Épernon!

Well have you notice, the uncreative world of mine, I have been naming my latest posts with the name of the city.  I figure it describes best the post. Hopefully…. Anyway, I like to tell you about a spot that visited a while back and just well almost not much mentioned but it is worth to have in my blog me think. I like to tell you a bit more about Épernon.

Épernon is a town in the Eure et Loir dept 28 of the Centre Val de Loire region of my belle France. The city is located 8 km from Maintenon (where we were heading see post), 14 km from Rambouillet (see post) and 65 km from Paris (several posts).

By road coming from the Rouen / Caen or Paris area take the A13 autoroute de Normandie direction Rouen, then A12 to the Rocquencourt triangle direction Rambouillet / Chartres on N10, take the direction Rambouillet. Go around Rambouillet. Immediately after the Carrefour hypermarket store seen from the road, and then take the direction of Orphin-Epernon. Coming from the Nantes / Le Mans / Angers / Brest / Rennes / Chartres areas take the A11 exit Ablis then direction Rambouillet by N10. Before Rambouillet, exit direction Orphin-Epernon. By train on the SNCF Paris-Le Mans line, from Paris Gare Montparnasse to Épernon .See the train station of Epernon here in French: TER Centre Val de Loire region on line to Epernon

A bit of history I like

 From the beginning of the 2C, Hugues Capet built the fortified castles of Maules, Neauphle-le-Château, Épernon and Montfort. They constituted a line of defense of the royal domain against the Dukes of Normandy, in other words against the kings of England. The new city extended to the banks of the Tahu river, now called the Guesle. Lord Amaury de Montfort, son of Guillaume de Hainault had Epernon surrounded by walls and ditches. Four gates gave access to the city, the Porte de Chartres, the Porte de Geolle, also known as Normanne or Normande gate, main entrance of the city, the Porte de   Paris and the Porte de Beauce.

From 1685 until 1689 the quarry operations contributed to the construction of the Maintenon aqueduct. The stone extracted for constructions is a particularly hard sandstone. The sandstone mining slumbered without stopping, until the construction of the railway line in 1843 and then with the opening of the railway line, making it possible to send stones and paving stones. towards the Paris region. The Haussmannian works were very large consumers of paving stones from Épernon cobblestone quarries disappeared with the economic crisis of 1929, but the remains were marketed until 1940.

Épernon is located on Via Turonensis of the pilgrimage to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle (Santiago de Compostela) going also by Chartres. The priory of Saint-Thomas, founded by Amaury I of Montfort as a monastery of the Trinity of Seincourt in 1052, has welcomed pilgrims to Chartres and to Santiago de Compostela since the 11C. Closed during the French revolution, the priory was bought in 1936 by the congregation of the sisters of Christ who continue to receive pilgrims.

We stopped here because my inclination to wines is such that I need to see all related to it while traveling my road warrior roads. Therefore, we saw the Pressoirs or vine pressing at Épernon ,and the first we saw was the former cellar of the 12C, built of local sandstone, it has three naves with seven vaulted spans, pillars with sculpted capitals and arched arches. Winegrowers were once very numerous in Epernon. The surrounding hillsides were covered with vines. According to feudal custom, each seventh bucket of wine returned to the lord in return for the use of the press. The charters of the Saint Thomas Priory designate it under the name of cellar of Hautebruyère. Indeed, it is there that the nuns of Hautebruyère kept the wine they harvested on the colline de Diane or hill of Diana whose vines belonged to them. It was also their farm for the rights they received in kind at the fairs and markets of Epernon. The Pressoirs are now use for cultural activities of the city, when it can be seen ,otherwise by pushing a button at the door the lights comes on and you can see inside from a glass window the place is vaulted and huge, magnificent sight.

Epernon

Some other thing to see here with more time are

Saint Peter’s Church, of Romanesque origin, it’s the only surviving church in the town. It is mentioned in acts of the 12C. Restored in the 16C. The lords of the place and their families had a vault in the choir. There are still the partially mummified remains of a family member of a lord of Epernon. The Prieuré Saint Thomas Amaury de Montfort , who died around 1060, Lord of Epernon, took in from his ancestors the small Trinity Monastery of Seincourt, located on the banks of the Guesle. He donated this monastery to his friend Albert, a former monk from Chartres and abbot of Marmoutiers, who founded a priory there under the invocation of Saint Thomas. King Henry I solemnly approved this foundation in 1052. (see post on Montfort l’Amaury) .The Conservatoire des meules et paves or Conservatory of grinding stones and paving stones was created in 2005 to recall the memory of the region’s paver and millworkers. The building is a former stable, stable and sheepfold from the 19C, to which was added a building in the shape of a rotunda covered with slate from the Universal Exhibition of 1900, from the Pays de Caux. Two rooms are reserved for temporary exhibitions, most often on educational subjects. Their unique webpage is here in French: Conservatory of Grinding and Paving stones of Epernon

Great picturesque town to walk about , in fact Épernon has been name as one of the small villages of characters in France. Some nice streets to walk are the rue du Château, as during the weekly Tuesday market and various fairs, the grant, that is to say the right of entry of goods, was collected by the city in a hotel on this street, located at the corner of the rue aux Juifs and the rue du Château. The other been the Place du Change, as this square was once the center of the city and of shops. Old house whose ground floor is from the 15C. On the facade, on the left, Saint Christophe and, on the right, the angel of the Annunciation with the right hand on the chest. From the plain, we can see the turret of this house inside which remains a magnificent stone staircase.

The official Petites Cités de Charactére of France on Epernon in French: Small Villages of Characters of France on Epernon

The city of Epernon on heritage in French: City of Epernon on heritage

The tourist office blog on Epernon things to see in French: Epernon tourist blog on things to see

And voilà another dandy on the roads of my belle France. A very nice quaint town that is on the off the beaten path trail but worth the detour. For us Epernon was a nice visit on an area with plenty to see. Hope you enjoy the ride.

And remember, happy travels,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: