Lavau is in the Loire region, an area that has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2000, a more than just acknowledgement of the great historic and landscape values of this area.
Castles, cities and churches
The Loire has been known as the garden of France for centuries, and the nobility liked to settle there. When you take a neighbourhood tour of Lavau, you see one château after the other appearing into view. A large number of castles have been opened to the public. But even more castles are still privately owned and lived in, such as the château situated right behind Lavau. You should visit one of the historic towns and cities in the vicinity, for instance sophisticated Anger, the capital of Anjou, where you can do some great shopping. Or Saumur, with its many traditions, splendidly situated at the banks of the Loire …Every town and village in France, no matter how small, has its own church.
There is something peculiar about a number of these churches, or rather about their spires. There are 32 crooked spires in the whole of France, 6 of which are near Lavau. The church in Fontaine-Guérin, for instance, has a spire with a twist to the left, whereas all the others have a twist to the right. The spire of Vieil Baugé is a real sight: it is not only crooked, but also leans over! Did the hand of the devil cause this, a kick of the Duke of Clarence’s donkey or workmen who drank too much wine when building the church, as local legends tell? You should judge for yourself.
Garden and zoo
You should also visit one of the many gardens you can find in this area: gardens with straight geometric design, flower gardens, kitchen gardens, herb gardens … Enough variety to inspire you to take up gardening in your own garden again after the holidays. Besides gardens with plants, you will also find a very special garden with animals: Le Bioparc Zoo de Doué-La-Fontaine. Here you will find an unusual collection of animals in a maze of caves with luxurious plants. This zoo is unique in Europe by its remarkable troglodyte landscape: ancient sandpits, limekilns, caves and cellars the size of cathedrals. Absolute highlights are the valley of the black rhinoceros which has been carved from the rocks over 2 hectares, the leopard canyon and the panoramic restaurant with a view of the vally of the giraffes.
In this area, which is so rich in history, lots of authentic artefacts have been lovingly preserved and collected in museums. There is a huge choice, varying from old crafts to toadstools and from ancient tapestries to modern-day art: just think of it, and there is a museum. We would really like to recommend this, and definitely not just for a rainy day.
It is perfectly clear: the Loire Region has a lot to offer to visitors. Would you like to know more in advance about what can be seen near Lavau? Then visit the websites below. And of course you can also get more information at Lavau.
Office de tourisme Baugeois Vallée