Commune of Chéneché

The 300 inhabitants of this peaceful village will give you a warm welcome during your vacation in the Departement of La Vienne. You can see some old chateaux like the Chateau de Les Sept Tours surrounded by a moat. This chateau belonged to prestigious French families, such as Gilles de Rais, Joan of Arc’s war comrade, who had inspired in Charles Perrault the character of Barbe Bleue. Today the town-hall is located in one of the seven towers.
 
Some wealthy houses and even manors will certainly attract your attention (for example: the Castle of La Barum and its wonderful dovecote). There were formerly three religious buildings in Chéneché, two churches and a priory. Today there is only a church (Church Saint Vincent) and the priory’s porch. The Church Saint Vincent dates from the 10th century and the front of the church consists of a square bell tower surmounted by a steeple and strengthened by stone pillars.
 
The church had two bells, one on these dates from 1573 and was donated by Gabrielle de Mareuil, the widow of Nicolas d’Anjou. The presbytery is still there today.
 
 
 
Church Saint Vincent
Previously, there were three religious buildings, two churches and one priory. Today there is only one church and the porch of the priory. The Church Saint Vincent dates from the 10th century, it is dedicated to Saint Vincent (also called “Saint  Braillou” who was renowned for curing colic and fear. The front of the church consists of a square bell tower strengthened by stone pillars and surmounted by a steeple.
 
The door, dating from 13th century, is surmounted by a Gothic window. The nave is divided into four parts by three columns on each side. It is lit by four windows set into the very thick walls. The chancel has three windows, the two narrowest surrounding the back stained-glass window. The church has two bells, one of them dates from 1573 and was given by Gabrielle de Mareuil, the widow of Nicolas d' Anjou and she also donated a bell to the Church Saint-Etienne from Marigny-Brizay.
 
 
 
The Castle of Les Sept Tours :
From the 13th century the name of "Castrum Chinipiacum" appears. In fact this castrum was erected on an ancient burial tumulus, which we can see in the centre of the village. Two fortresses, the feudal castle of Les Sept Tours and the Castle of Grisse (unfortunately now demolished), were built during the 10th century by two wealthy families and gave Chéneché a prestige which lasted until the French Revolution.
 
These families were: De Chéneché, Chauvigny, De Beaucay, De Craon, De Laval, a Gilles de Rais, comrade of Joan of Arc, who had inspired in Perrault his character of Barbe Bleue, and Mesgnigny, the last descendant Jean-Henri de Chasteigner was guillotined in 1793. 
 
There are always the 7 towers of the castle of Les Sept Tours: the municipality possesses four of them, among which one shelters the city-hall and another one the library. Moats have been restored.
 
 
 

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