Verneuil sur Seine!

So now let me tackle another nostalgic spot for me and my family in our belle France. Nothing fancy not a tourist destination but oh so dear to us. Part of living the good life in the countryside of the Yvelines. Let me tell you the story of Verneuil sur Seine!

The story goes that we first came into France to live permanently as French citizens, we had to find schools for the boys as well as all. Been that they came after ,me in August and ,they in December 2003   (due to my job), the school year was started and no place was found in Versailles. So we end up so they speed up quickly the French the mother has taught them started them in elementary school in Verneuil sur Seine and this is the story of the town. Forever in our hearts!

Verneuil-sur-Seine is a town in the Yvelines dept 78 of the ïle de France region. It is about 17 km from Saint Germain en Laye and 28 km from Versailles. It is, also about 40 km from Paris. Verneuil-sur-Seine benefits from very exceptional rail and road connections to Paris. As well as a privileged geographical location between the banks of the Seine river, the Verneuil ponds, the Verneuil forest massif and the agricultural lands of the Groux plateau. The name is explained from 2 Gallic words: “vernos” which designates the verne and “ialos” which means the clearing, the cleared place and finally, the village. Verneuil is, literally, the village built with the vernes so they say.

A bit of history I like

The discovery of sarcophagi suggests that the territory of Verneuil-sur-Seine was inhabited in the Merovingian period and several charters attest that the existence of the village dates back to a remote period of the Middle Ages. In the 12C, the land of Verneuil was on the list of possessions for the house of Montmorency. It then passed into the Narbonne family, then in the 15C, to Mary Bureau who sold the fiefs, the lands and the lordships of Verneuil and Vernouillet with their memberships and their dependencies, to Estienne Alleaume, squire and lord of La Motte, in 1517.  Later, Count Hervé de Tocqueville, loving wealth, honors and power, lived in Verneuil as a great lord, surrounded by a large family and receiving a host of guests, including Chateaubriand. In 1804, the Count de Toqueville accepted from the Emperor Napoléon I , whom he did not hesitate to call the usurper the day after his fall, the functions of mayor of Verneuil, which he exercised until 1814.

We came up from Versailles on Rue Neuve Notre Dame to rue des reservoirs or D186 same road but now call bd du Roi into Place de la Loi and left on bd Saint Antoine   past Parly II shopping center and Arboretum (see posts) continue same road now call Rue de Versailles then loop road into the A13 autoroute de Normandie direction Rouen connect with the D113 at Orgeval and past La Maison Blanche turn right into the D154 road into Verneuil sur Seine, by BNP Paribas bank turn left into rue de Bazincourt and into the collége Jean Zay. Hopefully I taugh my Dad how to get there and he did the roundtrip with my Mom.. Always appreciated this big help!

And who was Jean Zay ? He was born August 6, 1904 in Orléans and died assassinated by the French Militia collaborators (nazis) on June 20, 1944 in Molles (Allier),he was a French lawyer and politician. He was Under-Secretary of State for the Presidency of the Council, Minister of National Education and Fine Arts, Member of Parliament for Loiret and General Councilor. The school here that bears his name and my boys went webpage in French here: Collége Jean Zay Verneuil sur Seine

verneuil sur seine

In other transport modes:

The city of Verneuil sur Seine has two Transilien-train stations operated by the SNCF: I passed by it sometimes on the Vernouillet-Verneuil station, actually located at theentrance to the city on the edge of the town of Vernouillet. It is located next to the Notre-Dame Les Oiseaux school (old castle). The less frequented by all is the Clairières de Verneuil train station, located at the other side of the city on the edge of the Verneuil forest. These two stations are served by line J of the Paris-Saint-Lazare network. This line travels Paris-Saint-Lazare <> Mantes-la-Jolie by Poissy or Houilles-Carrières. You can ,also, reach here on the RER A from Paris Gare de Lyon – Poissy: get off at Poissy, take the regular train towards Mantes and get off at Vernouillet / Verneuil station or Clairières de Verneuil station.  Next to the Vernouillet-Verneuil train station is the bus station . Plenty of bus service by the Transdev group, which operates 18 lines, but never taken it here. There is the L’Express A14 highway bus that passes by Verneuil and goes to La Défense in 30 minutes claimed but never taken it. . The main road here is the D154 linking Orgeval to Les Mureaux, parallel to the A13 autoroute de Normandie.  

Some of the things to see here are

Saint-Martin’s Church The church dates from the 12C and the 13C was rebuilt several times. The basement of the church has a much older history than its walls suggest; the foundation of the church actually dates back to the first Middle Ages, the Carolingian era (9-10C). Indeed, a rectangular church, with an apse with rounded angles and a flat apse, could be identified under the choir of the current church. No act indicates the precise date of the foundation of the Saint-Martin Church of Verneuil, but from 1790, the parish is attached to the diocese of Versailles.

There is a beautiful 12C castle built by the Montmorency family, and modified since. The castle preserves, before the 16C, its cellars, its dovecote and its vaulted outbuildings. In 1773, the Renaissance style manor house was decorated with facades in the fashion of the time with false windows, pediments, and garlands. The castle has been uninhabited for 15 years when its new owners arrived in late August-early September 1929. They are nuns from the Notre Dame congregation, a congregation born in 1597 from the intuition of Alix Le Clerc and Pierre Fourier. The sisters founded the Notre Dame des Oiseaux school. In the 18C, the castle underwent profound modifications. The execution of the Countess de Senozan, Anne Nicole de Lamoignon, owner of the land and the lordship since 1780 and sister of Malesherbes,   gave rise to the confiscation of her property, the prison of Port-Royal and guillotined in May 1794 , and the castle remained in receivership until 1802, then fell, in 1807, to Louise Magdeleine Le Peletier-Rosanbo, wife of Count Hervé de Tocqueville. It is today the Notre Dame des Oiseaux private school.

There is a huge acitivities park with plenty of fields and lake and fun for the entire family we encounted a couple of times, this is great in Summer for the whole family , call the Ïle de Loisirs du Val de Seine; more info in French here: http://valdeseine.iledeloisirs.fr/

Verneuil sur seine

Small town but pack a load of the famous such as François-René de Chateaubriand , French romantic writer and politician, lived a few years in Verneuil and wrote several chapters of his Memoirs from beyond the grave in the park of the castle, today a private educational institution Notre –Dame des Oiseaux. Alexis de Tocqueville , French political thinker, historian and writer, lived part of his childhood at the castle of Verneuil-sur-Seine. His father, Hervé Clérel de Tocqueville, prefect and peer of France, was mayor of the town from 1804 to 1814. Émile Zola , naturalist writer. When he lived in the neighboring town of Médan, in the 1890s, Zola regularly came by bicycle to Verneuil to visit his mistress, Jeanne Rozerot and his two children, Denise and Jacques. And Dwight D. Eisenhower , one of the main figures in the liberation of France during WWII. The Manoir du Champclos, in Verneuil, was occupied by the nazis until the arrival of the Americans in 1945. General Eisenhower, then a 5-star general of the American army and commander-in-chief of the Allied forces in Europe and his officers dine there and rest there for a few hours.

The city of  Verneuil sur Seine on its history and heritage in French : City of Verneuil sur Seine on its heritage and history

And there you go another soft spot in my belle France for me and so sad not enough pictures to show as on those days, we were just living here and no internet guru no blog no need for pictures as have post cards collection of over 4K from 76 countries. The photos and posts came much later; so bear with me on this one.

Nevertheless, hope you enjoy the reading and do stop by for a bit of à la Française real living surrounded by architecture and history as usual in my belle France. Enjoy Verneuil sur Seine in the Yvelines!

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

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