The charming unspoiled village of Bazoges-en-Pareds is situated in the Bas Bocage region of the Vendée approximately 12 km south-east of Chantonnay.

 The donjon at Bazoges-en-Pareds

The Medieval donjon at Bazoges-en-Pareds

On approaching this tranquil village from almost any direction, one can’t help but be impressed by the 14th century Medieval Donjon (Keep) which lies at its heart surroundedby a moat. It was constructed during the Hundred Years War around 1380. This huge tower of honey coloured stone with its little pointed watchtower at one corner is all that remains of Bazoges medieval garden viewed from top of donjonthe 14th century chateau which must once have stood on the site.

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Although the five floors of the interior of the donjon have been fully restored and sparsely furnished with armour, oak chests, four poster beds and tapestries, the main reason for visiting here must be the fantastic panoramic view of the Vendée countryside which can be enjoyed from all four sides of the watch or sentry-path which runs round the top of the tower. In the summer evenings, the donjon is often beautifully illuminated.
From the ramparts of the donjon, there is also a superb view of the medieval garden which lies below across the courtyard and which can also be visited being included in the ticket price. This garden was created by a former mayor in 1994 and therein you will find aromatic plants, herbs, medicinal plants, fruits and vegetables growing in wattle Medieval Garden at Bazoges-en-Pareds Vendéeedged beds – all of which would have been grown in medieval times. These are ‘presided over’ by a lovely old 16th century circular dovecote (fuie). The medieval garden is accessible for wheelchairs and is a treat for the senses with its wonderful and memorable fragrances.

 View from the medieval donjon

View of Medieval Garden from top of donjon

Medieval Garden at Bazoges-en-Pareds

Medieval Garden at Bazoges-en-Pareds

Another feature across the courtyard from the donjon is the small museum which is known as the ‘Musee D’arts et Traditions Populaires’ . This miscellany of objects associated with Vendée country life is set out in a barn and consists of farm machinery and an assortment of traps suitable for catching everything from mice to men! Donjon Photo Gallery Exterior

Donjon Photo Gallery Interior

Also of note in Bazoges-en-Pareds

L’Église Notre Dame de l’Assomption

A medieval church (photo below right) of which the earliest remnants date from around the end of the 11th century (in the surrounding wall of the donjon) although only two elements of this remain: the crypt which was reshaped in the 19th century and the bell tower which has also been restored later on.L’église Notre Dame de l’Assomption

Les Festoyeries

Open air fair held in the medieval garden usually in early June featuring arts and crafts and also plants

L'Église Notre Dame de l'Assomption

L’Église Notre Dame de l’Assomption

Nocturnes au Donjon

These are torchlit evenings which take place usually in July and August around the donjon and naturally these are based on historical themes.

The Restaurant

The Auberge du Donjon is pretty much opposite the donjon itself and serves sophisticated food in a beautifully restored stone house. Menus make use of the same herbs, spices and vegetables to be found in the medieval garden. The restaurant tends to close on Monday and Tuesday evenings and also on Wednesdays so it’s best to phone to check opening times.