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Sifex France Guide to Eure

The department of the Eure, between the Ile de France and the Seine Maritime is criss-crossed by numerous rivers and canals. At Gisors, on the banks of the Epte, an 11th Century Castle with two keeps has remained virtually in its original state whilst the 13th century Church of Saint Gervais and Saint Protais has superb Renaissance décor. Both are designated as Historic monuments. A flower lined canal runs along the quayside where the tanners used to soak the skins with the old timber framed washhouse at the end.

With a wealth of fascinating historic monuments and some charming towns and villages nestling along the banks of the Seine and other rivers, the Eure is a haven of rural tranquillity. Giverny where Claude Monet lived and painted from 1883 until his death in 1925 has attracted many artists and the new Museum of American Art with its conference centre, films, concerts, art classes and exhibitions of impressionist art affirms Giverny’s place in the world of art and tourism. The garden which inspired Monet and featured in so many of his works is tended today just as it was in his lifetime as is the house, restored to its original colours and condition.

Towering above the village of Les Andelys, deep in the Seine valley, Château Gaillard was an impressive stronghold in the XIIth Century. Built by Richard Coeur de Lion, Henri IV had it demolished during the Religious wars but its ruins remain an imposing landmark. Vernon offers River cruises, the Alphonse Poulain museum and at Château de Bizy,an attractive baroque water garden and stables inspired by those of Versailles. The Château de La Roche Guyon perched on the chalk cliffs above the Seine was Rommel’s headquarters in World War II and at La Rochefoucault wrote his famous ‘Maximes’.

The many branches of the Eure wind amongst the half-timbered houses of Louviers, the church of Notre-Dame and the convent of the penitents. Pont-Audemer on the River Risle with its half-timbered houses is a perfect holiday destination with many place of interest in the countryside nearby. These include the Brotonne forest, the Marais-Vernier and the ‘Côte Fleurie’ . At Bernay, on the Charentonne River, are the churches of Sainte-Croix and Notre Dame, an 11th – 12th century Abbey, some charming old houses, a municipal museum and a cart museum. Finally Evreux, on the River Iton dates from the Gallo-Roman period and is the principle town of the department. The Cathedral dates from the 12th Century with 14/15th century stained glass windows. One can wander along the river or play golf nearby.

© 2003-2006 Sarah Francis

Sifex France Guide to the Departments in Normandy

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Eure
Manche
Orne
Seine Maritime

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