Welcome in the department of Eure
Eure is the department of interest for people who appreciate heritage, culture and art during their travels. A wide range of historical and cultural sites will satisfy their passion. As for nature, the Eure has plenty to offer, such as the Boucles de la Seine Normande park, the Vernier marsh, the Lyons forest, and the beautiful valleys of the Seine and the Risle.
Quelles expériences et découvertes dans l'Eure ?
In France, Eure is a region renowned not only for cows and apples, but also for its historical heritage. Easily accessible by small roads or highways, or by train from the Saint Lazare station. An ideal destination for a week-end escape, for couples, family or friends. This department is suitable for an unusual vacation, at the heart of exceptional natural areas, with beautiful villages to discover, that will charm you all along the trip.
An historical and cultural heritage
The department of Eure has a great number of cultural and historical elements, starting from ancient time, passing by the Middle Age and the renaissance to the contemporary time. The antique site of Gisacum represents a sanctuary city of the Gallo-Roman period, rather unknown, close to Evreux, whereas the cathedral of Evreux is much better known. The region of Eure takes much care of its past, the development of heritage is one of the strengths of Normandy. The cultural heritage preservation is a major preoccupation, you can find out more about the rich architectural heritage of the different regions on our page.
Cities and villages full of character
The department pays great attention to its small villages and towns with historic character, so let you be charmed by those gems of Norman patrimony, half-timbered houses are always well worth the detour. Spend some time strolling through the narrow streets of Pont-au-de-mer to explore the little Norman Venice or follow the traces of Richard the Lionheart and the vestiges of Château-Gaillard in Les Andelys. In the Vexin Normand countryside, the legend of the Templars' treasure in Gisors may invite you to look it up. The historic center and the legacy of these cities are to be discovered through guided tours all year round.
The museums in the Eure department
The museums invite you to a presentation of a historic moment or a retrospective of heritage features as well as a display of Normandy's treasures. Learning about heritage in museums is a great way to get young people interested in the values of past events. With historic traces from the ancient era, there are many objects dating from the past, if you add the biodiversity, craftsmanship and the know-how from the past, not forgetting the intangible heritage of the Normandy bocage, which is still a major source of the territory's plurality.
The gardens and park of Normandy
Famous for its many gardens and parklands, the Eure department is keen to promote its heritage of landscaped areas adjacent to castles and manors. Come and pay homage to this preserved natural environment with the help of the associations of passionate people in the region. Many hectares of beautiful gardens await you during your stay in Normandy. In parallel, the department's mission is to safeguard sensitive natural areas and is involved in preserving the Seine Normandy regional park, which you can discover on bucolic walks with your family or friends.
The 12 most important historical monuments of the Eure
The castle of Buisson de May
It was Jean de Bordeaux Bargeville who built the castle in 1781, according to the plans of the royal architect Jacques Denis Antoine. During the 19th century, the castle underwent some small restorations, the park was redesigned after 1807, by the landscape architect Lalos. In the 20th century, the castle went through many vicissitudes, abandonment, looting, before being classified as a Historical Monument in 1994. In 1999, the castle was redeemed by the department and underwent a major restoration project in stages, following a violent storm which caused severe damages on the roof and some buildings, and led to the uprooting of more than fifty prestigious trees in the park.
Abbey Notre-Dame du Bec-Hellouin
Founded in 1034 by the knight Herluin, the abbey had a great spiritual and intellectual impact in the middle age, influencing people far beyond the borders of France. Located in Bec-Hellouin, in Normandy, in the Diocese of Evreux, the abbey continues to be inhabited by the Benedictine monks of the Congregation of Mont Olivet, where it is open to visitors all year round. The current abbey is composed of a chapter house and a 17th century cloister with majestic conventual buildings from the 18th century, dominated by the 15th century Saint-Nicolas tower. The current church occupies the former refectory, of the 14th century abbey church, there remain, today, only a few elements of the foundations.
Archaeological site of Gisacum
2000 years ago, Gisacum was an exceptional city because of its size and the wealth of its monuments. Located in the commune of Le-Vieil-Évreux, the site is still under excavation. Only the vestiges of the thermal baths have been, to this day, valorised within an archeological garden. The excavations have revealed, the baths, a temple, the aqueduct, the theater, the first time the site was excavated, at the beginning of the 19th by François Rever. The 1976 drought made it possible to reveal, on aerial photographs, the extent of the site which extends, at least, on 250 ha. One of the finds was a beautiful bronze statue of Jupiter Stator, on display in the museum of Evreux.
The Mortemer Abbey with ghosts
Founded in the 12th century by Henri Beauclerc, the 4th son of William the Conqueror, Mortemer Abbey is now a destination filled with history and legends. Nestled in the heart of the Lyons forest, in a peaceful valley on the commune of Lisors. The monastery was severely damaged in the 17th century, only the large dwelling, the north gallery of the cloister, the farm buildings and the dovecote have remained. Stroll through the park's romantic ruins and find, in the abbey's basement, a scenographic tour that retraces the history of the abbey and evokes the legends and the ghosts that supposedly haunt the place.
Castle of Hellenvilliers in Grandvilliers
It is a 16th century residence, built in several stages, located in the village of Grandvilliers, a commune of Mesnils-sur-Iton. The castle was built by René de Mainnemares and Renée Le Veneur, finished for the visit of Henri IV, around 1590. The oldest wing of Renaissance style, it is supported by a chapel of the 15th, which was restored after a fire in 1792, behind which stands a watchtower and the common. The main building is from the beginning of the 17th century, built by Gabriel de Clinchamp. The right wing, which closes the U-shaped courtyard, dates from the beginning of the 18th century and was added by the Count of Erard.
The church of Saint-Taurin in Evreux
Built next to an ancient Roman road in the 10th century, it was part of a former Benedictine monastery located west of the city center, in an area crisscrossed by canals and branches of the Iton River. Destroyed and rebuilt several times, it harmoniously mixes Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. It is in the 13th century, under the guidance of Gilbert de Saint-Martin, that he undertook the realization of the reliquary of the shrine of Saint Taurin, it is made of wood and silver, covered with a gold leaf embossed, it was renovated in 1830. We owe him also the construction of the south portal of the church.
The Norman Versailles - Beaumesnil
Situated in an 80 ha domain, the Beaumesnil castle is a magnificent example of early 17th century architecture with its facades of richly decorated brick and stone. Often referred to as a Norman Versailles, it was built between 1633 and 1640 and is a remarkable expression of the Louis XIII baroque style, with a French garden that extends over 4 ha and includes a large area devoted to a water mirror. The visit of the castle is done freely and in a playful way through a support of paper visit which is given to you at the entrance upon your arrival. You will go from top to bottom, from the cellar to the attics, you will cross more than 15 furnished rooms.
The Castle of Blanc-Buisson
Located in the commune of Saint-Pierre-du-Mesnil, the castle was constructed in 1290, under the reign of Philippe le Bel. It is certainly the last remnant of an architectural model, both civilian and military, of the post-medieval period in the Pays d'Ouche. The pentagonal construction is nestled in a green setting, surrounded by a moat, defended by watchtowers, drawbridges and watchtowers. This heritage is steeped in history and has always been passed down through marriage or inheritance. It has only belonged to 3 families and has only been sold once. Legend says that there were underground tunnels under the moat, which allowed people to escape into the countryside.
The Notre-Dame church in Louviers
A remarkable religious cultural heritage, an impressive building, full of history, in the flamboyant gothic style, a great work, the construction started in 1197, it was essentially finished in 1240. The church of Notre Dame de Louviers was then reworked during the 16th century, when the south façade was reconfigured with a large porch, followed by a complete structural modification of the crossing tower, then it was the turn of the chevet and the lantern tower. Around the church of Louviers, you can admire the old wash houses, the cloister of the penitents' former convent and in the rue du Quai and the rue Ternaux, the old half-timbered houses.
The Abbey of Fontaine-Guérard
This women's Cistercian abbey, located in the commune of Radepont, is the pearl of the Andelle valley, in the heart of a wilderness and nestled at the foot of a spring with healing virtues. It seems to have been forgotten by time. This masterpiece of Anglo-Norman Gothic architecture from the beginning of the 13th century is bordered by the Andelle River, in a wilderness setting. During the visit, you will see the troglodytic cellar, the romantic ruins of the church, the nuns' building, the workroom, the dormitory and the monastic gardens with carvings evoking the women who lived there.
The castle of Champ de Bataille
Built between 1653 and 1665, for the Marshal and Count Alexandre de Créqui-Bernieulles, who was a friend of the Prince of Condé, it is located in the commune of Le Neubourg, in the village of Sainte-Opportune-du-Bosc. Outstanding by the extent of its facade and refined elegance of architecture, the castle was redesigned in the 18th century by the Duke of Beuvron, then from one owner to another, the castle eventually passed into oblivion. In 1992, it was bought back by the interior designer Jacques Garcia, who managed to give it back, in a few years, its former splendor. Surrounded by a large wooded area, the castle is now embellished with a beautiful French garden.
The castle of Vascœuil
On the edge of the Lyons forest, the 15th and 16th century château de Vascœuil houses a center of art and history, with exhibitions of modern art works as well as a museum devoted to Jules Michelet. Following 25 years of work, these efforts have been crowned by an award from Chefs-d'oeuvre en péril. Since the acquisition of the estate in 1965, the owners developed the project, in parallel with the restoration, to establish a Center of Art and History, which was finally inaugurated in 1970. In addition to the artists' exhibitions, a collection of over 50 pieces of original sculpture are on permanent display in the park and garden.
The 24 cities and villages full of character not to miss in the Eure
Welcome to the Eure and let yourself be captivated by these towns and villages full of charm and authenticity, with their narrow cobbled streets, houses and half-timbered facades, their thatched roofs. Take the time to wander through the region, wherever you go, in the Ouche country, in the Auge country, in the Seine valley, in the southern Roumois, or in the Vexin Normand, all of them will reveal to you their history, traditions and legends.
Located at the confluence of the Eure and Iton rivers, it is a paradise for walkers. The Renaissance castle park and the Saint-Cécile church are some of the historical treasures to be explored. The ponds park of Acquigny proposes thematic and entertaining courses, to please all ages. The château de l'Amour invites you to learn about all the secrets behind its construction, its hidden messages and to stroll through its park and thatched cottages to admire all the different artworks scattered throughout the romantic park.
This charming little town in the green valley of the Charentonne river is the birthplace of the scientist Augustin Fresnel. The military constructions of the old fortress have been replaced by a vast modern castle. It is surrounded by a beautiful park overlooking the Charentonne valley, along which the "voie verte" (green way) runs, a delight for walkers. You can also admire the picturesque charm of the old houses along the streets.
Besides its remarkable historical heritage, the village is nestled in the heart of nature, in the 10,685 ha national forest of Lyons. A veritable hub of Normandy, Lyons-la-Forêt grew up all around its fortified castle, which was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. Over the years, the city passed from a military headquarters to a holiday resort for royalty. In 1990, Claude Chabrol, seduced by the site, used it as a shooting location for the famous film "Madame de Bovary".
The village of Beaumont-le-Roger is located in the Risle valley and is famous for its woods and hunting parties. Walking through the streets of Beaumont means meeting history: church, plaques, remains of the past, facade and street names, all of which recall the wealthy past of the village. Visitors who love old houses will find some beautiful stone, brick, half-timbered and flint buildings. The Beaumont forest covering 3,600 hectares is the largest private domain in Normandy.
Overlooking the valley of the Rouloir, the village is in a green environment, surrounded by the forest, which also shelters some nice small tourist attractions. It is by walking through the streets, the alleys and the different squares of the city that the richness of its historical past comes to light. The 15th century Norman dungeon and houses, the abbey and its vaulted cellars of the 16th century, are all evidence of this history. You should not forget to visit the glass museum dedicated to the master glassmaker François Décorchemont from Conch.
A living area since the Paleolithic period, as testified by the dolmens found in Dampierre, Acon and Vert-en-Drouais, the history of Nonancourt is above all marked by the medieval period. Some 700 years ago, a powerful fortress, flanked by 14 towers, was erected. Even today, the walk along the ramparts is still impressive. In 1417, the city was destroyed by the British and only rebuilt in 1451. The main part of the church can be seen, as well as many beautiful half-timbered houses dating from this period.
Set in the heart of the Pays d'Ouche, between the Risle and Charentonne rivers, which today is called Mesnil en Ouche, is a village with a rich historic legacy. You can admire the 17th century castle and make a small detour by the vegetable garden where you will have the opportunity to discover 1001 different kinds of vegetables. Beaumesnil is the starting point of 17 expertly marked out hikes. The tourist office has published 5 circuits on brochures, Nature & Heritage, the Vallons d'Epinay, the Risle Valley, the Pierre Ronde, and the Flavors circuit.
Settled on the banks of the Iton river, the city is dominated by its Gothic cathedral and the 15th century belfry. It has an important architectural and artistic heritage. Capital of the Eure, it's located midway between Paris and the Normandy coast, its cathedral remains the flagship emblem of the city, before the museum next to the gothic cloister, which presents various collections retracing 1.000 years history. A walk on the banks of the Iton river will offer you some beautiful views over the city's monuments.
In the country of Seine Eure, there exists an authentic medieval Norman fortified city, listed as heritage city, Pont de l'Arche has preserved some important vestiges from the past. Following the narrow streets, admire the authentic Norman half-timbered houses and the Notre-Dame-des-Arts church. A lot of buildings and properties testify the administrative, judicial, military and religious functions that the city used to assure, during your visit, you will pass easily from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
This preserved village is a perfect example of how Norman cities used to be. Here, heritage lovers will make a series of discoveries. The testimonies of Bernay's past are very present in the town, with the 11th century abbey, the alleys with traditional houses of 15th and 16th century, the churches, the gardens, but also the museum of Fine Arts with its collections. If you need to relax, a walk along the river Charentonne or the Cosnier la Vallée will offer you plenty to see.
If any name alone can evoke the Impressionism, it is the village of Giverny where Claude Monet settled in 1883, in order to create his beautiful garden that is reborn each spring. Placed in the heart of the lovely village, the artist's property has preserved its charms over time. The Jardin d'Eau was created by the artist himself and is crossed by a small branch of the Epte river, forming a magnificent park of Japanese inspiration. All over the village, the streets and alleys full of flowers, the wisteria and the virgin vine adorn the colorful houses.
The lighthouse, dating back from 1802, is a testimony of its past as a former stronghold of the Seine pilots. It is one of the last loops of the Seine with a rich historical heritage. The church of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Port, in Quillebeuf-sur-Seine, is a beautiful example of Norman Romanesque architecture. It contains a lot of graffiti from waiting sailors and a remarkable collection of nice ship models. The ancient bac is still used to cross the waters of the Seine, as in the past, in a rather picturesque way.
A charming old fishing port on the Seine estuary, which has kept its authenticity. The originality of the village is that you can discover the boat "L'Annick" and the old rigging "La fleur des flots", two witnesses to the dynamic past of the harbor. The forest of Mont Courel, classified "sensitive natural space" due to its biodiversity is remarkable with the presence of moors. Starting from the esplanade, you will appreciate the beautiful view on the Normandy bridge as well as the Tancarville bridge.
The name given to Ivry, alludes to the battle against the leaguers that Henri IV fought in 1590. There are the remains of one of the very first stone castles built in Normandy around the year 1000 and the size of its imposing keep, witnesses of the strategic stake that Ivry constituted during many centuries. A walking path offers a very romantic and interesting panorama on the city, crossed by the Eure and rich of winnowings and mills, evidence of his industrial past.
A rural commune, Rugles belongs to the Pays d'Ouche, in the southern part of the Eure department. The village is located in the Risle valley, a tributary of the Seine. It is the home of 2 churches: the church of Saint-Germain, dating from the 14th century, and the historically most important one, the church of Notre-Dame-Outre-L'Eau, (dating from the 10th century) considered as one of the oldest churches in France. The traffic circle of the nails is a strange curiosity, reminding us of the time when the city was a center for the manufacture of nails and pins.
Located between the Pays d'Auge, the estuary of the Seine and the Parc Naturel Régional des Boucles de la Seine Normande, only a few km away from the Côte Fleurie and the towns of Deauville and Honfleur. The City and its environs enjoy a great historic and cultural heritage. By following the estuary road, you can discover the maritime activity of former times, and contemplate exceptional landscapes. Here, the land is rich in many authentic flavors, and you can enjoy them without moderation.
A charming authentic Norman village in the Bec valley, the half-timbered houses, the flowered alleys, the beech tree square invite you to stroll. Down here, you will find the sumptuous Notre-Dame Abbey, which was founded in 1035 by the Hellouin knight and is still in activity thanks to a community of Benedictine monks. The monks favored the birth of the village very early on in order to have a workforce nearby. They now make and sell their candles and ceramics.
Welcome to Saint-Georges-du-Vièvre, a land of mystery and artisanal traditions, in the heart of the Normandy bocage, the green Normandy that you love. Situated between the Risle valley and the Vièvre forest, you will enjoy the scenery and its quietness. In the past, the village of Saint-Georges-du-Vièvre was famous for the quality of its linen weaving, handmade by the locals who used to sell linen cloth, called blancards or toile de Saint-Georges, on the central square of the village.
Breteuil-sur-Iton is a pretty little town in Normandy, close to one of the biggest forests in the Eure, where history and natural beauty are harmoniously blended. The village of Breteuil-sur-Iton benefits from the label "Station Verte" (Green Resort). In town, the Museum of Life and Trades of the past, presents 7,000 pieces, including old tools, spread over 38 trades or scenes of life from the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Among the rare pieces, a television from 1949, still in working order.
The 2 Andelys
At the entry of Vexin Normand, this is the city of Richard the Lionheart, based on the Seine banks and under the famous ruins of the Château-Gaillard. In fact, the city is articulated on the "Petit" or "Grand" Andelys, the "Promenade des Près", which follows the canal of the "Grand Rang", is the link between both parts. Following the quays of the Seine, you will see the dome of the Saint-Jacques hospital and the spire of the Saint-Sauveur church. Do not miss to visit the Nicolas Poussin museum near to the miraculous fountain "Sainte Clotilde".
Come to discover a surprising modern city, among the 9 new cities of France created in the early 70's, that doesn't have the face of a typical Norman city, nevertheless it is worthy of interest. The American-style city plan, with raised pedestrian walkways, will delight modern architecture enthusiasts. It became officially a commune in 1984 and is situated in an inner meander of the Seine at the confluence of the Eure. It is an area of considerable beauty.
Installed in the center of the Risle Valley, the city has not been spared by World War II, however, it has been able to preserve some riches of its historical heritage. The churches of Saint Martin and Sainte Mère de Dieu, are beautiful examples of the past, as well as the domain of Lorraine or the dungeon which overhangs the city and dominates the valley. Its leisure center offers a 22ha lake with a wide range of family activities enhanced by a beautiful sandy beach.
A former cloth-making city, it has kept some Norman districts, mainly around the cathedral, with its half-timbered houses, majestic monuments, old factories and the Cloister of Penitents. The city of Louviers, just as a Venice, is criss-crossed by some 20 river arms. Go alongside them and discover its built and landscape heritage, and you will surely succumb to its charms. Exploring the city's parks or gardens will bring great moments of serenity to you.
On the road to the thatched cottages, the village is located on the banks of the Seine between the forest of Brotonne and the Marais Vernier, directly bordering the town of Aizier. It is a village full of charm, composed of many houses that have preserved their thatched roofs topped with irises. Stop to discover the history and the heritage of this ancient Roman port, which has become a tourist attraction. To do so, take the short walk on the heritage trail "Portus Tutus" which goes around it.