Monet was inspired by the rolling meadows and the wooded hills with picturesque villages in between and painted his famous water lilies. If you visit the Eure department in Normandy, you will see another world within a relatively short drive of England.
The capital of the department is Evreux with the Cathédrale Notre-Dame as its main attraction. Pay special attention to the 14th-century stained glass window on the north side of the choir. It is one of the first examples of golden-yellow glass. At the time an expensive and unique color made with silver nitrate. In the Evreux area, the Jumiéges abbey ruins are worth a visit. The church with towers of 43 meters high is one of the most impressive in France. Another beautiful ruin can be found in the village of Les Andelys in the Seine valley. The imposing remains of the Château Gaillard tower above the rocks of the town. Other cultural highlights in the department include the Bec-Hellouin abbey, Vascoeuil, a center of art and history, the fortified castle of Gisors and the Château du Champ de Bataille.
The village of Giverny is a story of its own. The town on the Seine itself has no more than 700 inhabitants, but is world famous because the impressionist painter Claude Monet lived here from 1883 until his death in 1926. He designed a colorful garden at his house with Japanese bridges and water features full of water lilies. His house has been restored by the Claude Monet Foundation and, together with the gardens, is a major tourist attraction. Paintings of Monet's followers can be found in the Musée d’Art in the village.
Discover the nature of the Parc naturel Régional de Brotonne, where you can go hiking and cycling. A beautiful cycling route is the forty kilometer long circuit "des mares et des étangs". The route goes alongside lakes and lakes through picturesque villages such as Saint-Mards-de-Blacarville, known for its Romanesque castle, Fourmetot, where the historic bread oven is worth seeing and the picturesque villages of Colletot and Corneville-sur-Risle. The bells of the carillon of this last town will recognize opera lovers from the operetta by Robert de Planquet.
Anyone who loves traditional farmers' markets will not miss out on Eure. In many villages there is a nice weekly "marché" on the centrally located market squares. These markets are a good place to buy the best and tastiest regional products such as dried lamb and sheep legs or - slightly less adventurous - chicken from the Ape Valley or Rouenaise Duck. Famous Norman cheeses are the Coeur de Neufchâtel, Pont de l'Evêque, Livarot and of course the world famous camembert of Marie Harel. Also known is the Calvados, the apple wine that is made in the most western part of the department.