Renaudot Museum, LoudunRenaudot Museum, Loudun
©Renaudot Museum, Loudun

Tell us a story

Mystery, secrecy, witchcraft

The great names of the Loudun region

Urbain Grandier

(BOUERE 1590 – LOUDUN 1634)

The Possessed of Loudun, a case of witchcraft?

Have you heard of the trial of the Possessed of Loudun? The story of the priest, Urbain Grandier, who was accused of witchcraft by the nuns of the Ursulines convent, who were suffering from fits of dementia. Public exorcism sessions were held in the Collégiale Sainte-Croix. The priest was condemned to be burned at the stake in the public square in 1634, but doubt still hangs over his guilt, and the story continues to inspire many filmmakers and writers.


René Monory

(LOUDUN 1923 – LOUDUN 2009)

French statesman

Former president of the Vienne General Council and the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council, it was in this capacity that he became founder of Futuroscope.

Of modest origins, he took over the family garage and turned it into one of the region’s most successful dealerships. The rapid success of his business enabled him to stand in the municipal elections of 1955: he was mayor of Loudun for 40 years.

He was a French politician, elected Senator in 1968, he became Minister of Industry in 1977, then Minister of the Economy in 1978 and finally Minister of National Education from 1986 to 1988; from 1992 to 1998, he was President of the Senate.


Marie Besnard



“L’empoisonneuse”, “La bonne dame de Loudun”

In 1947, when Léon Besnard breathed his last, rumors spread that he had been poisoned by his wife, Marie Besnard!

After 30 months of investigation, he was accused of more than 12 murders. The case was to take on considerable proportions and mobilize France for an entire decade.

After 3 trials, 13 exhumations, multiple interrogations, psychiatric conclusions and several toxicological reports, the acquittal was pronounced on December 12, 1961.

The character of Marie Besnard still fascinates and remains one of the most famous enigmas of the XXe century.