Giverny is a town in the Eure department in northern France. It is best known as the location of Claude Monet’s garden and home. Giverny sits on the “right Bank” of the River Seine. The village lies 80 km (50 miles) from Paris, west and slightly north, in the province of Normandy (in the région of Haute-Normandie).
A settlement has existed in Giverny since neolithic times and a monument uncovered attests to this fact. Archeological finds have included booties dating from Gallo-Roman times and to the earlier 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The town was known in ancient deeds as “Warnacum”. The cultivation of grapes has been an occupation of the inhabitants of Giverny since Merovingian times. The village church dates from the Middle Ages and is built partially in the Romanesque style, though additions have since been made. It is dedicated to Saint Radegonde. The village has remained a small rural setting with a modest population (numbering around 301 in 1883 when Monet discovered it) and has since seen a boom in tourism since the restoration of Monet’s house and gardens.Claude Monet noticed the village of Giverny while looking out of a train window. He made up his mind to move there and rented a house and the area surrounding it. In 1890 he had enough money to buy the house and land outright and set out to create the magnificent gardens he wanted to paint. Some of his most famous paintings, such as his water lily and Japanese bridge paintings, were of his garden in Giverny. Monet moved to Giverny in 1883 with his family, including his second wife and 8 children, living and painting here until his death in 1926. The village surroundings and the gardens of his house formed a great part of the inspiration and subject matter for his paintings. It was after the move to Giverny that Monet began his famous Séries of paintings, repeatedly rendering haystacks, cathedrals and waterlilies from his garden pond in his own unique Impressionist style . He and many members of his family are interred in the village cemetery.
Monet’s house and gardens were opened to public visit in 1980, following restoration work. They have become a popular tourist attraction (the Fondation Claude Monet), particularly in the summer when the flowers are in bloom. The other main attraction of the village is the Museum of Impressionism. The Hôtel Baudy was a center of artistic life in the Giverny heyday. It is now still a café and restaurant, with period decoration. It is always best to arrive early in Giverny in order to avoid the throngs of bus-driven tourists who arrive later in the morning and keep coming all day.
Monet’s House (Fondation Claude Monet) , 84 rue Claude Monet, tel 02 32 51 28 21, open April-October Mo-Su 9:30 am – 6 pm, , under-7s free, wheelchair access available – e-tickets can now be purchased online to avoid queuing – the house is quietly eccentric and highly interesting in an Orient-influenced style, and includes Monet’s collection of Japanese prints. There are no original Monet paintings on the site – the real drawcard, is the gardens around the house – the water garden with the Japanese bridge, weeping willows and waterlilies is now somewhat iconic. Monet’s house has the obligatory gift-store attached, designed to help you part with your money in exchange for all manner of things Impressionist.
The Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny ,
99 rue Claude Monet,
tel 02 32 51 94 65,
open May – October
Tu-Su 10 am – 6 pm, ,
wheelchair access available – the museum replaces the former Musée d’Art Américain. It proposes temporary exhibitions.
The Natural Mechanical Museum ,
2 rue Blanche Hoschedé-Monet,
Phone: 02 32 21 26 33. 27620 Giverny.
Association under 1901 law, founded by the Guillemard brothers: Jean-pierre, René and Gérard currently run restorations and exhibitions with the help of an enthusiasts team who devoted their time and known-how to the Patrimony preservation. The museum origin is a private collection of steam internal combustion engines; founded in 1955 by the Guillemard family a GIVERNY resident’s since generations. Former threshing entrepreneur and blacksmith ADOLPHE Guillemard has transmitted to his children his know-how and passion for the vintage mechanics. Along years, purchasing, donations of engines pile-up awaiting for the needed parts or just a time to restore. Since 1982 the number of collected items increased due to closing of workshops, factories or mills. The preservation of these engines was a rescue task, numbers of testimonials items already gone. In 1990 the collection find home in the actual local where the engines are in permanent show, installation of the Carels 1908 diesel engine weighting 28 tons keep the team busy for months on overhauling and restoration; it becomes in 2003 the world bigger old running diesel engine.
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