Between canal and river, an extraordinary industrial heritage site has transformed into an essential place for culture and leisure. To discover on foot!

A little bit of history...

200 years ago the Châtellerault factory emerged. Until 1968, thousands of women and men produced weapons at the cutting edge of military innovation. From “La Manu” an imposing architecture and a collective memory remain. History has established its twin sister chimneys in red brick as the symbolic landmark of the city. 45 meters high, the young ladies of Châtellerault are visible from everywhere! 

For around fifty years, the emblematic Manu has been gradually reconverted, like a bridge between past, present and future. Today it is a peaceful environment for all generations, at all times of the day and in all seasons.

The Top 10 of our favorite activities at La Manu

1- Take height 
“Comme deux tours” is the work imagined by the innovative artist Jean-Luc Vilmouth. An 18 meter spiral staircase joins a steel walkway attached to the twin chimneys. Up there, a belvedere offers a panoramic view of the city.

2- Have fun and learn at the museum of art and industry
On 3000 m², the Grand Workshop retraces the history of land transport in the Auto Moto Vélo space, pays homage to the work of arms factory workers and offers an immersion into the Paris Montmartre of the Belle Époque by following Châtelleraudais Rodolphe Salis, creator of the cabaret Le Black cat.

Auto Moto Bike area of ​​the Grand Atelier

3- Take The Grand Atelier Express
Since 2023, the Grand Atelier, an art and industry museum, also allows you to try a Family Experience. On board the Express Châtellerault-Paris, the tribe simulates a journey from 1890 to the 1970s. At each station its share of discoveries, tests and games during which the participants become artists, mechanics, furry people, designers and manufactor.

4- Riding at the water's edge
A river runs through the middle of Châtellerault. Popular with both amateurs and professionals since its opening in 2017, the skatepark enjoys a breathtaking view of the Vienne. It is in this natural setting that riders sharpen their boards, rollerblades, BMX and scooters. 1 m² of fun with relief and bowl areas.

The skatepark ©Nicolas Mahu

5- Combine ice skating and hot chocolate in winter, roller gliding and smoothie bar in summer 
Sliding enthusiasts can rest assured: only a few meters separate the skatepark from the ice rink. HAS forge, numerous thematic afternoons break the ice throughout the year (Carnival, Halloween, etc.). During the summer holidays, rollerblades replace skates.

La Forge ice rink

6- Go green 
At the tip, where the Vienne joins the Envigne canal, there is a feeling of a little end of the world. Formerly this landscaped park was a place of pleasure for family walks in the director of the Manufacture. Hence its name, the Director’s garden! Ideal for enjoying a bucolic break and for a picnic in the grass.

The Director's garden

7- Embark on the Vienne aboard a traditional boat
At the foot of the two towers, the Manu canal has become the home port of the John Martin. Stationary in winter, this toue cabanée returns to service in fine weather. Bruno, the captain, offers guided tours that are as exciting as they are refreshing. A great opportunity to discover the banks differently.

Walk on the Vienne

8- Soak up the atmosphere
During a walk on the Manu site, the walker is surprised by the variety of encounters. The songs of the birds mingle with the scales of the Conservatory, with the acrobatics of theNational Circus School, to the wheels of skaters or even to the purr of the EDF dam. A village within the city.

©Iboo Creation

9- Capture the moment 
Raw and geometric, the La Manu site easily takes on the main role of the essential photo spot. Shot from above, chimneys touching the clouds, raking light on the water... For 100% Instagrammable graphic images.

©Pierre T.

10 Experiment with new sports
In summer, Aven'Curieux are invited to try abseiling from the Vilmouth Towers, canoeing on the Vienne, parkour at the skatepark, yoga and gi gong in the Director's Garden... Or how to keep the spirit Zen and wide-open mind.

©City of Châtellerault

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