Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Loir-et-Cher
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A Town of Art and History, Vendôme in the department of Loir-et-Cher enchants visitors with its tranquil atmosphere and verdant surroundings. The Loir runs through it, and you need only cross one of the bridges to come and go between the two sides of the town. Along the way, notice the pretty riverside houses.
Vendôme has several buildings that are a big part of its charm. There are the old half-timbered houses on Place Saint-Martin, the Trinity Abbey, a remarkable religious monument with its Flamboyant façade, Romanesque bell tower and 16th-century wooden stalls, the Baltard-style covered market and the former Oratorian college where Honoré de Balzac studied.
Lined with shops, Rue du Change is perfect for strolling, as is Ronsard Park on the banks of the Loir. The footbridge and washhouse give this peaceful and shady place a romantic air. Overlooking the town, the park around the feudal castle of the Bourbon-Vendômes offers a stunning view of the historic centre!
If you are interested, the town offers two visitor circuits with explanation stands and signs to point you in the right direction. In summer, don't miss the chance to take a little trip on the Loir, for a pleasant boat ride that will show you the town from another angle.
We can not know at what time was established County Vendôme. We know only that its territory included about the former "Pagus vindocinensis" or Vendomois countries, itself a division of the "Civitas Carnutarum" Carnutes or quoted, which Autricum, which became the city of Chartres. Raoul de St-Venant (1854-1927) Dictionary topographical, historical, Vendome and the borough Vendôme.
On the edge of the field of Anjou: In 1032, the advent of Geoffrey Martel, son of Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou, marks the beginning of political influence on the county of Anjou Vendôme. During the second half of the 12th century, the city passed in turn to the second hand of Henry Plantagenet and Philip Augustus. The territorial issue of incessant warfare brings, without doubt, during the 14th century, the Counts of Blois Vendôme and to delineate their respective areas. Vendôme takes part in national history during the two-month trial of a peer of France. Indeed, in 1458, the Castle, Charles is the seventh draw a "bed of justice. The duke is convicted of collusion with the British. In welcoming this court, the 8th Earl Jean brand and his loyalty and support to the king.
The Trinity Vendôme a powerful abbey since the 11th century: Father Oderic is the first in 1066, to obtain the title of cardinal. This direct and privileged of the abbey to the papacy remained until the Revolution. The first Abbot Geoffrey (abbot from 1093 to 1132) affirms the influence of the abbey, including its decisive action during the investiture controversy. It allows the Pope Urban the second to resume his position. This power is not without tensions with regular counts of Vendôme, which are regulated by an agreement in 1185.
Family of Bourbon-Vendôme: In 1371, after the death of the 7th Earl Brown and his daughter Jeanne, Catherine Vendôme their sister and aunt, inherits County Vendôme. His marriage to Jean de Bourbon-la Marche gives birth to the House of Bourbon-Vendôme. This dynasty marks the history of the county and duchy from 1515. Thus, the Countess Marie of Luxembourg (1462-1546), daughter of Pierre de Luxembourg and Marguerite de Savoie, after the death of her husband Francis of Bourbon, plays a role as patron for a half-century. She chairs in the beautification of the Saint-Jacques, the Porte Saint-Georges, the college's castle and the reconstruction of the church of St. Martin. On October 20, 1548, Jeanne d'Albret (1528-1572) married Antoine de Bourbon (1518-1562), second Duke of Vendôme. Protestant, it marks his short stay in a Catholic Vendôme. In 1562, the Huguenots profaned and pillaged the church of Saint-Georges. Sacked in 1793, this veritable necropolis of Bourbon Vendôme, in the heart of their castle, is now in ruins. Henry goes for his fourth siege to the castle and the city into the hands of Catholic conspirators in November 1589.
Vendôme the heart of revolutionary history: Located 120 km from Paris, distance needed for the serenity of a court in a revolutionary period, Vendôme receives the High Court for trial of Gracchus Babeuf, and Augustine Darthe their supporters. Finally, the heated debates that enliven, for over seven months, the hearings (and the city!) Lead to the execution of the two main defendants and the deportation of most of their supporters. 1796 signals the leaders of "The conspiracy of equals" but their ideas will be a revival after the Revolution of 1830.
The bombing of June 15, 1940: A heavy loss of life (89 dead and over 200 wounded) marks this violent event. The face of the historic center is disrupted. Approximately four acres were destroyed by the bombing and ensuing fire. The court, the governor's house and many half-timbered houses have disappeared. Today, there are still sixty houses with wood sides often hidden behind plaster.
A city always on the move: The construction of a TGV station in 1990, which places Vendôme 43 minutes from Paris, was accompanied by a significant change of the economic fabric. It revolves around three distinct industrial clusters: aerospace, appliance and automotive. Thanks to its range of shops and services diversified and dynamic culture and voluntary Vendôme itself as a regional hub development radiating an area of 70,000 inhabitants.
Les Coteaux du Vendôme: if the vine is still present in Vendome, it has gradually lost its place of honor in favor of cereal fields. There are nearly 90% of the vineyards that have been torn after the Second World War. But since winning the AOC "Coteaux du Vendôme" in 2001, growers can now play the card "terroir". Pineau d'Aunis, it is a capricious grape variety, nevertheless gives a wine with a peppery flavor characteristic: the "gray" fresh. The soil is also expressed through the red fruit of the assembly of Pineau d'Aunis, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Chenin blanc is another pleasant surprise of this land where the flint outcrops. We get a dry wine with aromas of citrus taste with fish or goat's cheese country. The best way to discover the vineyard is still to reach the slope of the house where COUTIS vine garden ampelografic (demonstrating the science of the vine), orchard and orientation table take you to the heart of this local memory. With the added bonus of stunning views Vendôme.
Sweet Delicacies: Gourmet rejoice: the history of Vendôme Vendomois crunches and also to the fullest! The local bakers have striven to create recipes evoking characters and stories?? Squares of Ronsard's prose, while nougat and praline, of Balzac Croquignolles pages written in almond meringue, you're on board for a "literary taste" ... The Rochambeau (cookies and chocolate ganache) is to be enjoyed under the statue of the marshal who distinguished himself in North America during the Revolutionary War. Each gourmet history, large or small, for you to discover: Croc'champalus, St. Tear, Malice Wolf??
Near Vendôme, the village of Lavardin not to be missed: the imposing ruins of an ancient and historic medieval castle, and the church which contains some very ancient and important (including the area covered ! ) murals (12th and late fifteenth ). Really worth a detour, without hesitation!
Things to see and do
Vendôme preserved since the 17th century a unique heritage of green space which is to be placed floral town "4 flowers" which enabled him to win the Grand Prix of bloom "for 10 consecutive years. In the park Ronsard and the castle park, many trees, some more than two centuries old, have a botanical interest. The plane tree planted along the Loir in 1759 and the cedar of Lebanon, the castle since 1807, are the most famous of them. The management of the environment and green spaces the city has long been mastered the art of "mosaiculture. These real floral frescoes renewed over the seasons can be admired around the square Belot, on the banks of the Loire and in the garden of the library. In addition, several collections are gathered (sage and aromatic plants in the courtyard of the cloister of the Trinity). A botany lesson and offers outdoor enthusiasts in some public gardens Vendôme.
Along the roads of Heritage: From the playground of the former college to venerable plane trees to the banks of the Loire, discover places full of history. 2 trails invite you to discover the historic heart of Vendôme. The two routes start from the Tourist Office and complementary, enabling you to discover the rich heritage of the city.
First Circuit: In the heart of the city:
City Hall: The Duke Vendôme Caesar founded a college in 1623 he confided to Oratorians (religious order established in France in the 17th century). The building changed its name several times; Royal Military School in the late 18th century it became the Lycée Ronsard in 1930. In 1969-1970, a new high school was built north of the city. The old premises, unoccupied, are arranged in 1982 to host the town hall. From 1639 to 1777, bricks and stones are assembled by aesthetics polychrome French classical architecture. Designed in the axis of the main entrance, Rue Saint-Jacques, the facades sequenced the courtyard, are the best testimony. Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) was a student for 7 years in the early 19th century college Vendôme. Traditionally it performs its punishments, locked in a closet of the old Hotel du Bellay, known today as the Hotel du Saillant, housing the Office of Tourism.
La Chapelle Saint-Jacques: From the 12th century, this place welcomes pilgrims en route to St Jacques de Compostela. The flamboyant Gothic chapel result of transformations undertaken in the 15th and 16th centuries. From 1623, the Oratorians, teaching college nearby, make the chapel of their establishment. Abandoned to the Revolution, she became military store and theater to be made for worship in 1826. Since 1982, the Saint-Jacques hosts exhibitions. The street is named after the Change in currency exchange certified in 1354. Enlarged in the 19th century, the street becomes pedestrian in 1978. The current station was installed in 1956 in a former department store "New Gallery" built in the early 20th century.
Islette Tower: The tower of Islette part of the fortifications, built in the 13th century on the banks of the Loire. From the 18th century, the tower like the other defenses are abandoned, partially destroyed and reused by the Vendome. Over the centuries, many floods Loir damage the surrounding walls and bridges made of wood. Near the tower Islette, Chartrain the bridge is reconstructed in stone in 1691.
The former Franciscan monastery: It is the 13th century, after the departure of the Templar monks that the monastery is one of the most important of the order of Franciscans. In 1589, during the siege by Henry IV, the monastery was plundered in retaliation for the spirit of resistance against the Huguenots instigated by the Franciscans. After the Revolution, the Benedictine nuns of Calvary buy and enlarge the convent to install a home education. From 1971, the hospital Vendôme, owner since 1964, including managing a retirement home. The current Liberty Square, takes its name in 1913. This former small island cultivated is removed by the deviation of the Loir to host a fairground.
The slope of small gardens: These meadows will receive the Middle Ages to the 19th century the ruins of the city. Finally on this ground in the Loir is rehabilitated and becomes the square Belot in 1898. The military installed in the abbey of the Trinity, build bridges Islette and neighborhood to open up their barracks. On the slope of small gardens each year, new floral scenes are composed mosaiculture. All of these parks and gardens involved in the research quality and diversity of flowering of Vendôme.
The water gate: This gate fortified during the late 13th and 15th centuries, is also called ark Great Meadows, named for the land surrounding it. From the Middle Ages, the amount of water is controlled Loir to feed mills in the city. Thus, a masonry dam was by the monks of the Trinity for the flow necessary for their mill called "Mill Perrin. Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585) cites the Loire Valley and the Vendome in his writings. This court poet was born in the manor of Possonière, about forty miles from Vendôme.
The head of the Trinity: the Benedictine Abbey of the Trinity has a church from the Roman era. In 1271, this building is deemed dilapidated by the monks who decide to rebuild it. A new chancel was built around 1308. The harmony of proportions and the large windows decorated with trefoil patterns are representative of Gothic architecture radiant. It seems that from the 12th century, the abbot Cardinal has had a house apart and dormitories of the monks. The existing building covers part of all dwellings built in the 15th century in Gothic style. Rue de l'Abbaye is that since the early 19th century after the dismantling of the monastery. The bridge over Abbey in 1859 will set the course of this old deadlock.
The district Rochambeau: In 1791, the buildings of the abbey of the Trinity are on sale. The local court house, prison and the sub-prefecture. It was in 1802 that established a cavalry barracks taking the name of district Rochambeau in 1886. Nearly thirty buildings (stables, riding schools, shopping?) Will be gradually built. The 20th Mounted Rifles, which was decimated in 1914, completes the list of regiments stationed in Vendôme. The gendarmerie, the last occupant, shall be restored in the immediate vicinity since 1996. The original chapel was built upon the foundation of the abbey in the 11th century. The broad picture of its south facade was pierced by the Revolution to better illuminate the dining hall set up for prisoners. The storage room is this function canteen in the 19th century in the cavalry barracks. It is at the rear of the building that can see the original walled bays and columns, buttresses.
The court of Cloister The cloister (from Latin "claustrum" closing) is a space for meditation monks. It is central to the functioning of the Benedictine Abbey and includes: the dormitory, refectory and the rooms of guests. The circular kitchen (as in Fontevraud) and the south wing have been replaced by a more imposing building, necessary for the reception of Benedictine monks in the 18th century Maurists. Only the northern part of the cloister gallery, along the church, survived the demolition decided by the army in 1907. The chapter house is the venue daily monks. One wall of the room is decorated with beautiful frescoes (late 11th early 12th centuries) discovered in 1972 behind a wall of the 14th century. "The Miraculous Fish" (John 21, 1-14) remains the most beautiful of these scenes depicting the events after "The Resurrection of Christ."
The facade of the Trinity: In 1508, the virtuosity of the supervisor, Jean Texier said John de Beauce, combined with that of the sculptors to make the facade of the abbey of the Trinity. This "fire sculpture" is one of the masterpieces of Gothic art. The church tower is also an exceptional building built in the 12th century. It looks like the south tower of the Cathedral of Chartres which is contemporary.
-Framed houses Wood: Many houses medieval center Vendôme are timber frame, mode of unused economic construction in the 18th and 19th centuries. Dating from the late 15th century, St. Martin's house is made from a blend of wood posts resting on sand (horizontal beams). On the ground floor, four sculptures represent, from left to right: St. Martin, St. Jacques, St. John the Baptist and St. Louis. Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, future Marshal Rochambeau, was born in Vendôme 1 July 1725. On the Place Saint-Martin, a statue, erected in 1900, demonstrates one of the many feats of military career. Along with George Washington, Rochambeau contributes to the victory of Yorktown in 1781, for the cause of American independence.
Second tour: Stroll to the castle:
The Church of St Mary Magdalen: On June 2, 1474, John VIII, Count of Vendôme, founded the Church of St Mary Magdalene with the support of its inhabitants, including the brotherhoods of wine growers and gardeners growing vegetables for many land around. If the building is dated from the 15th century, its interior was restored in the 19th century and has a fine collection of stained glass workshop Lobin Tours. The origin of the hospital adjacent to the Place de la Madeleine is around 1620 - 1623 when the Hospital is transferred to this place by Caesar Vendôme. The religious establishment was secularized in 1905.
The Library: Designed by architect Edward Marganne, this building is built, from 1866 to 1868 to house the library, museum and the archaeological society. Spared by the bombing of June 1940, the building will then become the town hall. The museum's collections join the Trinity Abbey in 1953. After conversion, the library is only since 1986, while the local town hall is square in the old school Ronsard. Gervais Launay (1804-1891), professor of design at the College of Vendôme, passionate about history and archeology, has made watercolors are included to illustrate the desks of these two circuits. His original works are preserved in the library Vendôme.
La Chapelle Saint-Pierre-la-Motte: The chapel of the 11th century belonged to a priory of monks led by Saint-Georges-des-Bois. Sold in 1791 and transformed several times, it still seems it one third of the building. The interior matches the exterior simplicity of this small Romanesque building which is, nowadays, one of the oldest monuments of Vendôme.
The old church of St. Martin: St. Martin's Tower is the old church tower which occupied almost the entire space of the current position. After the Revolution, many changes have weakened the structure of the building and the roof collapsed in 1854. The church was finally demolished and its bell tower (late fifteenth, early 16th centuries) is converted into a belfry. The bells of the tower of St. Martin evokes the only cities in the 15th century held by the Dauphin Charles, 7th: "Orleans, Beaugency, Notre Dame de Clery and Vendôme??"
Market Place: Formerly place Pillory, a place of public execution in the 16th century removed, the Market Square is home to a street widened. To address the traffic problems caused by the market, the city bought and demolished houses. The existing covered market was opened in 1896 and glass in 1981.
The door of the New Bridge: The wooden bridge that connected the city to close the yard of the castle in the 18th century recedes lack of maintenance. The door of the New Bridge control access. It is the only witness to this crossing point between the two walled enclosures. During the sacking of Vendôme November 19, 1589, it is through this gate that engulfed the troops of Henry the fourth, taking the city after their victorious assault the castle.
St. George's Gate: This gate is the only one still in place among the four who controlled access to the city. In 1467, the 8th Earl Jean grants in perpetuity to the aldermen who decide to hold their meeting. The door is decorated with a medallion in the 16th century. The city council meetings and weddings take place again since its restoration in 1959 following a fire linked to the bombing of 1940. The house "Fisseau" next to the Porte Saint-Georges, dated 1947. Fisseau Albert, carpenter companion of duty, has made this wood-framed house with a very ornate dormers.
The Castle in the 17th Century: An engraving of the castle in the 17th century to visualize the extent of improvements ordered by the Duke of Caesar Vendôme. The latter commissioned a ramp and an entrance to the castle open to the outside. Huge house built two centuries earlier, it remains only the base of the towers that dominate the ramp. Down the street is the old farm courtyard of the castle, a sort of safe corridor controlled by gateway. The houses in the street are mostly old houses of the canons of the collegiate castle.
The former collegiate church of Saint-Georges: The castle houses the college from its founding in the 11th century until the 17th century, the tombs of dukes and earls of Vendôme, including those of Joan of Albret and Antoine de Bourbon parents of Henri IV. Regrettably, the dismantling of the castle, after the Revolution, is consistent with that of the shrine of Bourbon Vendôme, already badly strained by two assaults (by the Huguenots in 1562 and 1793 by the revolutionaries). The yew hedges (planted in 1935) realized in situ in terms of the building.
The medieval walls of the Castle: The first fortified in the 11th century is a square tower situated at the northwestern tip of the rocky promontory (outside the current park, private property known as The Master). The medieval walls, the walls are still partly visible, dates from the 12th century. The Tower of Poitiers, main tower, still dominated by the old device size, strengthened in the 14th century. Abandoned by the Dukes of Vendôme, the castle is attached to the crown in 1712 but does not get more attention. In 1791, the castle ruins is confirmed by its sale to various owners. The stately cedar, planted in 1807, testifies to its revival as a leisure park. In March 2001, the collapse of a tower and a portion of the wall explains today the position remains at mid-slope of the embankment.
Markets: Every Friday in the city center and every Sunday in the Rottes district, goods of all kinds fill the stalls. In the town center, producers and market gardeners set up under the covered market built in the pure Baltard style, as well as in the adjacent streets and squares. For the market of the Rotts, they settle avenue Georges Clemenceau.
Festivals and shows: Throughout the year, you can choose from a large number of events. In the spring, "Prokino" festival of German-speaking cinema and the international festival of guitars; In summer, a season of open-air shows, notably "Les Promenades photographiques", meetings of storytellers and "Les Promenades musicales en pays de Vendôme", a new festival organized by the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Young conductors. In October, Vendôme lives at the rhythm of the "Rockomotives", festival of current music recognized for its sense of discovery. In December, find the "Film Festival" which rewards the best short and medium French and European films. The cultural season of Vendôme finally benefits from the technical assets of the theater hall "Le Minotaure" designed by Gaëlle Péneau and inaugurated in 2002. With a capacity of 760 armchairs, this venue welcomes more than 10,000 spectators each year.
Visits, leisure and activities nearby
Not far from Vendôme, the village of Lavardin not to be missed: the imposing ruins of an ancient medieval castle full of history, and the church which contains very old and important (including the covered area!) Murals (late twelfth and fifteenth). Definitely worth a detour, without hesitation!