We call it Doué-la-Fontaine!

Ok so let me update this older post for you and me. On my road warrior trips in my belle France, I come into many towns, some I just passed by and others stayed a bit. This is the case of what we call Doué la Fontaine, and now officially call Doué en Anjou.  The town is in the department 49 of Maine et Loire in the region of Pays de la Loire. As in the other Loire the area is full of castles but in this town the main is the church and theater. Let me tell you a bit more on it ok. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Doué-la-Fontaine (now officially Doué en Anjou) is wearing the new name since December 30, 2016, when it was created together with Brigné, Concourson-sur-Layon, Forges, Meigné, Montfort, Saint-Georges-sur-Layon and Les Verchers-sur-Layon,been the whole area in the heart of the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park, 10 km from Montreuil-Bellay , 14 km from Saumur, 40 km from Cholet and 40 km from Angers.

As Doué-la-Fontaine is new in my blog will tell you a bit on the history of it.

Around the 8C, the territory of Doué was part of Aquitaine. Pépin le Bref received the submission of Waïfre, Duke of Aquitaine, around 760. From the 790s, Louis le Pieux, son of Charlemagne, who was only 13 years old, had already been king of Aquitaine by his father for ten years, settled there. He had been living there regularly since 781 in the villa or palatium of Theotwadum. In 814, Louis learned of his father’s death and became the new emperor. In 832 he also received the submission of Pépin I, King of Aquitaine. There are no remnants of the Carolingian residence.

During the 17-18C, Doué had the honor of seeing Catherine de Medici, Charles IX, Henri de Navarre and Louis XIII passed and stayed. In 1694, Louis XIV formed the city and gave it its coat of arms. But it was under the leadership of Baron Joseph François Foullon that the city enjoyed its most prosperous hours. A restorator at the Château de Doué, he planted 500,000 Italian poplars, introduced alfalfa and sainfoin cultivation, and established nurseries in Soulanger where he built a castle. He built the fountain, the only waterpoint in the city, which fed six mills, a pool for laundry ladies and children ,and a trough.  Joseph François Foullon was one of the first victims of the French revolution. His Château des Basses Minières is destroyed. Today, only the stables and part of the foundations of the perimeter wall remain. In 1793, 1200 prisoners from Angers were transferred to Doué. They were imprisoned there in the Arenas or St. Peter’s Church until 1794. 184 of them died in prison within two months. Between 350 and 370 additional prisoners are guillotined or shot.

Some things to see here is the Church St Pierre.  The first Church Saint Pierre was blessed at the same time as the Saint Denis Collegiate Church (now in ruins), in March 1040 by the bishop of Angers ,Of this first church, not much is known, This first church was undoubtedly located a little higher than the current church, smaller in size and surrounded by the cemetery as was customary. The current St Peter’s Church, built to replace the first one which was undoubtedly damaged during the Hundred Years War, dates from the 15-16C. The church has undergone unfortunate transformations over the centuries. Nevertheless, the interior, with its five pointed bays, is not lacking in elegance, and the choir, lit by a large triple-mullioned window, forms a harmonious whole. The rather dark ensemble has a lovely religious effect.

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During the French revolution, it received prisoners from the Vendée, then was transformed into a warehouse. It became Temple of Reason of the Republic and the cult of the Supreme Being was celebrated there; at the same time the bells were removed and sent to Saumur. In the 19C, successive priests embellished the church and added a baptistery, 2 small altars, stained glass windows and the southern chapel. Gothic, once had pinnacles and unfortunately demolished, and the slate bell tower was replaced by a beautiful stone bell tower. The Church Saint Pierre became the parish church of Doue la Fontaine on November 10, 1802, located at 1 Rue du Gravier.

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The other interesting thing to see and surprise for a town in the middle of vineyards is the Municipal Theater. The theater is now call the Philippe Noiret theater.  Built in 1933 and renovated in 1999, the Philippe Noiret theater is located in the center of Doué la Fontaine, and overlooks the old Fontaines basin. The main access to the theater is from the Place de Fontaines, from a large pedestrian esplanade, between the rue des Fontaines and the rue du Théâtre. With a capacity of 320 seats plus 4 PRM seats in 16 rows, the doors from the theater open onto the Alfred Chevalier hall. With a surface area of 130m², this space is dedicated to welcoming the public and ticketing. Behind the stage are two dressing rooms as well as a relaxation area reserved for artists. A lodge for 8 persons and one for 3 persons.  The official Phillippe Noiret theater https://tpndoueanjou.mapado.com/

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The rest of things to see as per their tourist office are the Perrières; Carolingian hill; The Château de Doué-la-Fontaine is an old fortress castle, raised at the beginning of the 10C and remodelled several times at the corner of Blvd  du Dr. Lionet and the Impasse de la Motte, the castle of Soulanger; or Château des Basses Minières looted and destroyed during the French revolution, only the base, the stables (which house the museum aux Anciens Commerces) and an entrance pavilion remain today. The cellar with sarcophagi, former quarry of falun near the village of the former commune of Douces, at 1 rue de la Croix-Mordret. The place contains the ancient quarry of the Merovingian period, an old farmhouse, a cellar and a cave chapel. Time to be back!!

The new city of Doué en Anjou and its other heritagehttps://www.doue-en-anjou.fr/decouvrir/tourisme/sites-touristiques/#.XUw0Z_IzbIU

The Saumur Val de Loire tourist office on Doue la Fontainehttps://www.ot-saumur.fr/DOUE-LA-FONTAINE_a13225.html

The Saumur Val de Loire tourist office pdf file on Doué la Fontaine and its heritagehttps://www.ot-saumur.fr/attachment/2031601/

This is one of those town I go by I lost count of how many, this one at least took some pictures . Me thinking is a good base for the nearby castles and wine houses as the area as is in wine country of Saumur-Val-de-Loire and côte de Layon. Anyway is a good location town ,the new name Doué en Anjou but I still like the locals prefer Doué la Fontaine! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Hope you enjoy it and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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