Situated south of the marshes et in the middle of a strip of plain crisscrossed by the valleys of numerous riversMauseacum, Mauzé in Latin, means placed in the middle of the watersAt the crossroads of Poitou and Aunis, at the southern end of Deux-Sèvres and bordering Charente-Maritime, a TOLL work on the banks of the Mignon from the Gallo-Roman era until 1724. Built on a hill, to the east of seigniorial castleMedieval city is well equipped and fortified with ditches, drawbridges and two gates closing at their ends a narrow and winding street. The urban wall, which protects two churches and several priories, was demolished in 1542 in order to no longer pay the heavy contribution owed by the fortified towns to the royal treasury. In the 1682th century, Protestants were numerous and powerful (Baron Gillier, Lord of Mauzé, most lawyers, merchants and artisans). From 1685 to XNUMX, the schoolmaster Jean Migault takes refuge at Breuil-Barrabin, district of Mauzé, near the temple, where he taught and wrote, it is said, part of his famous journal. But, faced with the arrival of the dragons of the steward Demuin, he fled through the dry bed of the river and initially hid in the woods... Crossed by the Royal Route Poitiers-Rochefort, the small town, which became the 61st horse post relay, was reborn in the 18th century by developing the trade in wines and spirits. But the phylloxera crisis forced many coopers and wheelwrights to emigrate at the end of the 19th century. With the progress of agriculture and livestock breeding, flour mills and dairy cooperatives. After 1945, new neighborhoods appeared: la Gare, le Perroquet, Lagain, la Filerie, la Pierrière… At the beginning of the 70s, a retirement home, a new school (today René Caillié college), a municipal swimming pool were built and Petit-Breuil-Deyrançon is attached to Mauzé. Today, the peaceful town resembles an almond bordered by the railway and the RN 11 bypass (the royal road for summer transhumance towards the Charente islands). In 2018, she obtained the Healthy Earth (3 butterflies) and Flowery Village (1 flower) labels ; in 2019, that of Organic territory engaged.

What to see in Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon?

01. The port and towpath of Mignon

The lord of Mauzé had land carved out in 1315 to create a port. Angered by this direct competition, the notables of La Rochelle begged King Louis X the Hutin to prohibit the digging. What is his response? No one knows ! In 1714, the ordinary engineer and geographer of the king Claude Masse visited the port of Chaban and Mauzé which is threatened with ruin by the drying out of the marshes of vix and Choupeau. A project for a canal, haulage and paved slipway was examined in 1808 by Napoleon I in Bayonne. From 1 to 1843, the Mignon canal was developed from the Bazoin lock to the port of Gueux (near Sazay), then extended from 1880 to 1883 to Mauzé to connect the town to the sea by the Sèvre Niortaise and allow the transport by barge and barge of wood, wine, flour, market garden products and fabrics. It was inaugurated in 1886. Quickly competing with rail, then road, the largest port in the Green Venice is soon abandoned. Traffic reigned there until 1923. In 1996, it was rehabilitated as part of the Major Works of Poitevin marsh, but remains inaccessible to boats since the canal is currently navigable from Bazoin until a little upstream of La Grève-sur-le-Mignon.

02. The explorer René Caillié (Mauzé-s.-le-Mignon, 1799-Pont-l'Abbé -d'Arnoult, 1838), discoverer of Timbuktu the mysterious

This son of a convict, explorer at heart and an ethnologist before his time, lived for a year with the Braknas (Moorish tribes of Senegal), then traveled the Fouta-Djalon (mountain massif of Guinea). On April 20, 1827, hidden under bags at the bottom of a canoe, he reached Timbuktu (Mali) and became the first European traveler to return there alive. His bronze bust was erected in his hometown in 1842, a comic strip entitled René Caillie or the triumph of the will was published in 1942, then a monument to his glory was inaugurated in 1949. The René Caillié Festivals celebrate it with great fanfare even today.

Other curiosities to see:

  • The two towers of the castle from the 13th century (private) and some sections of the wall along Brittany (secondary arm of the Mignon – origin unknown)
  • St. Peter's Church (tabernacle in gilded wood made at the end of the 1978th century by Brossard de Beaulieu from La Rochelle and classified in XNUMX)
  • The alleys of the village (rue du Doué, chemin des Tapes, Jardins du Roi and the moats on the banks of the non-canalized Mignon)
  • The poplar avenue et the old park Mill in Drap (private)
  • The Old Mill (former seigniorial mill out of service)
  • Presence of two stone statuettes on its facade which legend says represent Mauzé and his wife
  • The fairground et consist of bandstand
  • The Les Colliberts community swimming pool : A leisure and swimming learning area in the south-east of the territory and equipment in the era of sustainable development
  • The 22 m long zip line, located on the site of the port of Mauzé. Intended for young people aged 6 to 14. On site, benches and tables are present to accommodate adults responsible for supervising children.

Major events not to be missed in Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon

René Caillié Festivals

René-Caillié Festivals, in Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon, have been celebrated since 1842, in memory of the child of the country “victor of Timbuktu”, the 4th Sunday in June. On the program: entertainment, concerts, “Les Foulées René-Caillié” running race, rides and fireworks…

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