Foussais-Payré - patrimoine prieuré
©Alexandre Lamoureux


A small renaissance city

Not far from the forest of Mervent-Vouvant, go back in time by discovering the “Petites cités de caractère” that is Foussais-Payré. A renaissance village, where architecture is a witness to its booming economy of that period. Now, the village heritage has a lot to unveil if you know where to look for.

Foussais-Payré - Sculptures à la Tronçonneuse
©David Herbreteau

Fontenay’s younger sister

Discover its renaissance architecture


Foussais-Payré particularly grew in the 16th century thanks to the work of the cloth merchants like drapers, tanners, or weavers. They left some remarkable houses like Merchant François Laurens’s house for example.

On the “boule d’or” square, the covered market gives evidence of all the fairs and weekly markets that were held there. They were established by Henri IV and gave rhythm to the village’s life. The religious heritage of Foussais-Payré is also very present especially with the Romanesque “Saint-Hilaire” church and its beautiful doorway, the Protestant temple or the priory that now holds the City Hall.

An artistic soul

Sculpture of wood

Every 2 years in July, a symposium of chainsaw sculpture is held (next one scheduled in 2024).

This event attracts chainsaw woodcarver from all over France who give a second life to the trees. The most impressive pieces are exposed in the village.

Since you can admire them all year long, it’s a great opportunity to come back to Foussais-Payré.

Activities with chocolate


Christophe Moreau, a chocolate maker of Foussais-Payré, offers some activities to learn how to make chocolate. He loves to share his passion, his work with people, so let yourself be tented by that unusual experience.