La Mothe-Saint-Héray

Discover the mills, bridges and laundry sites that are proof of the ubiquity of water.

During your visit you can see in the village some charming facets of the past as well as the Orangerie with its French gardens, a remnant of the vanished castle. The hiking trails offer a unique opportunity to see the remarkable flora and fauna of the Sèvre of Niort.

Other attractions include the Moulin de l’Abbé and the Church Saint-Héray.

L’Orangerie history

Built in 1634, with its two pavilions by Nicolas TILLON, master mason of RICHELIEU, this monument of Mothaise history remains the only remnant of the mighty medieval castle.

Modernized in the 17th Century by the Baudean Parabere

The fortress was transformed into an opulent residence. Between its walls, illustrious figures stayed there for some time.

The citadel bought in 1840 by an individual had a sad destiny because it was sold stone by stone in 1842. The orangery almost experienced the same fate. Saved in extremis from demolition, the municipality in 1925 obtained the classification “historical monument” of the building. Three years later the orangery became the property of the commune. From then on it was restored.

It was in 1997 that an ambitious project of works was undertaken that would give this ensemble its former splendour, which is now available to the visitor. With its French gardens and canal, the orangery seems to be lulled into a green setting where the walker can be caught up in the scent of orange and lemon trees scattered on the esplanade.

Now converted into an exhibition hall, the gallery comes alive from spring to autumn around cultural events.

Today visit the orangery and it gardens

The gardens and buildings are accessible during exhibitions and other events organized by the city of La Mothe Saint-Héray or associations:

  • Crafts Days (late March or early April depending on national programming)
  • Orangery Spring (April-May)
  • The Garden Meetings (1st weekend in June)
  • Contemporary Art Festival The New Metamorphoses (June – July)
  • Festival of Colors (Sunday before August 15)
  • Heritage Days (3rd weekend in September), including the “Notes à La Mothe” concerts
  • Ancient book fair “The Book at the Orangery” (3rd Sunday in October)