Fontenay-le-Comte - patrimoine - rivière Vendéedecouverte-destination-fontenay-le-comte.mp4


The Renaissance City

A favourite of the Guide Michelin since 2020, the city of Fontenay-le-Comte also has several quality labels like “Ville d’art et d’histoire” (City of Art and History) or even “Plus Beaux Détours de France” (Most beautiful detours of France). It selects the best destinations far away from the major tourist routes. Those labels highlight the fact that Fontenay-le-Comte tries to preserve its heritage and its dolce vita.

Fontenay-le-Comte - patrimoine - rivière Vendée
©Alexandre Lamoureux

Discover the historical centre

Renaissance houses

In the 16th century, Fontenay-le-Comte was living its golden age, some of the most beautiful buildings of the city were constructed at that time. A lot of them are private mansions such as “La Maison Billaud”, “L’hôtel de la Sénéchaussée”,” L’hôtel Grimouard”, or “La maison Beaux-Esprits”.

On the Belliard square, you can see a house with arches that is a reminder of this glorious era.

Fountain of the “Quatre Tias”

This beautiful fountain became the symbol of the city. It is decorated with a triangular pediment and an arch, which you can look to from under by going down the stairs. Water flows through 4 pipes that where its name comes from.

While walking around the city, you will see an old timber-framing house in the street “Rue des Loges”. That house is the oldest one in Fontenay-le-Comte.

If you speak a little bit of French, you may notice that the street names are often linked to old trade guild like draper street, tanner street, or goldsmith street.

Two cultural sites you must-see

Terre-Neuve Castle and the city museum

Built at the end of the 16th century by the poet Nicolas Rapin, Terre-Neuve Castle is an architectural jewel of the French Renaissance. The main living room is decorated with pieces that came from Chambord Castle while some golden suns were originally in Louis XIV’s bedroom.

The museum is placed inside the former presbytery of Notre-Dame church. It possesses a rich collection of Gallo-roman’s artefacts, and the gallery also exposes painting of Vendean’s artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The strange stroll of Fontenay-le-Comte


The strange stroll of Fontenay-le-Comte is an adventure with an audio guide that will show you the city under a new light. The equipment will track your progression by GPS across the city and the small voice will guide you bit by bit.

Though the street of the city, follow the voice. It will lead you and introduce you to several characters who, once upon a time, walked across Fontenay. Those people are known as the “Fontenautes.”