France Odyssey: Seine River, Reims, & Paris Day 7

This morning we arrived in Les Andelys and it was foggy.

Les Andelys

As we left the riverboat we past a medieval church located in the old town of Andelys. The St. Savior Church of Petit-Andely had a gothic facade and took four years to complete (1198-1202).

We also passed the Collégiale Notre-Dame de Vernon. It was another medieval Gothic church built between the 11th and 16th centuries.

Collégiale Notre-Dame de Vernon

Our first stop this morning was Giverny, the home of Claude Monet for 43 years. He lived here until he died in 1926. Claude Monet was the master of impressionism. The town became well known because of his Water Lilies paintings became famous world wide and many of his followers came to visit him in Giverny.

Monet’s House

He designed several gardens: his water garden with its Japanese bridge and water lilies and Clos Normand walled garden.

The water garden was beautiful. Because we took so many pictures of the lilies and garden, we made a slide show. Please click through to view the beauty of this garden.

His other designed garden was the Clos Normand garden, which was in front of his house. Clos Normand meant enclosed garden Normandy. The name was given by an esteemed French gardener, Georges Truffaut who also gave Monet advice.

The front of Monet’s home

Monet could see the Clos Normand garden from his second story bedroom. Could you imagine waking up to that view each morning? There were paths that lead you through the garden and arches that he had his staff install for climbing roses. Many of the flowers were still in bloom and it was beautiful!

After we walked through the water garden and around the Clos Normand garden we toured his home. It was filled with replicas of many of his paintings, his collection of Japanese prints, furnishings, and photos of Claude.

Monet’s first studio was in the main house. He stored paintings he didn’t want to sell in this room. The furniture and objects that decorated it were authentic but the paintings were all copies!

In 1899 he built a large studio that now served as the gift shop!

This afternoon we went to visit the Château de Malmaison. It was purchased in 1799 by Joséphine Bonaparte without her husband’s knowledge. When he returned from Egypt he approved of the purchase.

Château de Malmaison
Entrance to the Château
Back of the Château

Parts of the Château were under renovation. From 1800-1802 it was the seat of the French government along with the Tuileries. In 1802 the family moved to Saint-Cloud but Josephine made frequent trips to the Château to do renovations. After her divorce in 1809 from Napoleon he gave her the property. She lived here until her death in 1814. It became a museum in 1905.

The slide show below gives you an overview of how ornate the castle was decorated and furnished. It also had souvenirs from Napolean’s exile.

We walked around the grounds before we left.

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