Orangerie du château de La Mothe Saint Héray
La Mothe Saint-Héray

This multimedia tour will guide you through the history and heritage of La Mothe-Saint-Héray and the Mellois area using videos, audio commentary and quizzes about the Sèvre Niortaise river, La Mothe-Saint-Héray castle and Protestantism in the Mellois area.

3 km
Departure :
Landscape, garden and agricultural heritage

This charming little waterway is actually a coastal river that we invite you to explore here in a video. Out of all of its many mills, we stop to spend time at the one by which this tour starts: Moulin l’Abbé mill, the mechanisms of which are still working.

Religious buildings and communities

Take time for a break to understand how Protestantism spread widely and became established in the long term in the Mellois area, starting from the 16th century. This is also an opportunity to revisit the origin of this religious reform movement.


You are in front of the outer courtyard of a castle that is no longer here today. Here, we will tell you about the main events that marked its history, from its creation to its demolition in the 19th century.


You are facing the Orangerie belonging to the former castle. This is an opportunity to discover what the castle would have looked like in the 18th century and how it was located at the centre of its annexes and grounds, thanks to CGI reconstructions.

Memory and destinies of men

In this area, which was strongly affected by Protestantism, the Wars of Religion were particularly devastating for both sides. Look over the images of this complex and turbulent history.

Religious buildings and communities

The many Protestant churches in the Mellois area, as well as other more subtle indicators, show the significance that the reformed religion continued to have in the area after the end of the dragonnades policy.


This space, located in the former castle gardens, has had a specific function since the end of the 19th century. Do you know what this is?


This circular building is a dovecote. Guess the number of nesting boxes (or nesting holes) that it has.

Religious buildings and communities

The Mellois area is renowned for its Romanesque churches, but the 15th and 16th centuries also left their mark on some buildings. This video sequence will give you a synopsis of Flamboyant-style Gothic elements and wall murals from this period.

Traditions and beliefs

You are standing in front of the Maison des Rosières. This major traditional festival, which blesses the marriages of particularly well-respected young Catholic women, is still continued today in La Mothe-Saint-Héray. Listen to the story of this tradition.


La Mothe-Saint-Héray has its own original recipe for fouace, a delicious brioche bread inherited from a long tradition of baking. But from what meaning does the term “fouace” derive?


You are in Place de l’Abbé Jallet. During which major French event did this figure, born in La Mothe-Saint-Héray, become famous?

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