Houdan, medieval town and country stroll

Houdan dungeon viewCD78NicolasDuprey

Head to Houdan for a rural break with medieval accents

Lovers of beautiful stones or nature? The Houdanais is waiting for you! Escape for a few hours, a weekend or a discovery trip. And let yourself be seduced by a green, calm region, where life is good... for a guaranteed disconnection!

Houdan before…

Although we find traces dating back to Antiquity, the Houdan region was truly populated from the 5the century. Its high “castrum” shape gave it a real strategic position at the time. 

From the year 1000, under the influence of the lords of Montfort, Houdan developed and gained importance. The numerous wars with the King of England pushed Amaury III de Montfort to erect a stone tower, surrounded by an enclosure and a wall. One of his descendants, Simon IV de Montfort, built new fortifications in the XNUMXth century.e century, of which no trace remains to this day. From this time, the town of Houdan became a very important trading place. In the 16th centurye century, the city's fortifications were extended. Traces of these fortifications can be found to this day, rue des remparts (Tour Guinant) and below the town, Chemin de la Croix aux Pèlerins (Tour Jardet and Tour de l'Abreuvoir). 

At the time of the French Revolution, the Houdanese became the breadbasket of the capital. One of the largest wheat markets in Ile-de-France takes place there. The trade in wool and medicinal plants also developed there. Remember the melody from the advertising for “Boldoflorine” : this was born and developed thanks to the Fouché family in Houdan. The city is also famous for its poultry market where, for a long time, one could acquire the famous Houdan hen, renowned for the succulence of its flesh.

Houdan Sente de la Cavée
Margaux Genermont

Learn more

Houdan churchX.RenouxCD78

Your steps will lead you to Saint-Jacques Saint-Christophe church, famous for its Cliquot organs, for its fresco recounting the pilgrimage of the Houdanese to Montserrat dating from 1582 and for its imposing size which often gives it (wrongly) the name of collegiate church or even cathedral (sorry!)!

Houdan was also a large stopover town, as evidenced by the half-timbered facades of the old 17th century inns.e and XVIIIe centuries.

Don’t also miss a detour to the Tannery, contemporary art center of the city, which houses very high quality exhibitions!

And then, if you still have a little energy, take the small paths which will take you out of the town between pastures, fields and streams, along the Vesgre and the Opton, which surround the town. Finally, on the small hill of the Croix aux Pèlerins, admire the view of Houdan, this great little town...

Houdan streetX.RenouxCD78
Margaux Genermont

To guide you:

The Houdan discovery circuit
Auberge Ecu de France HoudanMargaux Genermont
The Wivisites route
Houdan dungeon viewCD78NicolasDuprey
Houdan’s hiking guide
Yvelines GRMargaux Genermont