Discover Saint-Liguaire by bicycle. As you walk, let yourself be inhabited by the history of its former Benedictine abbey of which there remains today some remains dotted around the town. Before following the adventures of its monks, take an interest in those of the communal farm of Chey, former dependency of the monastery and current place of memory between New France and Poitou. Then, while enjoying the freshness of the parish church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, you can admire its luminous stained glass windows including that of the Mégissier and Sainte-Macrine. A few pedal strokes further, you will appreciate the tranquility of The Roussille while discovering its lock (One of the first airlock locks in France and the most important of the Niort to Marans locks), the lock keeper's house from 1808 and I'former Rousseau chamois-glove factory. After a short journey along the Sèvre Niortaise, between river and countryside, you will end your visit with the castle of Tiffardière (19th century manor transformed into a childhood home).

What to see in Saint-Liguaire?

01. The communal farm of Chey: Place of memory between New France and Poitou

This old farm, dependent on the abbey of St-Liguaire, raised sheep and cultivated vines. Moreover, its name derives from chai, a word from the Poitevin dialect borrowed from the Gallic language designating a place where wines and spirits in barrels are stored. From 1623 to 1665, it was operated by the Gobeil family. Its last owner, Mr. Norbert, ceased his activity in 1990. Bought by the City of Niort in 1994, the farm became the following year the new headquarters of the Chaleuil Dau Pays Niortais (regional group for the expression and maintenance of Poitevin popular traditions). In 2003, this site was classified place of memory between New France and Poitou.

The Gobeils: the saga of a Poitevin family
Jean Gobeil, born in 1627 in St-Liguaire and sharecropper on the Ché farm, is the son of Pierre, a plowman, and Catherine Chaigneau. He is related to the lord of La Tiffardière. At 27, he married Niort Jeanne Guyet, whose father is a farrier. They will have four daughters. After having discussed at length with the Dabillon family about the country of fur, they decided to leave La Rochelle for New France. In 1665, he rented to a bourgeois in Château-Richer, a few kilometers from Quebec, the 5-acre farm Le Saut-à-la-Puce, a house and its outbuildings to accommodate a bull, two oxen, three cows. and two calves.
Today, although quite numerous in Quebec, the Gobeils are only 472nd among families present in Canada.

02. Sainte-Marie-Madeleine church

The building dating from the 15th, 18th and 19th centuries is partly built with materials from the former monastery of Saint-Liguaire.

To have : the stained glass window of the tavern* (1928) and that of Saint Anne (1952, Art Deco style).
*Tainter: worker working in the first stages of tanning sheepskins.

03. The old Rousseau chamois-glove factory

The widow of Aristide Rousseau bought the New mill in St-Liguaire to set up his business there since 1882 in Roc Mill à Niort. In 1911, the chamois mill was equipped with XNUMXth century mallet fullers, a model referenced in the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert and protected since 2000 being the only copy still preserved in France, or even in Europe! There were 167 workers in 1946 and 280 in 1969. The activity ceased in 1981. Today, the buildings are rented to craftsmen and artists.

Other curiosities to see:

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