Pays de la Loire Section

Chateau de Commequiers, demolished by order of King Louis XIII

[wce_code id=1]

Commequiers before the castle

The Chateau de Commequiers is located in La Douve, on the outskirts of town.

Modern day Commequiers might come across as small and understated, but it was surprisingly quite important during the Middle Ages.

The first traces of occupation go back to pre-history, as attested by the (still standing) menhir and dolmen located in the municipality.

However, the village starred to expand two thousand years ago, when the Romans built a fortified camp on a small mound in present day La Douve.

This ancient fort even left its name in the village, which was then know as 'Quid me Quaeris' - Why do you ask me?

The Viscount of Thouars erected the first fortress in the 10th century in order to protect the inhabitants from the Norman invasions.

His authority extended then to the whole of Northern Vendée.

Commequiers was indeed the capital of a vast seigniory that commanded many fiefdoms.

However, nothing is left of this fortress and its exact location has even been lost!

Louis XIII pulls down the castles of the Protestant lords of Vendee

Louis de Beaumont built the current fortress in the late 15th - early 16th century.

Many families then owned the Chateau de Commequiers.

The last owners were the Protestants lords of La Tremoille, during the Wars of Religion.

In 1622 Louis XIII’s army encamped at Commequiers.

The soldiers were indeed on their way to Notre-Dame-de-Riez and Saint-Gilles down the road, where they defeated the Protestants troops.

The Catholic king then ordered the destruction of all the castles belonging to Protestants.

The Chateau de Commequiers was therefore demolished in 1628.

The countless breaches in the curtain wall sadly show the extent of the destruction.

However, the eight massive round towers are still standing.

Commequiers was built according to a model of the Bastille Fortress, on an hexagonal plan, a complex architecture then quite unique in France.

Preserving the Chateau de Commequiers

The three-storey ruined fortress has since been restored but not rebuilt.

It still proudly stands on an islet and reflects its impressive silhouette in the water of its moat.

However, nothing is left of the second enclosure.

Encompassed within palisades, it contained a multitude of outbuildings and a garrison in charge of the castle's defense.

Commequiers was fortunately listed Historical Monument in 1926.

The municipality of Commequiers acquired the site in the 1960s and the Amis du Vieux chateau de Commequiers have since looked after it.

Are you interested in contributing to a good cause and helping the association* raise further funds to preserve and maintain this little corner of French Heritage?

Department of Vendée - Commequiers
Coordinates: Lat 46.766301 - Long -1.831455


Your Comments
Apremont castle and park

November 30 2019

Apremont castle, Vendée’s first Renaissance Chateau

The castle of Apremont, today mainly in ruins, was built by a childhood friend of Francois I and was thus the first Renaissance castle of Vendée
Poitevin Marsh waterway

May 30 2018

Poitevin Marsh, the Green Venice

Poitevin Marsh, the second largest wetland in France, is known as Green Venice, a lush green marsh you discover by punts that gently glide on man-made waterways nestled under the tree canopies
Chateau de Commequiers

August 28 2017

Chateau de Commequiers, demolished by order of King Louis XIII

Chateau de Commequiers, the fortress of the Protestant lords of La Tremoille was demolished by king Louis XIII at the end of the Wars of Religion
Moulin de Raire

August 17 2017

Moulin de Rairé, a windmill in constant use since 1555

Moulin de Raire in Sallertaine, a windmill that has constantly turned and been exclusively powered by the force of the wind since its construction in 1555
Translate »
Scroll to Top