Giverny is a commune of 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 old province of Normandy at with the Île-de-France (it is officially in the département of Eure, 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 300 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 Garden
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 lived in Giverny from 1883 until his death in 1926. 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 the 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.
Upper Normandy is one of the 32 regions of France. It was created in 1984 from two départements: Seine-Maritime and Eure, when Normandy was divided into Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy. This division continues to provoke controversy, and some continue to call for reuniting the two regions. However, the name Upper Normandy existed prior to 1956 and referred by tradition to territories currently included within the administrative region: the Pays de Caux, the Pays de Bray (not that of Picardy), the Roumois, the Campagne of Le Neubourg, the Plaine de Saint André and the Norman Vexin. Today, most of the Pays d'Auge, as well as a small portion of the Pays d'Ouche, are located in Lower Normandy.
Rouen is the regional capital, historically important with many fine churches and buildings, including the tallest cathedral tower in France. The region's largest city, in terms of metropolitan population, is Le Havre. The region is twinned with the London Borough of Redbridge in the United Kingdom. Its economy is centred around agriculture, industry, petrochemicals and tourism.
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