If you want to sprinkle some history and culture into your family break in the Vendee, why not visit some of the region's stunning abbeys? These beautiful buildings will capture the imagination of children and adults alike.
There are several well worth exploring - something that should give you a clue as to the importance of religious history in the Vendee. We have picked out three that are a real joy to visit - and remember, sometimes they will host special events, so it's always worth doing a little research before your trip to see whether anything will coincide with your time there.
Abbaye de Nieul sur l'Autise
This abbey is quite a rare site, being one of the few in the region that still possesses its church, cloister and monastic buildings almost completely intact. This is particularly impressive when you consider that the abbey dates back to 1068!
While its historic nature is probably enough to capture the interests of parents, kids will be particularly enthralled by the lighting effects and 3D virtual tours used to bring the place to life.
Abbaye de l'Ile Chauvet
Our next suggestion is the Abbaye de l'Ile Chauvet, which was built in the 12th century. Romanesque in style, this abbey has a beautiful and imposing doorway that sets the mood of your visit, with it leading to a courtyard that's home to its original well.
You can also see the old kitchen, the cellars and a dormitory that used to be home to Benedictine monks. What's perhaps most remarkable about this place, though, is its location - it sits on an island in the middle of a marsh.
Abbaye de Maillezais
Also located on an island, Abbaye de Maillezais was built at the start of the 11th century. The site is really well-preserved, and home to a cathedral, kitchen, pantry and more. Plus, it is famous for having hosted artists and scholars over the years, including the likes of Francois Rabelais.
It's also worth bearing in mind that, over the summer months, this particular abbey often plays host to everything from theatrical performances to sound and light shows.
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