What to see in France

Clemenceau's house: in the Tiger's refuge

Photo OC
Photo OC


You are planning to spend your holidays in the Vendée. You are looking for a nice visit, not too long and which will allow you to make a journey of more than a century in the History of France. In Saint Vincent sur Jard, stop off at a Vendée longère house overlooking the ocean. It was the last refuge of one of the great men of the 19th and 20th centuries, Clémenceau.

If you are looking for a beautiful manor house with large outbuildings and a vast wooded park, you may be somewhat surprised. "A fisherman's hut facing the sea", "ma Bicoque", is how Clémenceau defined this house on a dune in the Vendée. In fact, of all the national museums under the responsibility of the State, it is certainly one of the most modest.

Choose a campsite in Saint-Vincent sur Jard to visit the house of Clémenceau.

A modest place... but inhabited

It's true that at first glance it's hard to imagine that this long house, which seems to have been "sitting" there for centuries, beaten by the wind and the sea spray, was home to a "giant of history". To put it simply, you enter at one end and leave at the other. As in all longères, the rooms are arranged in a row, from the former garage (which serves as an exhibition room) to Clémenceau's "Chambre-bureau", via the large kitchen, the guest rooms and the library containing more than 1500 books. Everything has remained as it was, the furniture, the books, Clémenceau's office and his collection of exotic art. This house still seems to be inhabited by this great character. He went for a walk in the garden... and he is coming back.

An impressionist... garden


The other jewel of the "Maison de Clémenceau" is its immense garden which "serves as a showcase" and which descends on one side almost to the sea. His great friend Monet, visiting Saint Vincent sur Jars, spoke of it as "a bushy palette". In fact, at first glance, one has the impression of an immense mess, of a park left to the abandonment. Then, as you walk around, you gradually realise that each tree or shrub is in its place, that there are paths where you can get lost and that, like an impressionist painting, if you stand back a little, you can see everything. It is the result of considerable work. Indeed, for years, Clémenceau mixed the sand of the dune, on which the house is built, with earth in order to make all these plantations. The result is this crazy garden. A little tip: at the end of the visit, go down to the bottom of the garden, sit for a while on one of the benches facing the ocean and... watch time go by!

Practical information:

Closed on 1 January, 1 May, 1 November and 25 December

Timetable :

From 16 September to 14 May: 10:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 17:30 (Closed on Mondays)

From 19 May to 15 September: 10:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 18:30

Prices 2022: €8 (full price) + €3 for the visit of the gardens. Free for under 18s, 18-25s (EU citizens and non-EU citizens legally resident in France), disabled people and their carers, jobseekers, education pass

Contact details:

76, rue Georges Clemenceau

85520 Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard

Tel: +33 (0)2 51 33 40 32

Website: maison-de-clemenceau.fr


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