Association du Prieuré

Presentation of the Association

Welcome to the Prioress Association!

Community association

The Saint Rémy la Varenne Prioress Association, subject to 1901 law is registered as a community association. It was created in 1989 to federate volunteers to valorise, energise and liven up the Saint Rémy la Varenne Prioress to protect it. Quickly the Association interest had enlarged to plant, cultural and educational topics, offering a large choice of activities. Those activities are grouped in the ‘rendez-vous du Prieuré’ and accessible to everyone.

Among others, the Association organise educational animations, wild excursions, markets, roundtables, concerts, theatre and documentary meetings. The main event of the year (more than 8,000 visitors during the weekend) occurs at the autumn: The Hortomnales party. This family party is organised around the presentation of the Prioress cucurbit collection.

Each voluntary can invest within a working group accordingly to its centres of interest and its availabilities: local history, natural areas, botany, cucurbits, parties, Prioress upkeep… Our enthusiasm and wish to pass on experiences federate us. Everything is possible, everyone is welcome, we are waiting for you numerous to the Saint Rémy la Varenne Prioress.

Educational, cultural and touristic activities

The Prioress association is organised around two central axes:

The association is offering you educational activities and discovery excursions all along the year with our two organisers. These excursions aim to provide you environment and patrimony teaching thanks to the discovery of the village and its surrounding patrimony.

The ‘rendez-vous du Prieuré’ make you discover a rich programme of theatre, festive activities including night markets, creative workshops, junior and adult wild excursions and the dramatised Prioress visits, that become more and more famous.

The Prioress Association also organise cultural and touristic activities with a voluntary team motivates by passion and wish to pass on their knowledge about History, Archaeology, Botany and plants. Yearly, for European patrimony days, the Association organise visits and thematic conferences illustrating dynamism and quality of Prioress events.

L’Association du Prieuré de Saint Rémy La Varenne, Maine-et-Loire

L'association en quelques mots

The Association account for more than 200 volunteers, a team of two full-time organisers, Aurélie Duchêne and Jean-Clément Pelletier, and numerous donors and sponsors. It is an associative organisation mainly funded by its own activities.

The association is composed of:

  • A broad of governors that clarify and validate decisions. The 17 governors are elected during the general assembly. They organise them self as commissions (gardening, shows, exhibitors…). The Broad of governors elects a president, vice-presidents, treasurer, vice-treasurer, secretary and vice-secretary.
  • A small committee of four volunteers and the president that regularly organise committee meetings.

In 2018, the committee members are:

  • Pierre Dalphin, president
  • Marie-Odile Hélard and Jean-Claude Tessier, vice-presidents
  • Edith Coudert, secretary
  • Pierrot Planckaert, treasurer


The association was created in 1989. (Statutes deposited on the 17th March 1989.)

Successive presidents were:

  • Daniel COURS: Founding president
  • Alain BRAGUIER: President from April 1989 to March 2000
  • Sylvain LALANNE: President from March 2000 to March 2010
  • Loïc BROHAND: President from March 2010 to March 2013
  • Michéle GUICHARD: President from March 2013 to May 2014
  • Patrice HOMMAIS: President from May 2014 to July 2016
  • Pierre DALPHIN: President from September 2016 to now days

The Hortomnales

As every year since 1989, the hortomnales are organised the last weekend of October. The 29th Hortomnales are scheduled for the 27th and 28th October 2018. This family party welcome more and more visitors each year (more than 8 700 visitors in 2017). It presents both an extensive and original cucurbit collection and an incredible cucurbit market. All are cultivated by our volunteers, with the participation of local farmers offering their time and fields for the cucurbit cultivation.

These two lovely days, full of magical autumnal colours, offer visitors time to stroll through the wooded park on a musical beat. They discover numerous craft workers, local producers and animations for everyone that leave imperishable memories. All visitors become agog to come the following year again!

Les Hortomnales