La Roche-sur-Yon

La Roche-sur-Yon (pop. 54,000) was founded by Napoleon I and it still retains the defensive chequered layout that he designed. In 1804, La Roche was chosen to act as the safety net of the Vendée department; hence it was restructured and renamed- Napoléon-Vendée. Many years later in 1870, the town got its original name back.

Today, La Roche sur Yon displays its history proudly with the many Neoclassical buildings in its territory. The town has a Napoleon trail which takes you to Place Napoleon– a square that was designed to hold 20 000 soldiers, marked with an equestrian statue of the man himself in the middle. The square also houses the Église St-Louis [37 Rue Boileau, +33 251370437]- the largest in the department, also built in neoclassical style.

The town also has a wide collection of exhibits ranging from fine arts to archaeology, in its Musée de la Roche sur Yon [Rue Jean Jaurès, +33 251474835, Free]. The museum houses notable pieces from its local talents- Paul Baudry and Benjamin Rabier.





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LA ROCHE-SUR-YON:   1. Tourist office  2. Train station  3. Place Napoleon  4. Église St-Louis 5. Musée de la Roche sur Yon