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Vendôme



A century ago, French writer and traveller André Hallays discovered Vendôme ans described it during a journey “A travers la France”. “At the foot of the hillside, the Loir divides and its narrow branches glide unhurriedly under the stone bridges; then after the outskirts of the town, they rejoin one another and the widened river flows, with long meanders, across opulent meadows. The town is full of large gardens with rustling greenery, from which emerge uneven rooftops, gables, turrets of old dwellings, church bell towers and the superb tower of Trinity Abbey. In the distance, the horizon disappears in fine undulations. This is not yet either the grace of the Touraine, or the elegance of Anjou, but a welcoming, intimate landscape, adorned with vineyards, woods and a charming river…”(written in French ,translation)

 

Vendôme, a town of art and history

Standing on the arms of the Loir, bedecked with flowers, offering a welcome with its monuments and fine houses…. The town of Vendôme (“Vindocinum”, meaning the white mountain) dates from the Gallic period and was later fortified by the Romans. Today 30 000 people live in and around this enterprising town. Vendôme is bordered by gentle hillsides and crisscrossed by the River Loir. A breath-taking view of this town cum garden can be admired from the chateau. In the midst of the greenery arises the magnificent Holy Trinity Abbey. The façade, an outstanding example of the Flamboyant Gothic art was built by Jean de Beauce, architect of the Spire surmounting the Cathedral in Chartres. In the place St Martin timber framed houses flank the pavement cafés under the watchful eye of the statue of Rochambeau, hero of the American war of Independence.

 

The main monuments

The Abbey church, cloister and the Trinity Abbey gardens, town hall (formerly the college of the Oratorians), the St Jacques Chapel, Bourbon Vendôme castle and ancient remparts.

 

Guided tours

The visits are conducted by professional guides approved by the Ministry for Cultural Affairs. Or discover the town by yourself, getting on the right track, an activity for all the family. Free leaflet available at the Tourist Office.

 

Museums

Vendôme museum where you can admire permanent displays with varied themes, history, fine arts ethnography, science, new techniques. Not to be missed: remarkable earthenware objects, furniture dating from the 16C to 19C, Marie-Antoinette’s harp, works by Louis Leygue (a sculptor influenced by the cubist movement). - The Louis Leygue workshop-museum in Naveil. Louis Leygue experimented with many types of materials and techniques creating sculptures of all dimentions. Winner of the Rome Prize in 1931, he bequeathed his works to the town of Vendôme in 1986. (Limited access).

 

Vendôme, an eventful town All along the year….

During the summer season, les “Rendez-vous de l’été” propose free open air concerts in the cloister of the Abbey as well as exhibitions in the St Jacques Chapel. In October, the “Rockomotives” present a whole week of alternative fringe/music concerts (rock, pop, electronic music). December sees the return of the Vendôme Film Festival, a national and European competition for short and medium length films.