The municipality is first mentioned in 904 in an act of theabbey of Saint-Maixent as the Vicaria Calriacinse. THE Poitevin Protestantism, anchored in Chauray from 1559, was the victim in the XNUMXth century of the Dragonnades like Jacques Chalmotlord of the castle of Deffends, forced to accommodate the king's soldiers, then forced into exile in The Hague where he wrote his memoirs (1650 pages preserved in the library of the Société du Protestantisme Français). In the middle of the 600th century, there were 900 Calvinists out of XNUMX inhabitants. Protestant temple was built in 1854 from a plan drawn up by a Parisian architect. To recall this historical past, the municipal coat of arms borrows that of Jacques Chalmot.
Rural village yesterday, located at the top of a hill overlooking the Sèvre Niortaise and close to the A10 and the A83, the commune of Chauray is home to major national brands such as Mutuelles d'assurances and has become the second economic center of the Niort Chauray conurbation.
It is also a range of public services and facilities: an aquatic center, a media library, a music school, an early childhood structure, stadiums, a village hall, two sports halls.
Of 1988 2010 to, with the help of the Niort architect Hervé Beaudouin, she undertook a major redevelopment and identification project for the old town center. Old Chauray thus retains its original simplicity and the circuit of Banks of Sèvre, reserved for walkers (pedestrians, cycles, riders, geocaching, cycle route V94) over 3,7 km in a rural and shady setting: development of seven hectares of meadows in paths et enhancement of small heritage (medieval bridge, the Sablière washhouse, the Chemin Vieux, etc., mini-deer park). This development was financed by the 1% landscape and development from the construction of the A 83 (landscape enhancement, economic and tourist development of areas crossed by a motorway).
The municipality holds the national label Towns and Villages in Bloom of the label Town and Village welcoming vintage vehicles, from the label European city.
The city offers a Foodtruck Festival, referenced at the national level. Every year it is held in mid-September, around fifty food trucks offering world cuisine, and a diverse and very popular musical program. It’s the big gathering of Chraitians and amateurs.

What to see in Chauray?

01. St. Peter's Church

His surname indicates a Carolingian creation. In the Middle Ages, its cure was appointed by the prior of Saint-Gelais. The church was undoubtedly remodeled at the end of the Middle Ages. Of the fragments of Gothic style architecture remain. During the Wars of Religion, it was partly destroyed by the Protestants and purchased by Pierre Corbin to the Revolution. In 1843, it was given to the town, then rebuilt in 1882, except for its bell tower. The monument was registered in 1991 and restored a year later. The paving is lowered close to its original level to reveal the base of the buttress columns of the apse. The building is composed of a single nave with three bays. The north chapel has a font arranged in such a way as to create a baptismal space. Its apse has a cul-de-four vault. The stained glass windows date from the end of the XNUMXth century. A roundel is added in the axial glass roof where the bust of Saint Peter with the keys, titular of the church, appears. A stone decorated with a cross, itself inscribed in a circle incised with saw teeth, is reused in the south wall, to the right of the entrance. Its origin is perhaps pre-Romanesque.

Chauray town hall
Chauray town hall

02. The Temple of Chauray

In 1844, the town allocates part of the Protestant cemetery for the elevation of the building. Its construction is possible ten years later thanks to a municipal subscription, an extraordinary tax and a state subsidy. His plan is clover shaped. The temple was abandoned in 1970, but in 1988 the city obtained a financial commitment for its rehabilitation during the visit of the Minister of Culture François Léotard. Since 1989, the monument, managed by the municipality, has been a venue for exhibitions and concerts. Its restoration dates from 1990.

03. Geocaching Tèrra-Aventura: “Well-kept secrets of Sèvre”

Walking discovery trail of 4,5 km (more than 2 hours) in the company of Zeïdon, on the theme of Poitevin Protestantism and its clandestine assemblies. Possibility of borrowing it in a stroller!

Recommended parking before starting your adventure: N46°21.633'/W000°22.419'
For your safety, this circuit includes a 1 km round trip portion.

Chauray town hall

Market days

  • Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (various products: fish and seafood, locally produced vegetables, fruits, cheeses, honey, bread and pastries, etc.)
  • Sunday from 9 p.m. to 12 p.m. (Oysters and shellfish, vegetables in spring, summer and fall, Creole cuisine, and a few others depending on the season)
    Where: 113 Rue des Combes, 79180 Chauray
    Contact : [email protected]

Other points of interest to see:

  • Sèvre Niortaise Valley: medieval bridge, the Sablière washhouse, the Chemin Vieux, mini-deer park
  • Chaban Castle from the 19th century (Gothic chapel)
  • The Roche du Montet (19th century bourgeois residence)
  • Protestant cemeteries
  • The memorial André Bellot

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