Vue sur la forêt et le lac de Mervent - Fontenay-Vendée - 85
©Julien Gazeau pour Vendée Expansion
In the forest of Mervent-Vouvant,

The secret places of Mervent

Discover the secrets places of Mervent. During a walk, go see the remarkable trees, the panoramic views, or the unusual sites of the forest like the forgotten castle, the civil engineering structure or even the hermit’s cave.

The remarkable trees


The three remarkable trees are the flag bearers of the forest. They are the “5 jumeaux” oak, the “Marinier” oak and the “à l’Ermite” oak.

The “5 jumeaux” oak

Most likely the weirdest tree of the forest, this oak grew 5 big shoots from the same trunk. Now, its shoots have been transformed into sculpture thanks to the artist Sebastien Krampe who gave it a second life. In its clearing, it seems to be honouring the forest spirits.

The “Marinier” oak

Did you know that Jean-Baptiste Colbert (Minister of Louis XIV) took some of the trees from the forest of Mervent to build warships for the armada of Rochefort ? Since the century-old oaks were limited, he decided to plant new one afterwards. The “Marinier” oak was saved from shipbuilding, it is a witness of that time. This 300-year-old oak, measuring 32 meters, is part of the national forest inventory.

The “à l’Ermite” oak

Also called the “tree of the hanged”, it reminds us of the dreadful abuses made during the Religion Wars.

The deluge bridge


At the heart of the forest, there is a bridge that was built in the 19th century to make logging easier.

Under this bridge of 22 meters flows a stream name “des verreries” that dries off during summer.

You will be able to see letters on one of the stones. They are the initials of the engineer who directed the work: Arsène de Villeneuve.


the most beautiful panoramic views

The castle of “La Citardière”


Surrounded by moats and with a drawbridge decorated with gargoyles, the castle was the residence of the baron de Chantoizeau. He was a famous frightening bandit of the area.

Now of course the castle is far more welcoming. We especially like it because of its beautiful architecture which reflects on the water of the moat. It is a very photogenic place, but also a private site.

Father De Montfort’s cave


Father De Montfort was a missionary; he was canonised in 1947 by the Pope Pie XII. During his life, he created three religious orders. He meditated in a cave of the forest in 1715.

This cave on the Pierre Brune plateau became a very popular pilgrimage site.

In the cave, you will find some ex-voto and altar candles, a chapel and a calvary.