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Monet's Gardens at Giverny: An Attraction You Can't Miss on Your Next Trip to Paris

Updated on June 22, 2011
A rose bed outside Monet's home
A rose bed outside Monet's home | Source

One Day, as Monet Was Passing by Giverny . . .

Claude Monet first saw the village of Giverny, so goes the legend, through a train window as he was passing by. He returned to take a closer look and, liking what he saw, Monet became a resident of Giverny in 1883, at the age of 43.

Almost 100 years later, in 1980, restoration of the home and gardens was completed and the living, breathing Impressionist painting that Monet created and called his home for over 30 years was opened to the public.

Giverny is located about 50 miles (80 km) outside Paris in the province of Normandy. Today, Monet's home receives over 500,000 visitors annually. The population of Giverny is less than 1,000 people.

Monet's Gardens
Monet's Gardens | Source

Take Me to the Bridge

It wasn't until 1899, sixteen years after he moved to the village of Giverny, that Monet began work on his famous water lilly paintings. He couldn't very well begin them much before that, as the Japanese inspired water garden, complete with lily ponds, walking bridges -- including the famous wisteria-covered Japanese bridge -- and weeping willows, did not exist until Monet began creating the garden in the mid 1893.

Beautiful Giverny
Beautiful Giverny | Source

Giverny Map

Map of Monet's House and Gardens at Giverny
Map of Monet's House and Gardens at Giverny | Source

A Tale of Two Lilies

The first garden Monet created at Giverny was the flower garden, which is rather large, consisting of a number of flower beds and iron archways intertwined with climbing roses. Flowers are in bloom seven months of the year, from April to October, and visitors can return to witness the garden's palette changing from spring to summer to fall.

One can see on the map to the right the size of the flower garden -- essentially the entire area on the house side of the old railway.

On the other side is Monet's water garden, which he began building about ten years after moving to Giverny.

Iron Archway at Monet's Gardens
Iron Archway at Monet's Gardens | Source

Take Me to Your Impressionist Leader. At Giverny

The easiest way to visit Giverny while in Paris is to take one of the bus tours. Which tour you decide to take will depend on how much time you would like to spend at the gardens. There are also day tours that stop at both Monet's Gardens and the Palace of Versailles, another must see attraction while you are staying in Paris.

Meandering walkway alongside a lily pond
Meandering walkway alongside a lily pond | Source

Giverny Hotels

Another great option for your visit to the Japanese gardens of Giverny is to stay in one of the many charming hotels or bed & breakfasts close to Monet's home. Here are some top options for this leg of your Paris sightseeing tour.

Domaine de la Corniche, Hotel

Just a ten minute ride to Giverny, the Domaine de la Corniche Hotel sits on a bluff overlooking the Seine. With stunning views and a top-rated restaurant on-site, the Panoramique, the Domaine is a n excellent choice if you are looking for that old-world French charm.

Manoir de Notre Dame, Bed & Breakfast

This converted manor house, built in 1900 (fairly recent by French standards), is located about ten minutes from Giverny in the small village of Notre-Dame de la Mer. Manoir de Notre Dame has an amazing garden and sweeping views across the Seine Valley.

Le Moulin du Bechet, Bed & Breakfast

Le Moulin du Bechet ("moulin" means "mill", as in the Moulin Rouge) is about 15 minutes from Giverny at Croisy-sur-Eure. The old mill is set on truly magnificent grounds and offers many outdoor activities, including tennis, archery, mountain biking and petanque. Stay for a year and you are guaranteed to pen an amazing novel by the time you leave.

Bon voyage!



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    • elizabethmcgriff profile image

      elizabethmcgriff 6 years ago from South Alabama

      Beautiful photos! I was there in April and the colors were amazing but I think you had better light, or a better camera, or a better photographer:) I enjoyed the hub- Thanks.

    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks so much for coming back to comment, Rebekah . . . photography is definitely not my strong point, but thanks to Monet's passion for his garden (and the restoration efforts) it's impossible to take a bad picture in Giverny! An I'd be honored if you linked to the hub from your poem.

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 7 years ago from Tampa Bay

      I loved reading this hub. I read it the other day and didn't have time to leave a comment, but wanted to let you know how much I love the photos!! I'm going to link one of my hubs if you don't mind. It's a poem about this garden. Monet certainly lived his dream and inspiration.

    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks, Suzie . . .yes, and it's hard to imagine that Monet actually lived there, what an amazing place to call home.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Very beautiful. This Hub makes you want to pack a bag and book a flight.

    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 7 years ago from Maryland

      Yes, it's tough to see everything when you're in Paris, there are so many things to see! Thanks for checking out the hub :)

    • SaffronBlossom profile image

      SaffronBlossom 7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Amazingly beautiful--I'm sad I missed this when I was in Paris!