Top Historic Sights in Vernon, France

Explore the historic highlights of Vernon

Collegiate Church Notre-Dame

The Notre Dame Church Collegiate is considered one of the most beautiful examples of medieval architecture in France. Built between the 11th and 16th century, the collegiate contains different architectural styles. Where the altar and the transept are Romanesque style, the rest of the building was rebuilt in three different Gothic (namely Early, Flamboyant and Perpendicular Gothic) styles. The organs date back to the begi ...
Founded: 1072 | Location: Vernon, France

The Old Mill of Vernon

The old mill of Vernon, a half-timbered construction, lies straddling two piers of the ancient bridge over the Seine River. Several mills like this one used to be operating on the river all along the old wooden bridge. This bridge itself was built in the 12th century, the mill is probably in the 16th century. The old bridge has been destroyed and rebuilt several times in the middle age. It was very unsafe and was definiti ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Vernon, France

Château des Tourelles

The Château des Tourelles was built originally in 1196, when Philippe Auguste (Philip II of France), fighting against the king of England, Richard the Lionheart, for possession of Normandy, seized Vernon and made the town a military base. The castle consists of a square tower surounded by four round turrets, the whole edifice rising to a height of twenty metres. It is one of the few castles in France which has been ...
Founded: 1196 | Location: Vernon, France

Tour des Archives

The Tour des Archives is the keep of a former castle. Its origin goes back to 1123, built by King Henry I of England, the son of William the Conqueror. It is 22m high and is a rare existing example of a round tower in Normandy, like the so-called tour Jeanne d"Arc (Joan of Arc Tower) of the former Rouen Castle. The Tour des Archives has been classified since 1840 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Cul ...
Founded: 1123 | Location: Vernon, France

Château de Bizy

Château de Bizy was built first in 1675 by Michel-André Jubert de Bouville and reconstructed in 1740 by Coutant d"Ivry. He redesigned the castle in a classical style inspired by Versailles. Bizy has had notable owners, including Louis XV, the Duke of Penthièvre and Louis-Philippe. In the castle, the rooms are decorated with beautiful Regency woodwork and house mementoes from the Bonaparte family, ...
Founded: 1675 | Location: Vernon, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.