COMMANDERIE DE COUDRIE
A listed monument dating from the 12th century and remodelled in the 15th century, this ancient church is located not far from the village of La Flocellière, near the road leading to Saint-Christophe-du Ligneron.
A Templar site
Founded by Hugues de Payns, the Order of the Temple (1119-1312) was a religious and military order that worked in the 12th and 13th centuries to accompany and protect pilgrims to Jerusalem in the context of the Holy War and the Crusades. It set up a network of monasteries in Europe known as commanderies. Listed as a Historic Monument, the Romanesque chapel of Coudrie, dating from the 12th century and remodelled in the 15th century, is the last vestige of a former Templar commandery built in 1130. The site grew rapidly, accumulating property and land in numerous communes in north-western Vendée until the 14th century, when the property was confiscated by the Order of the Knights of Malta. A large part of the Coudrie commandery was burnt down in the 16th century by the Huguenots during the Wars of Religion between Protestants and Catholics, and the whole complex suffered another fatal blow during the Wars of the Vendée (1793-1794) when the Infernal Columns passed through.
The chapel lives again
The building was restored between 1994 and 1996 (masonry, framework, roofing) and again in 2017 (stained glass windows, entrance door). The site now hosts the activities of two associations: Coudrie en Challans and the Astro Club Challandais. The Société d'histoire et d'études du Nord-ouest Vendée (Shenov) also plays a major role in promoting the site.