My husband has spoken about the Puy du Fou in Vendée since I first met him and the advertisements in the Paris métro have had me asking ‘what on earth is the Puy du Fou?’
The exact meaning, I am not going to tell you! You have to go to see for yourself! I will declare that is it one of the most amazing and surprising places I have visited. It is a attraction park like no other, different spectacles telling the stories of different times in history. You are completed transported back in time and it appeals to every age.
The park was created in 1977 by Philippe de Villiers (now a politician) and Jean Saint Bris who specialises in sound and light shows. Philippe de Villiers is also the owner of the ring they believed belonged to Jeanne d’Arc which was on display at the Puy du Fou.
The park is open from April and September and during the months of June to August you can witness the famous Cinéscénie (the show The Organs of Fire runs during the other months and on weekdays until September). The two hour show, staged on 23 hectares, tells the story of the history of the Vendée region (which is extremely rich) and involves 3500 volunteers for the nearby towns. Puy du Fou is mainly made up of volunteers, which is a real pride for the habitants of the region, plus specialised stunt men and women, horse riders and animal handlers.
Each show runs for around 30 mins and it is best to get to each one half and hour before. Alongside the shows there are different villages with different restaurants and snacks bar where you can taste some specialities of the region (brioche & le préfou in particular!) plus animals to see and music bands playing.
I really could not recommend a visit to the Puy du Fou enough. The service of the staff, the high quality of the performances and the fact you are plunged into ancient historical periods is like nothing I had experienced before!
The Puy du Fou is located in the town of Les Epesses in Vendée. From Paris you can reach the Puy du Fou via :
- 4 hour drive from Paris
- Train from Paris to Angers (around 1h30) then take the bus service which brings you to the Puy du Fou
Please visit their website for more information and opening season information.