La Roche-sur-Yon


La Roche-sur-Yon is a common Central West of France , prefecture of the department of the Vendée , located in the region of Pays de la Loire .

Watered by Yon and its tributaries, the Riaillée and Ornay (and its tributary the Soivre), La Roche-sur-Yon owes its present appearance to Napoleon  er , which is a small town a modern city, based on a regular pentagon- shaped plan and endowed with imposing public buildings ( prefecture , town hall, theater, courts, high school, Saint-Louis church , etc.) distributed around a vast central esplanade ( place Napoléon ).

RegionPays de la Loire
BoroughThe rock on yon
CantonLa Roche-sur-Yon-1 and 2
 Mayor (2020–2026)Luc Bouard
Area187.52 km 2 (33.79 sq mi)
Population (2017-01-01) 54,372
Time zoneUTC + 01: 00 ( CET )
 Summer ( DST )UTC + 02: 00 ( CEST )


This new town, located in the center of a rural department but quite dynamic with renowned companies (Bénéteau, Cougnaud , Akena,  etc. ), now has very large business parks. These include companies such as Rideau (verandas) and Accompanéo (personnel carriers). Other large factories are present, in particular in the electrical and electronic fields, but also in the manufacture of tires ( Michelin since 1972). The agglomeration is served by the aerodrome of La Roche-sur-Yon – Les Ajoncs .

Most of the jobs come from the highly developed tertiary sector, which makes La Roche-sur-Yon a city of services (health, advice, banking, shops,  etc. ).

La Roche-sur-Yon is the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vendée which manages the fishing and yachting ports of Sables-d’Olonne , Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie , L ‘ Île-d’Yeu , de l ‘ Herbaudière , as well as the fishing ports of Brochets, l’Epoids, des Champs and the wholesale fruit and vegetable market of Sables-d’Olonne.

The city hosts various shops and brands within three large shopping centers: the first consisting of the city center (mainly the covered markets, the place Napoléon and the rue Clemenceau), the second to the north of the city ( Les flâneries ) and the third to the south ( South Avenue ).


The Gare de La Roche-sur-Yon railway station offers connections to Nantes, Paris, Les Sables-d’Olonne, Bordeaux and several regional destinations. The A87 motorway connects La Roche-sur-Yon with Les Sables-d’Olonne and Angers, the A83 with Nantes and Niort.


La Roche-sur-Yon has 3 health establishments:

  • The Departmental Hospital Center, located in La Courtaisière, north of the city.
  • The private Saint Charles clinic, located in the Bourg Sous La Roche district.
  • The Georges Mazurelle Hospital Center (public mental health establishment), located in the Vallée Verte district, to the south of the city.


Religious buildings


Saint-Louis Church

This building, built under the model of the ancient basilicas, presents a neoclassical exterior architecture which is highlighted by its withdrawal from the Place Napoléon. Located in the heart of the Pentagon, on the Place Napoléon, this place participates in the same way as the town hall, the imperial high school or the courthouse, in this citizen process of peace desired by Napoleon.

The church has the particularity of presenting many republican symbols with:

  • a patriotic painting from the First World War in which Christ is depicted;
  • a French flag on the north bell tower;
  • Christ represented in “blue, white, red” on a majority of stained glass windows.
Saint-Louis Church
Church of the Sacred Heart 

The Church of the Sacred Heart, rue Blériot, its construction, located in the district of the same name, was designed during the First World War. 

The church we know today was completed in 1965.

Fontenelles Abbey 

The Fontenelles abbey , at Fontenelles, built in 1210 on the outskirts of the town for the thermal virtues of the site. 

The abbey was built in the forest of La Roche-sur-Yon, a league to the west of this castle, on the territory today dependent on the former commune of Saint-André-d’Ornay. It was dedicated to the Virgin and took the name of Notre-Dame des Fontenelles because of the presence on this territory of a small source of ferruginous water .

Fontenelles Abbey 
Other Catholic churches 
  • Notre-Dame church, rue Lazare Carnot;
  • The Sainte-Bernadette church, boulevard Édouard Branly (aux Forges);
  • The Sainte-Thérèse church, place Renoir (Liberty);
  • The Saint-André church, rue Roger Salengro (Saint-André d’Ornay);
  • Saint-Hilaire church, boulevard d’Austerlitz (Pyramides district);
  • Saint-Pierre church, rue Abbé Martineau (Le Bourg sous la Roche);
  • The Saint-Michel chapel, Impasse Ampère, etc;


  • The Reformed Protestant temple, rue Chanzy;
  • The Evangelical Church, rue Henri Aucher;
  • The Good News assembly, rue Cacères;


There is only one place of worship for Muslims in La-Roche-Sur-Yon, it is that of the Great Mosque, rue Pierre Bacqua.

Civil heritage 

Place Napoléon 

One of the largest public esplanades in France, Place Napoléon has for important elements:

  • Saint-Louis church (1830)
  • The great inn was received Napoleon theAugust 8, 1808
  • The town hall (1810)
  • The equestrian statue of Napoleon (1854)
  • The old court (1815)
  • The imperial high school (1815)

The work completed in 2014 gives more space to vegetation and water. In addition, mechanical animals made by François Delarozière have been installed in the water basins of the square and the public can interact with them permanently and free of charge.

Statue of Napoleon
Municipal Museum 

Built in 1877, the Municipal Museum of La Roche-sur-Yon has a rich collection built around its three areas of predilections that are painting and graphic arts from the xix th  century and contemporary photography. 

The collection of contemporary photographs at the La Roche-sur-Yon museum has the particularity of being focused on so-called “plastic” photography (images staged by the artist). 

The museum presents works by the following artists: Benjamin Rabier , Paul Baudry , Andreas Gursky , Cindy Sherman , John Hilliard, Jeff Wall , Markus Raetz , Sophie Ristelhueber , Patrick Tosani , Christian Boltanski , Annette Messager , Robert Lange .

Center Beautour 

In addition to the activities, events… on offer, the Center Beautour presents a permanent exhibition and temporary exhibitions.

The permanent exhibition is structured around three axes:

  • naturalist Georges Durand practices are analyzed and compared with what naturalism in xx th  century;
  • landscaped: a look is made at the link between Georges Durand’s collections and their place with the territory concerned;
  • biography: the legacy and role of Georges Durand are discussed.

Other important places:

  • Italian theater. Built in 1845, the theater of La Roche-sur-Yon is a typical example of the theaters of the xviii th and xix th  centuries.
  • Haras de la Vendée. Built in 1843 in a wooded park of 4.5  hectares with a very ordered architecture (neoclassical).
  • Old town and old castle. Existing since antiquity, the town of La Roche-sur-Yon developed during the Middle Ages with the establishment of a fortified castle. Its development continued until the wars of Vendée when the town was set on fire.
  • Post office. Magnificent building of art-deco architecture, it was built in 1930, on the site of the old prisons.
  • Renaissance House. The place is now occupied by an interpretation center on the history and town planning of La Roche-sur-Yon. 
Italian theater

Flower town and plant heritage

La Roche-sur-Yon can enjoy a rich plant heritage throughout the city, with 11 natural sites, 7 valleys and a multitude of more or less atypical parks and gardens. 


The Roche Vendée Basket Club has played in the first division of the Women’s Basketball League since 2017.


Town hall
2-4 Rue Jean Jaurès, 85000 La Roche-sur-Yon, France
+33 2 51 47 47 47