Château-Gontier sur Mayenne
Mayenne, Pays de la Loire
At the crossroads of the historic provinces of Brittany, Maine, and Anjou, the town of Château-Gontier sur Mayenne has a remarkable heritage, with castles, churches, wash houses, medieval streets, colourful timber-framed houses with tuffeau stone facades. All are an invitation to get away for a stroll.
© Ville de Château-Gontier sur Mayenne
As the Capital of Veal, the thousand-year-old town on the edge of the water has a remarkable architectural heritage which can be discovered strolling haphazardly along its narrow cobblestoned streets and elegant timber-framed houses, with their Tuffeau stone facades, which have resisted the ravages of time. This Haut-Anjou town is also notable as being the home to the Refuge de l’Arche. For over 40 years, it has offered shelter to 1,500 animals from 150 different local and exotic species. Birds, racoons, monkeys, reptiles, felines, bears, and other herbivores, all from different parts of the world, are coddled across 15 hectares. Christian Huchedé established the Refuge in 1968. Today, his children Aude and Yann continue to welcome newcomers. Their family adventure has many touching stories to tell. Whenever possible, animals only transit through the refuge to recover, while others can start a new life. Every year, thousands of big and small visitors enjoy meeting the animals.