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See history come alive at Puy du Fou

Puy du Fou is the largest and most spectacular historical and educational theme park in the world.

The park is located in Les Espesses in the middle of the Vendee department in the Pays de la Loire region in Western France. It first opened in 1978.

You can visit the park from April to September. Puy du Fou is one of the most visited parks in France next to Disneyland Paris. It received the Thea Award in 2012 as the best theme park in the world.

Puy du Fou began with the creation of an original show called Cinescenie by Philippe de Villiers and Jean Saint Bris in 1977. Cinescenie means "stage in moving". They discovered the ruins of the old castle in Les Espesses village near Cholet and formed the Association of Puy du Fou with 600 members. Today, it has more than 3000 members with Philippe's son, Nicolas de Villiers, as the president.

The Grand Park opened in 1989 near the Cinescenie site. It covers a total area of 45 hectares, or 110 acres, whilst the Cinescenie site has 23 hectares or 57 acres.

When you visit Puy du Fou, you will be entranced by a series of shows performed by swordsmen, horsemen, actors and volunteers whilst discovering history as you tour the park. You will experience the atmosphere of the Roman period up to the 19th century Belle Epoque, a period in French history that lasted until the beginning of World War I.

The Cinescenie

This main event takes place in the evenings outside the ruined castle. It narrates 700 years of the area's history with thousands of actors, around 400 fireworks and hundreds of horses. The show, which is delivered in French (English and Dutch are available through headphones), is staged from June to the middle of September. It lasts about an hour and 40 minutes.

The Grand Park's Five Main Attractions

Each main attraction takes about 30 to 40 minutes. The exhibitions are presented in French with electronic translations for guests.

  1. The Vikings takes place in a 1000-year-old fortress reconstruction which is attacked by a Viking Longship. The story starts with a marriage set in the village before the Viking Longboat arrives. It includes special effects such as the longboat surfacing from underwater and a saint walking on water.
  2. The Secret of the Lance is set in front of the walls of a Middle Age Castle. It tells of a young shepherdess who has to defend the chief tower from English knights. She is armed with a lance that possesses supernatural powers. This show replaced The Battle of The Keep in 2010.
  3. Triumph's Sign was launched in 2011 with its setting in an impressive amphitheatre replica having an area of 115 meters by 75 meters. It has replaced the show Gladiators. It showcases a time of great disorder during the reign of Diocletian under Roman period and includes a traditional parade featuring people and animals, chariot racing, executions and gladiatorial combat.
  4. Richelieu's Musketeers features sword-fighting Musketeers and Gypsy girls dancing Flamenco on water. Horses perform jumping and trotting exhibitions. It is the only indoor show and is set in total darkness.
  5. The Dance of Phantom Birds is an exhibit of more than 100 birds of prey trained to perform a mysterious story. They rush down from the sky towards the visitor and  can be placed on the heads of visitors wearing falconer's hats. Larger birds are set free from a floating balloon.

Journey through history at Puy du Fou.

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