Vaas is a locality of Sarthe, Pays de la Loire region, 40 km south of Le Mans.
Belonging to the natural and historical region of Upper Anjou also known as Maine Angevin, the vast communal territory of 30 km² is crossed by the Loir.
Already occupied during the Bronze Age, Vaas has been developing since ancient times. Located on the Roman road Le Mans-Tours, Vaas is then an economic and strategic crossroads.
During the High Middle Ages, the village was Christianized and a first church was erected, dedicated to Saint George (destroyed during the Revolution). An abbey is founded in the ninth century under the order of St. Augustine. Although fortified, the city of Vaas pays a heavy tribute to the Hundred Years War. In the 14th century, it was ruined and burned, only the old abbey tower and its church being preserved.
With a population of just over 1,500 inhabitants, Vaas remains a predominantly agricultural community, but its verdant environment on both sides of the Loire River has initiated the development of tourist facilities and activities. A stage of choice for lovers of green tourism...
A rich heritage testifies to the history of the city and can be the subject of an interesting journey of discovery, with, as a starting point, the abbey and its church.
Of the first, it remains only the home of the abbots where was built the town hall and a monastic tower of medieval times. In contrast, the Church of Our Lady of Vaas was spared. Attached to the tower, it dates from the 12th century and respects a plan in the shape of a Latin cross. In detail, it will be observed that the transept is endowed with two apsidioles: one is the chapel Notre-Dame-de-Pitié, Romanesque style, and frescoes of the fifteenth century adorn its vault. The other has a closed gallery.
At the choir level, the vaults of Gothic Angevin style are visible, as well as a high altar in marble and the old stalls of the canons. On the ground, a grooming composed of slates and white stones was preserved (XVe).
Finally, the bell tower holds the attention, surmounted by an octagonal spire, resting on a high tower of 45 m.
The interior of the church, partly restored in the 15th century, is also very rich: one can admire a painting depicting Frederick Borromeo, an 18th century pulpit, statues depicting Saint George and Saint Julien from the destroyed parish church. to the Revolution and a Madonna and Child terracotta sixteenth. Other paintings and stained glass windows being restored complete this list...
Listed in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments, the church has a sundial on a buttress of the bedside. It overlooks a terrace overlooking the Loir.
Mostly later than the sixteenth century and residential, several castles are visible in the territory of Vaas. All private, some are home to guest rooms. Only the castle of Petit-Perray, classic (late eighteenth), surrounded by a beautiful park, is classified. Let's also mention the castle of Lassy, or of Bas Moriers, the castle of the Brosserie, the castle Renaudière, the castle of Gagnerie, the castle of the Rock, and its park "agricultural and landscape", the castle of Mazoüet and the castle of the Fuye.
The dolmen of the Covered Stone (Neolithic period), towards Mayet, in the north of the village, can also be worth a look.
Back in the heart of the village, we notice the monument to the dead of the two world wars in the garden of the old abbey and a stele in memory of the American aviator Alvin Pollingue, who fell at Vaas in July 1944 after having participated in a months earlier at the Allied Landing in Normandy.
Finally, at the crossroads of Rotrou, a sandstone military monument was reconstructed, which reminds us that the Roman road passed at Vaas where a ford made it possible to cross the Loir, which was succeeded by a bridge.
Nearby, we visit with interest the mill Rotrou, which dates from the sixteenth century, along the Loir, with a paddle wheel. It has become a real museum that allows you to discover how the mill works and the process of producing flour and then bread. The site also includes a garden of aromatic plants. Open on Sundays and public holidays, from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm, from April to June and from September to October and every day in July and August. Price: 5 euros. Information on +33 2 43 79 36 81 or +33 2 43 46 70 71.
As far as the natural heritage is concerned, part of the Dureaux regional grassland and reedbeds nature reserve is located in the territory of Vaas. Its ecosystem linked to the wetlands bordering the Loir is exceptional for the richness of its fauna and flora.
With the banks of the Loir in general, the countryside looking like groves and the various historical and archaeological sites punctuating the town and its surroundings, Vaas is a paradise for hikers. Many marked trails await them. Some are accessible to people with reduced mobility. As for cyclists, they have specific courses such as the bike path V47 which follows the course of the Loir. Documentation, brochures and information on +33 2 43 38 16 60 or +33 2 43 38 16 60. It is also possible to join the club's outings by calling +33 7 88 60 63 86.
Always leisure, we will appreciate the amenities made near the bridge over the Loir: children's playground, sports fields (tennis, football) but also a nautical base where swimming is not recommended. You can however rent canoes, paddles and electric boats in July and August. Information and reservation at +33 2 43 79 21 35.
A jet ski club is also located there. What reconcile discovery of the landscape from the river and thrills. Information on +33 2 43 46 76 98.
Finally, fishing enthusiasts must contact the local association on +33 2 43 46 70 89 to learn about the regulations and to know the sites, including the fishing course adjacent to the nautical base.
On the cultural level, the library has a digital space (information +33 2 43 79 10 15) and the cultural space program shows and exhibitions of quality (contact +33 2 43 46 70 29).