Last Updated on March 14, 2022 by Jim Ferri
If you’re driving to Normandy from Paris, stop in Giverny to visit
the house and gardens of the French Impressionist artist Claude Monet. It’s an
easy 1 1/2-hour drive from CDG airport in Paris across the beautiful French countryside.
Giverny is an old village located about two hours northwest of Paris. It
hasn’t changed much since Monet lived here in the late 19th century.
At that time the population was about 300 citizens; today it’s around 500.
Monet at first rented the house in Giverny and later purchased it. There he built
and grew those things he wanted to paint…a water lily pond, a Japanese bridge,
his famous grand flower garden, the garden’s Grand Allee.
After Monet’s death in 1926, the house and gardens languished for years
before being restored in 1980. The beautiful property now attracts travelers
and art lovers from around the world.
When I visited I saw that the beauty of the large garden and the water lily
ponds astounded everyone. The Monet house is also quite interesting. For those
who have ever seen any of Monet’s
water lilies in museums, it is an excellent experience. In fact, it’s considered
the most popular garden in France and attracts 500,000 visitors a year.
Nearby is the American Art Museum, dedicated to the American impressionist painters
who also moved to the village in Monet’s time.
It’s well worth the drive from Paris but go early in the day to beat the
tour groups. If you’re not part of a group, you can hire a guide in advance,
but both the garden and house are quite manageable on your own.
Some say they know this place even if they’ve never visited. The reason – Monet’s
paintings, especially the water lilies in his Giverny garden – grace the walls
of museums around the world.
Giverny is an old village located about two hours northwest of Paris. It hasn’t changed much since Monet lived here in the late 19th century. At that time the population was about 300 citizens; today it’s around 500.