A few kilometers from Chinon, the Le Manoir de la Devinière , where François Rabelais was born in 1483 or 1494, is a genuine haven. Epicenter of the Picrocholine wars in Gargantua, the writer’s birthplace is now entirely dedicated to a major figure in French literature, master and prince in his country:  Rabelaisia.

Enjoying historical monument status, the La Devinière buildings complement one another perfectly:   15th-century dwelling, dovecote/barn, troglodytic habitat, large cellars, winemaker’s house… All of them may be discovered during a visit to a decidedly distinctive site, offering a marvelous journey in the universe of François Rabelais, where you will follow in the footsteps of his imaginary giants via an interpretive trail and walking routes. In the unspoilt environment of the natural regional Loire-Anjou-Touraine park, visitors of all ages are invited to partake of the different ingredients of the culture of this splendid site.  The museum proposes a playfully appetizing circuit for children and a “tasting visit” or “sugar/salt readings” for adults.

While François Rabelais and his work are central to the museum, La Devinière also aspires to employ them as a means of perceiving and more broadly understanding the Renaissance ideas underlying the renowned writer’s books. Readings of surprising extracts from Rabelais’ texts will demonstrate the importance of this author in the development of the French language.

Quite rapidly, the characters imagined by Rabelais, from Grandgousier to Gargantua along with Panurge and Pantagruel, will become part and parcel of a visit to La Devinière, allowing visitors to rediscover colorful, uproarious language with its  puns, verbal inventions and plentiful expressions currently used in everyday speech.

From the legendary birth room of the writer to the emblematic facade of the dovecote/barn contiguous to a 17th-century house, the Le Manoir de la Devinière, which became the Musée Rabelais in 1951, is conducive to complete and enthralling immersion in  Rabelaisia, in the imaginary faculties of one the most important writers in French literature. By dint of his pen, the kitchen equipped with a grand fireplace and a stone sink is transformed into the unforgettable setting for the sumptuous banquets of the house master, Grandgousier. By dint of the 19th-century paintbrush of Gustave Doré,  Gargantua comes to life in the picture exhibited on the first floor alongside another canvas from the same epoch, Le Procès de Panurge (Panurge’s trial), by Jules Garnier. Last but not least, the troglodytic cellars, which constitute a metaphorical bridge between the house, the work and the landscape, not only shed light on major winemaking in the Devinière enclosure, but also serve as the perfect backdrop for regularly scheduled temporary exhibits.



Opening time


Further information