Picture the scene, you are inside the Colosseum. The crowd’s going crazy for a gang of Christians who have just been sentenced to death by Caesar; all the while goddesses in white and gold are twirling centre stage. The floor opens up and blood flies as gladiators emerge leaping and ducking under a score of lethal contraptions aimed to smash their teeth from their skulls. As the canopy above opens up, the gates arise for hundreds of ostriches, geese, leopards and camels; followed by a storm of chariots who race until the crowd reaches fever pitch. You think this must be the end, that this has got to stop, but as the chariots leave another smaller gate opens and eight lions stride into the arena. For the final applause the goddesses ascend and banners cascade from the arches of the Colosseum…
If at this point if you think I am writing a work of fiction you would be wrong. I was there, and I haven’t quite recovered.
Puy du Fou is the outrageously creative and globally award-winning theme park in western France’s Vendée. In their own words ‘History is waiting for you’, and trust me they do not disappoint. By the end of your visit you will be thoroughly spent of every historical fibre you currently think runs through your body.
When visitors arrive at the Puy du Fou, they forget the 21st century and launch into a fabulous journey through time. Traveling back to Roman Villas, Viking villages and tales of the Renaissance and Great War. This is a theme park, but not as you know it.
In an area of over 50 hectares, visitors find themselves in beautiful, natural surroundings creating a backdrop for grandiose shows, unusual experiences and unforgettable discoveries to enjoy with friends or family. The park consists of expertly choreographed shows (both day and night), the chance the wander through reconstructed craftsmen villages (the Medieval being my personal favourite), revel in the 1,500 animals that live there and take part in an array of educational workshops.
For overnight visitors there is also the choice to stay in one of four themed hotels. Let me just stress how incredible the attention to detail is. We were lucky enough to stay in Henry VIII’s Field of the Cloth of Gold, but if you fancy something a little more ancient there is a wonderful Roman Villa next door. From the four poster bed to the ‘throne’ toilet and Henry’s portrait the wall, it was a Tudor lover’s dream. After we had checked in Jenna and I lost our minds.
This was the best place of earth.
Tell me something. Where else will you see Viking ships emerge from lakes, men jump and dive their way across ramparts, castles twist and turn, two hundred birds of prey soar over your head, men joust and fly around on horses, the largest stage show in the world boasting a cast of two thousand, and all the while every employee dressed to historical perfection.
We were there only 48 hours and it is impossible to describe every wild thing that happened… so please keep your eyes peeled for a second instalment of this post. In the meantime, if you are a lover of history or even just a lover of LIFE, please visit Puy du Fou. It’s only then that you can truly appreciate what this place can do to you.
€10 per day/per person for the Emotion Pass
€6 for priority seating at the Cinéscénie show