NOIRMOUTIER-EN-L’ÎLE HISTORICAL CENTERA HERITAGE FULL OF TREASURES
AN OVERVIEW OF THE AREA: FOLLOW THE GUIDE!
As you leave the Tourist Information Office, you can admire the Hôtel Jacobsen, a gorgeous home with remarkable architecture, built in 1760. From May to September, you can explore this private manor and its history on a guided tour. You will then come to the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville. The town hall’s square is in the middle of the shopping area on the Grande Rue. Next, you will find the 11th century castle towering above you. Listed as a historical monument in 1994, its keep now houses a museum containing the different collections of Noirmoutier heritage since the prehistoric era. From the top of its ramparts, you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the town and the ocean. Now you’re in front of Saint Philbert Church. It boasts a crypt dating from the 11th century and the tomb of Saint Philibert, who laid the foundations for the island’s economy. After that, you can explore the Banzeau District, one of the oldest on the island. Populated in the 11th century by residents working for the abbey, it would go on to accommodate sailors during the 17th century. The back streets lined with hollyhock and pretty white houses with colourful shutters imbue the district with a picturesque character. A little further on, after walking along the port’s quays, you will arrive at the entrance to the Jacobsen Jetty. As you stroll along the salt pan, you will see Müllembourg Nature Reserve to your left, with its salterns and wild marshes, and on your right, a small ship graveyard. You can also take advantage of the many outdoor seating areas of restaurants and cafés in the center of Noirmoutier, for a relaxing break with a beverage or a tasty meal.
Noirmoutier historical center - Joncheray
A QUICK HISTORY LESSON
- In 1794, the church was used as a prison for the 1,500 inhabitants of the Vendée who were massacred during the War in the Vendée.
- The old Hôtel Lebreton de Grapillières, a gorgeous 18th century private manor, became a tourist hotel called Hôtel du Général d’Elbée.
- The town hall was rebuilt in 1884 in an exact copy of the merchant houses of the 18th century, losing only its belfry in the process.
ENJOY UNIQUE EXPERIENCES
FANCY A CULTURAL OUTING? HEAD TO LES SALORGES!
Located in Noirmoutier’s town center, in an old salt barn, Les Salorges cultural center offers a rich and varied programme of events all year long, including exhibitions, performances and cultural encounters. The center is there to meet the artistic needs not only of the town, but of the whole island. It hosts concerts, plays, dance performance and more. The theatre can hold up to 395 spectators and is accessible by people with reduced mobility. Les Salorges cultural center also has its own exhibition hall. Each summer, several artists display their work in this unusual space fitted with traditional picture rails.
Held during the first three weeks of August for the last 23 years, the Noirmoutier Theatre Festival is one of the major cultural events of the summer on Noirmoutier Island. It draws more than 6,000 spectators annually. From the beginning, the idea was to stage the classics for the public, but also more contemporary pieces. The programme is mostly theatrical, but also includes circus arts, dancing, clowns and music. More than 200 shows have been put on in 23 years.
Balade sur la jetée Jacobsen - Alexandre Lamoureux
BY BICYCLE: A RIDE ON THE ROMANTIC JETTY
Highlights: Peace and quiet, the space to ride side by side, the romanticism of sunrise and sunset, and the aromas of nature.
The route begins in front of the castle. From there, take Jacobsen Jetty along the port until you reach Fort Larron. You will then skirt the Plage des Sableaux beach before losing yourself in the back streets of the Banzeau District, bringing you back to the foot of the château. Jacobsen Jetty is the high point of the tour: the superb promontory opens up onto the salterns and Müllembourg Nature Reserve on one side and Patrimoine Port on the other. Early birds can watch the sun rise over Bourgneuf Bay at the end of the jetty. In the evening, lovers will surrender to the fiery sunset as they face the port.