard Genie ».

My advice : Finish with the film projected on the dome, inside the tower. In the cool, the whole family learns what links Leonardo da Vinci and Monthoiron.

Open every day from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m. in July and August. Weekends from 11 a.m. to 18 p.m. in April, May, June, September and October. And during the All Saints’ Day holidays.

5. Teleport to the time of the knights

Welcome in the most beautiful village in Vienne ! More than 40 meters above the waters of the Anglin stands the majestic Angles Fortress. A unique atmosphere emerges from the ruins of this defensive building built more than a thousand years ago.

In this ancient feudal castle, I give free rein to my imagination by visiting the keep, the towers and the reconstruction of a terrible dungeon... Hugo delights in learning that Bertrand Du Guesclin took back the fortress from the English in 1372.

My advice : From the rocky promontory, admire the breathtaking view of the Anglin valley, classified as a “Natura 2000” natural site!

Opening every day from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m. in July and August. Wednesday to Sunday in September 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 13:30 p.m. to 18 p.m.

6. Make your industrial revolution

In 1819, by royal order, the Arms factory was born in Châtellerault. During the First World War, it had more than 7000 workers nicknamed “the Manuchards”. Orders poured in until the 50s. In 1968, after a decade of decline, the factory siren sounded one last time.

Rehabilitated, the industrial site on the left bank has just celebrated its bicentenary. All Châtelleraudais are attached to The Manu and enjoy coming back for leisure. Me first! Because many activities are now located there: ice rink Forge, museum The Grand Atelierskate park on the banks of Vienna, Director's garden, national circus school, music and dance conservatory…   

My advice : Climb up to the footbridge of the symbolic Vilmouth Towers to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and the river!

The skate park, the Director's garden and the Vilmouth Towers are freely accessible all year round.

Great heritage discoveries to all!

Was this content useful to you?