A bit of impressionism at Bougival

Again on the trails and enjoying all my travels with the family. I will tell you about a place that even if we passed by and had my boys birthdays (Chez Clement) done there along the Seine river, we really never took the walk to see it. However, it is part of our trailblazing in my belle France and here it is.

Bougival Bougival


I am talking about Bougival  in department 78 Yvelines in the ïle de France region. My old home, and we have less rain in Brittany! Bougival is located east of Saint Germain en Laye and north of Versailles,not bad at all ::) It is on the left bank of the Seine river and only 20 km from Paris. It is a hilly town, with only about 24 meters elevation by the levies of the river to as high as 110 meters by the train station. It ,also, has part of the forest domaniale of Louveciennes as part of the city limits.

To get around is easy along the Seine river, on the wonderful D113 (my old N13) and also by the D321  passing the bridge of  Bougival that connects to Croissy-sur Seine (almost lived here but choose Versailles lol!) . Bougival can also be reach by the autoroutes or expressways A86 (exit Rueil Malmaison) then the D113 along the Seine river direction Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The A13 autoroute de Normandie  (exit Saint-Germain-en-Laye), then the  N186  until Port-Marly ,and the D113 to  Bougival. There is the nice D321 going from Versailles to Croissy sur Seine and passing by Bougival. All these roads greatly traveled by yours truly. The train station ,never taken here,  is on the line from Paris Saint Lazare to Saint Nom la Bretéche  and located in the town of La Celle-Saint-Cloud.

A bit of history I like

The territory now where Bougival is today was divided in two sections one was Bougival , and the other La Chaussée-Charlevanne, aka La Chaussée, or even Charlevanne.  Documents have been found mentioning Charlevanne before the 9C while Bougival was from the 13C.

In the 12C, war against the king of England by king Louis VI the Fat was decided to built Charlevanne,as a fortress to block the incursions ; on the insistant of the priory of Saint Germain en Laye , Louis VI abandoned these plans and gives the land to the monks of the Church. In 1273, Philippe le Hardi, abandon the rigths of Justice and gives the abbey of Saint Denis, the rights to the homes of Charlevanne. It creates differences between the two abbeys of Saint Germain des Prés and Saint Denis that own most all of Charlevannes, Rueil, La Celle, and Croissy; these differences were settled by an arbitration ruling of 1336.

In the 16C , Gabrielle d’Estrée lived in the mansion of the La Chaussée , she was the mistress and favorite of king Henri IV from 1591 to his death. It was here ,also, that lived mademoiselle de Blois from 1711 to 1716, she was the legitimate daughter of king Louis XIV  and Louise de La Valliére. She had built the pavillon de Blois. In 1683, king Louis XIV buys the lands of Bougival to the family of the Count of Assy; the family Mesmes already holding the lordship of Bougival received from the king early in the 18C almost the entire lordship as well as La Chaussée and a great part of the surroundings. The family of Mesmes owned almost the entire town of Bougival.

The machine de Marly that brought water from the Seine river to the domaine and Chateau de Versailles was built here. The Church of Bougival dating from the 12C has he tomb of Rennequin Sualem, the inventor of the Machine de Marly.

Some of the things to see in Bougival

The before mentioned Machine de Marly (even thus it competes with been in Louveciennes)  considered the 8th wonder of the world worked for 120 years from 1684 to 1817, and later replaced by the vapor machine and later the hydraulic machine. The Notre Dame Church, from the 12C with a bell tower in an arrow of octagonal stones partly built in the 19C. The Château de la Jonchère that welcome many famous guests such as Gabriel Julien Ouvrard, Count of Tolstoî, Adolphe Thiers, the Prince of Metternich, etc etc

The buildings of the water controller from the times of Louis XIV at quai Rennequin Saulem by the  Seine river. The building of Charles X neo classic style started under emperor Napoléon III that house the Vapor Machine of Martin et Cécile, 1817. The laundry in the Saint Michael neighborhood near the town of Louveciennes.  The Datcha built by Ivan Tourgueniev ,and where he died in 1883 today is a museum at  16 rue Yvan Tourgueneff. The levies of Bougival with the longest at 220 meters along the Seine river.

The house of Georges Bizet a famous composer that rented this house on the banks of the Seine river and created Carmen and where he died in 1875 after taking a swim in the river. It is in this island or ïle de Bougival that several portraits were made by the Impressionists; some of the most famous ones were le Pont de Bougival by Claude Monet, le Quai by Berthe Morisot, Sur la Terrace or les deux soeurs et Dance à Bougival by Pierre Auguste Renoir, and again La Seine à Bougival le soir painted by Claude Monet in 1869. These painters frequented Bougival from 1850 to 1900 for entertaintment and past times staying  and dancing at the  Auberge du Bal des Canotiers every Sundays in Summer. Or the island or Ïle de la Loge, several shown by Alfred Sisley .

The colonne des fréres Montgolfier dating from the  1817-1818 was a stone done on 22,5 hectares by the Count of Boissy d’Anglas, member of the Senate and pair of France to remember his friends of  Annonaye, the brothers Montgolfier ,inventors of flying ballons.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here,and it should be an easy day trip from Paris, this is impressionists along the Seine at its best. We love to come here to celebrate our sons birthdays!

City of Bougival on tourism in French : http://www.ville-bougival.fr/culture-sport/loffice-de-tourisme

Tourist office of Bougival in English : http://www.tourisme-bougival.com/en/

Yvelines tourism on museum http://www.sortir-yvelines.fr/Art-et-culture/Art-et-culture-dans-les-Yvelines/musee-yvelines/musee-ivan-tourgueniev-bougival

Enjoy the arts along the Seine at the door to Paris. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers!!!

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