Nantes-Sud (Saint-Jacques de Pirmil)– Clisson
STAGE PROFILE : 33.3 Km - 08h30
The crossing of the Loire was done by the famous « pons nannetis », a line of five bridges built between the two banks leading to the Saint-Jacques quarter, near the tower or château of Pirmil, where the priory offered a welcome halting place, before heading onto the paths on the Poitou Way.
There, if going by sea, the pilgrim would go to the ports of embarcation for Compostela like Bourgneuf or Talmont .... or if going by land, would continue on foot towards Poitiers, via Clisson, Bressuire, Parthenay, or towards Saintes via Montaigu, Surgères....
Your journey on the Breton Ways of St James of Compostela are reaching their end. Rooftiles are gradually being replaced by slates. The countryside becomes gentler, seeming to become like Tuscany ; this impression is confirmed by the Italian character of some of the monuments and properties at Clisson.
This stage links two very important St James sites: Saint Jacques de Pirmil in south Nantes and the Saint Jacques quarter of Clisson. The pilgrim will go along the banks of the river Sèvre Nantaise and through the vinyards of the famous muscadet, a light dry white wine, which the wise pilgrim will not get to taste until the end of the stage.
00.0 – Church of Saint-Jacques de Pirmil
To get back onto the way, go back onto rue de St Jacques, towards the bridge Pont de Pirmil, then take a left onto rue E. des Châtelets, straight as far as Place de la Rochelle (bus station, tramway), go past the commercial centre by the left rue H. Sellier, as far as the bank of the Sèvre Nantaise. Go up this river by the right bank (signposted yellow/red for the ‘GRP de Sèvre et Maine’ as far as the outskirts of MONNIERES)
(Occasionally the way along the banks can be underwater, particularly at high tides: in this case, go back up towards the church of St Jacques, go along rue St Jacques and turn right at the lights onto rue Ledru-Rollin, continue along route de Vertou and turn right at the lights onto rue de l'Olivraie. At the bottom of the road, near a bend, take the path facing you which allows you to get back to the banks of the Sèvre)
Pass successively under the bridges of La Morinière, going under the A801, and continue towards La Filée, La Bussaudière , Beautour, pass under the Nantes South bypass, and continue towards La Garouère, La mottechaix, as far as ....
1H40 06.6 - La Chaussée des Moines.
You are at the lower part of the town of Vertou. Go through the Parc de la Sèvre Parc du Loiry, towards Saint Fiacre. Pass under the D105 , continue towards...
2H20 09.6 -... la ville bachelier, les Thébaudières. Go up as far as the D59, turn right and .....
3H05 12.3 - .... cross the Sèvre at the bridge Pont de la Ramée. 100m further, turn left, onto a path towards Péraudière, then fork left immediately after having rejoined the D59, towards ...
.... the village of Bourchinière which you go straight through (Rue du Port Sem then Rue des Ouches). Leave the Sèvre and go up towards Saint Fiacre sur Maine as far as the D59, cross this D-road after 50m on your right ; go down the road opposite (Cross on the right) for 200m, then turn left to go to the Sports Complex Go up to the left (at first via Rue du Coteau) towards the centre of ...
3H50 15.7 - ... Saint Fiacre sur Maine. Pass behind the church, turn right on the D59 (which you take for 200 m). At the Cross, turn left for 10m then take the path to the right which goes alongside the D59, then the road for Pétière which you follow as far as the outskirts of the village. On the bend, turn right to walk along the sides of the vinyards; continue, through woodland and beside vinyards; cut across the D74.
Continue straight ahead then immediately right and left ; bear right at a junction following the Sèvre Nantaise along the hillside above; pass a little wood before going through the area of La Hautière ; at a house with light green shutters, turn left to go towards the Sèvre and pass Gué Joubert (superb resting place on the bank of the Sèvre) ; continue to join a tarmac road a little more than 1km away. Take it for 250m before turning left and going alongside a field ; 600m further reach, after a steps, the oratory of the Grotte de Lourdes of Monnières.
Go into the sports complex, keep right (after having passed behind the technical installations of the sportsfields) and take the path opposite, passing under the red and white portico. Follow the path, cross a road and continue on the left hand side of a new house. .
150m further, cross a wooden bridge which goes over a stream. 60m further, leave the GRP at the bottom of steps made of logs and take the path to the right. After having taken other steps, the path leads to a field. Continue straight ahead on a large path, where you have the belltower in line of sight.
At the intersection with rue du Paradis, take the path on your left then the one on the right. At the far end of the curve, turn right and left and right towards the church of Sainte Radégonde (worth a visit) ...
5H45 22.9 - Monnières. At the junction after the church, take the route de Gorges (Rue de la Mairie) opposite you, pass in front of the cemetery, go through the esplanade Klettgau, go down the steps of the carpark at the left of the school, cross the carpark, rue des Quarterons and take the little road opposite which brings you to Croix Giraud where you rejoin the GR. Continue straight ahead and go down towards Guerches.
Go through this hamlet, towards the right, and at the far end, take the road on your left to pass above a railway. Turn right immediately after the bridge, go alongside the railway and continue for 750m, leaving two roads on your left, then pas again over the railway. Turn immediately left after the bridge heading up towards Gravelle, as far as the D76.
Turn lefton the D76 for 100m ; then again left to go under the railway 100m away ; shortly go up the wooden steps on your right and continue alongside the railway for about 300m ; at the intersection with a tarmac road, turn left towards the hamlet of Motte, 100m away ; go through it and down to the right towards the Sèvre via a path which quickly becomes an agricultural access road, for 500m as far as the bottom of the area of Basse Simplerie. Go up along a little tarmac road for 250m to the D76.
Cross the D-road, pass under the railway bridge and turn immediately left. Follow the railway for 500m to the little station of Gorges ; cross the tracks (les voies) take the little path on the right which is parallel to the road ; bend to the right and take a path for 300m, turn left and go along the vinyards to the D76, turn right for 50m to get to the D113. Gorges is on your right.
7H20 29.2 - To continue, turn left towards Mouzillon and Vallet, cross the river Sèvre. Immediately after the Pont à Beau Soleil, turn right, and go up towards Liveau. At the far end of the village, head onto the GRP waymarked trail which, after approx 1km ends at the Northern Bypass of Clisson ; turn right to go down under the bridge 200m away and go back up to the left, then to the right after 200m. You have arrived at the Cross of "Câlin", which is an ancient cross discovered in the cemetery, where the stone base shows a scallop and the inscription ‘Saint-Jacques de Compostelle’..
Keep right towards Moulin de Gervaux and pass by a hôtel-restaurant after about 900m ; here you get back onto tarmac (Rue de Gervaux) ; continue to the stop-sign; turn right onto rue du Nid d'Oie, cross the bridge, turn left immediately ; go up the little road where a stele (stone) of Saint-Jacques welcomes you. At the junction take the rue du Docteur Duboueix facing you, turn left, go alongside the ancient church of Saint Jacques and reach the Place of the same name in the heart of the town of...
8H15 33.3 - ... Clisson