Giverny is a commune area in northern France in the Eure department, Normandy. Lying just 74 kilometers from central Paris, Giverny is easily accessible from the capital. The commune lies on the right bank of the Seine and has a quaint population of 502 people. The village is most famously known as the home of the world renowned impressionist painter, Claude Monet.
Things to do & Places to see
1. La Maison et Jardins de Claude Monet
The world renowned impressionist painter, Claude Monet lived in Giverny for the last 43 years of his life. He moved there after passing by it when taking the train once, and felt instantly inspired by the little village. Moving in in 1883 he lived out the remainder of his life in his place of inspiration until he died in 1926 at the age of 86. After the second world war happened, shortly after his death, the house and gardens fell in a horrible state of disrepair. But thankfully both the house and gardens were restored again, and opened to the public in the late 70s. The restoration was done brilliantly as they managed to keep Monet's house exactly the way he liked it. Monet was a man of color and it is evident when walking through his house. The outside of the house is pink in color and have green shutters. It is also decorated with beautiful Virginia creepers and roses. Helping the house become a part of the its surroundings. Monet decorated the inside of his house in a way that any Monet fan would understand and appreciate. His kitchen was tiled blue and his dining room was a daffodil yellow hue. His living room was also a bright blue colour.
The house has now become a museum. Naturally it exhibits reproductions of his work, including some of his most famous pieces. As well as a display of Japanese prints that he collected. These pieces can be seen hanging in the rooms throughout the house. Today you can experience the house by going on a guided tour that takes you through the house and his studio, where his paintings were stored.
Jardins de Claude Monet
Claude Monet is famously known for his paintings that were always done outside with natural influences. Therefore it comes as no surprise that his gardens were apart of the main influences on his work. There are two gardens that surround the house. Both were designed by Monet and have been preserved just so. The one garden is completely Japanese inspired. It is known as the Japanese Water gardens. It lies just across the road from the house and exhibits a little river and two ponds that are filled with beautiful water lilies. There is an extraordinary crafted bridge that crosses over the brook, it is almost always covered by wisterias. It was these gardens that inspired some of Monet's most famous pieces of work. Including the painting “Water Lilies”. The second garden designed by Monet lies just outside the front door of the house. Known as the Clos Normand garden, it takes up the space surrounding the house. In this garden Monet subdivided the space into many different flower beds that featured flowers all different shapes, sizes and colors. Some of the flowers that can be found in this garden are the likes of hollyhocks, tulips, irises, roses, daisies, larkspur and poppies.
The Monet house and gardens of Giverny are open to the public from April until November every year from 9:30 am until 6 pm. Cost of admission is 10,20€ per adult, children between the ages of 7-18 cost 7,20€ and then any child under the age of 7 can enter for free.
2. Museum of Impressionism
What would a visit to Monet's beloved home be if not followed by a tour of the Museum of Impressionism. Giverny was in the past a place that many American artists colonized. It was around the 19th century when American artists arrived and began to learn techniques of Impressionism. It was through this that a link was formed between French and American art. The Museum thus opened in 1992 in order to investigate and study the connections. When it initially opened it was known as the American Museum of Art in Giverny, however in the early 2000s it was reopened and renamed to the Museum of Impressionism. It hosts extensive collections including all forms of impressionism. Including works of art from the American artists who learned the technique whilst in Giverny. The museum is famous for exhibiting pieces of impressionistic work that were highly influenced by the Seine Valley and Giverny itself. The museum is extremely close to the former residence of Monet and can be reached by walking.
The museum is open to the public from the end of March until the 5th of November every day, from 10 am until 6 pm. Cost of admission is 8€ per adult, 4€ for children between the age of 7-18 and then children under the age of 7 enter for free.
How Do I Get Here From Paris?
Traveling from Paris to Giverny is quite easy it isn't that far at all. You could make a day trip of it and be back in the comfort of Paris by the evening without a hassle. The easiest way to travel there is by train. You would take Rouen bound train from the Parisian station called Gare Saint Lazare. Though before you get to Rouen you would get off at the Vernon stop. Using this method of transport you could be in Giverny in as little as three quarters of an hour! A round trip from Paris to Giverny and back can cost anything €22-€25 per person. The best thing to do when traveling by train of course is to book in advance. By booking in advance you can save up to 50% on your ticket ! The best way to get the most out of traveling of course is to be extremely organized!