Tourist site: Sanxay Gallo-Roman site

Return of blog posts about the sites I want to visit, tourist site: Sanxay Gallo-Roman

This one, not far from the Puits d’Enfer, is located in Sanxay, in the Vienne department, at 1.5 km from the departmental border with the Deux-Sèvres department.

Then this tourist site: Sanxay Gallo-Roman is located halfway between Poitiers (around thirty km away) and Niort (around fifty km away) on the Seuil du Poitou.
[To get there from the A10 motorway, take exit 31, St Maixent toll]

On the banks of the Vonne river, this site a place of worship and festivities.

Probably, then, devoted to the two deities Apollo and Mercury, known gods of healing and deities of water.

It combines an amphitheater, also thermal baths and a sanctuary out of twenty of hectares.

This agglomeration was built on the territory of the Celtic Gauls Picton between the 1st and the 4th century AD by the Romans.

Gallo-Roman Site, Sanxay, Poitou. A Sanctuary, a Thermal Complex and an Amphitheater
On the banks of the Vonne river, near Sanxay, this site a place of worship and festivities, probably devoted to the two deities Apollo and Mercury
  • At first sight the sanctuary, built from the 2nd century, has the shape of a Greek cross, characteristic of this period. It was built on the ruins of an ancient celtic temple, abandoned during the 4th century BC.
  • Then the amphitheater could accommodate 6,500 people, and leans against a natural hill.
  • The thermal baths, are them also built from the 2nd century on, measure 360 ​​feet x 196 feet.

A remarkable site from 1 900 years ago, dating from Antiquity.

You could be also interested by this post Gallic helmets

Google map (There are pretty numerous sites and different periods in a certain radius around here)

Sources :

Tourisme-Vienne, here you will find more about this Gallo-Roman site in Sanxay, then the heritage sites located in the department
Pictones, this Gallic tribe is located south of the Loire river, in the modern départements of Vendée, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Greek cross ✚ is made with arms of equal length. One of the most common Christian forms, in common use by the 4th century. (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Tourist site: Le Puits d’Enfer

Among the tourist sites I already wanted to visit this site: Le Puits d’Enfer; a hike is located at this site.

Geolocated about twenty km south of Parthenay and north-east of Niort, in the opposite direction from the Marais Poitevin, which is connected to the Atlantic ocean, and touches the western gates of Niort, is this ride, in Deux-Sèvres.
[not far from the A10 motorway towards Bordeaux, and the junction with the A83 towards Nantes]

Southern tip of the Gâtine massif, making the geological link between the granite hills and the limestone plains, called ‘Seuil’ or ‘Passage’ du Poitou, this site probably overlook the Sèvre Niortaise valley.

There are: a culminating point, a rock chaos, a stream and a waterfall, surrounding vegetation including a tree classified as “remarkable”; bonus: hiking paths with stairs, enough to take deep breaths of chlorophyll, in peace, far from the crowds.

Map of western France.Southern tip of the Gâtine massif: le Puits d Enfer
Map of western France, Poitou terroir.
Southern tip of the Gâtine massif, tourist site: Le Puits d Enfer
Remarkable Tree of Puits d Enfer
Remarkable Tree of Puits d Enfer, this ancient pollard oak is 250 years old and has a waist circumference of 13 feet. Elected “tree of the year” by the Poitou-Charentes region in 2015
Hiking stairs at Puits d Enfer
Hiking stairs at Puits d Enfer, surrounded by trees look great
Hiking stairs at Puits d Enfer
Hiking stairs at Puits d Enfer, surrounded by trees look green
The stream Puits d Enfer
The stream Puits d Enfer, with rocks
Waterfall at Puits d Enfer
Waterfall at Puits d Enfer, and the stream

Below, you will find on the map  Le Puits d’Enfer, with these GPS coordinates

Note: There is another interesting site with a similar name, on the coast with seashore paths, in Les Sables d’Olonne, in the department of Vendée.

Le Puits d Enfer in Les Sables d'Olonne, in the Vendée department, on the coast
Le Puits d Enfer in Les Sables d’Olonne, in the Vendée department, on the coast
Sources :
  • Sites

Tourisme Deux-Sèvres, Le Puits d’Enfer – Site: Le Puits d’Enfer

Commune d’Exireuil – Site: Le Puits d’Enfer

onetwotrips: Deux-Sèvres, Rando Le Puits d’Enfer

Les Sables d’Olonne, Le Puits d’Enfer

Tourist site: Mont des Avaloirs

In the list of tourist sites that I already wanted to visit before, let’s go in the direction of Swiss Normandy to the Site: Mont des Avaloirs, this granite relief, this time located in the North-West of France, and which is located the northern end of the Mayenne department and at the edge of the Orne department.

This mount rises to an altitude of 416.30 meters, exactly, without doubt the highest peak in the North-West and in all of Western France (in the South-West, there are the Pyrenees), just in front of the ‘Signal d’Écouves’, 413 m, a few kilometers further north in the Orne.

Relief map of France, established by Paul Vidal de La Blache in 1918

Mont des Avaloirs, altitude 416,30 m, located the northern end of the Mayenne department

[See the GPS coordinates of Mont des Avaloirs on the deconfinement map]

Mont des Avaloirs belvedere. Altitude 416.30 meters.

A belvedere has been built on the Site: ‘Mont des Avaloirs’ to contemplate the landscape on the horizon.
A clear sky will probably be expected to satisfy the observation of the panorama, as well as for a possible walk in the Normandy-Maine Regional Natural Park just around.

In addition, a list of the different reliefs marking a significant altitude of the sector:
  • South of Mont des Avaloirs, from the border with the Sarthe department

– Butte de la Frette, 293 m, with the N-E extension, 292 m, then
– Col de la Croix Lamare, 273 m, then 287 m
– mont Rochard, 357 m
– mont de Saule, 328 m
– Signal de Villepail, 355 m
– Corniche de Pail, 382 m
– Perseigne belvedere, 341 m

  • North of Mont des Avaloirs

– Butte Chaumont, 378 m
– mont Ormel, 262 m
– mont Hurel, 259 m
– Further west, mont Margentin, 270 m
– mont Gérôme, 304 m
– Signal de Charlemagne, 345 m
– mont Brûlé, 307 m
– mont de Cerisy, 246 m
– And a few more, grouped between Flers, Vire and Avranches, as well as further north, toward the Channel sea, not far from another famous tourist site, Mont Saint-Michel.

Sources :
  • Wikipedia d’Écouves

  • Cartography

Sites: the birthplace and the Tomb of Clemenceau

To start this series of blog posts on the tourist sites I wanted to visit before, here is the birthplace of Georges Clemenceau in Vendée, probably the most famous Vendéen to date. It is located in the town of Mouilleron-en-Pareds in the department of Vendée (85).

This was the house from his mother’s family, while he grew up, later, in the town of Mouchamps, at his father’s house, located near their tombs.

Also it should be noted that this house in Mouilleron-en-Pareds has become a museum, and that this “national Clemenceau-de-Lattre museum“. It is also composed of the birthplace of Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, near, in another street in the same town.

The two men each had a preponderant role for France during the two world wars. Clemenceau having won the nickname “Father of victory” during the war 14-18.

Birthplace Clemenceau museum
Clemenceau's birthplace in Mouilleron-en-pareds[See the GPS coordinates of Clemenceau’s birthplace on the deconfinement map]
Georges Clemenceau around 1865Georges Clemenceau on a photography around 1865
Portrait of Georges Clemenceau by Edouard ManetPortrait of Clemenceau, painted by Edouard Manet


Clemenceau, then Minister of the Interior in 1907 is also nicknamed “the Tiger”; he thus participated in creating the Tiger Brigades

Clemenceau, police logo

Also, not far from Mouilleron-en-Pareds is the Georges Clemenceau in Vendée, a few km further north-west, at Mouchamps, in the town of his father’s origin. Father and son are buried there together.

Tomb of Clemenceau, in Mouchamps[See the GPS coordinates of the Tomb of Clemenceau in Mouchamps on the deconfinement map]

Tomb of Clemenceau, in Mouchamps
Tomb of Clemenceau in Mouchamps


Then, if you feel like it, and if the distance to the Atlantic Ocean allows it, there is also the house by the sea, where he retired, in Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard, on the Vendée coast.

Seaside house in Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard, in the Vendée departmentSeaside house in Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard, in the Vendée department
Seaside house in Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard, in the Vendée department[See the GPS coordinates of the Clemenceau seaside house on the deconfinement map]


Sources :
  • Musee Clemenceau-de-Lattre
  • Wikipedia
Georges_Clemenceau, (Wikipedia)
Tomb of Georges Clemenceau in Vendée (Wikipedia)
Edouard Manet, the famous painter (Wikipedia)
Claude Monet, the famous painter, friend of Clemenceau (Wikipedia)
  • Seaside house
Maison de clemenceau/en His great friend, the Impressionist painter Claude Monet helped Georges Clemenceau to create at his seaside house the beautifully colourful garden on the dune.
  • Cartography about tourist sites ‘radius of 100 km’

I am going to start a series of posts on the sites that I already wanted to visit beforehand. about tourist sites ‘Within a radius of 100 km’, for now.

[Edit June 2020: this list about tourist sites will continue, although the limitation is lifted. Actually the fact remains that 100 km correspond to 3/4 h – 1 hour and a half, depending on the quality of the communication axes; and then you never know, if the epidemic returns, it can always be useful]

“but which, at the moment, are too far as the crow flies for my current geolocation.

I will use this site ‘Confinement: map of the exit area’ (at this address: to quickly assess the area affected by the 100 km limit. Thus everyone can check who is able to get there from his home.

(It is possible to move within a radius of 100 km as the crow flies from your vacation in France during deconfinement. Or more than 100 km, provided you stay within the territorial limits of your department)”

While waiting, of course, to be able to go there later as I had planned! 😉

Here is a pretty good old map by famous french geographer Paul Vidal de La Blache; about the main rivers and streams in France.

Carte Paul Vidal de La Blache - Les Cours d Eau de France

Further, I add more here than ‘ about tourist sites’ with a list of historic sites that I had drawn up on twitter; (use ‘translate’, it works fine). Also, there’s a serie of tweet about cycling, funny facts and informations, ranking, cities and lanes in France, and around, abroad: