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 definitively detroyed in the beginning of the 19th century. Then it was replaced by a stone bridge in 1861.
Destroyed during the war in 1870 it was rebuilt in 1872 and then bombed in 1940. So the bridge you cross today to go from Vernon to Giverny is the fourth generation. It was built in 1955. The mechanism used to be a pending wheel like Saint Jean mill, a nearby mill now destroyed, or like the mill of Muids. Between 1925 and 1930, the old mill belonged to a revue spectacular composer, Jean Nouguès, who managed a dancing on a barge moored nearby. In 1930 he sold it to an American, William Griffin.
After the death of William Griffin in 1947 the city of Vernon tried to find his heirs but did not succeed. The mill was damaged by the bombings of 1940 and 1944. It was about to fall into the Seine River when the city of Vernon undertook its salvage. Now the old mill is a symbol of Vernon. It has been represented thousands of times by painters, even by Claude Monet.References:
The two-tiered Roman amphitheatre is probably the most prominent tourist attraction in the city of Arles, which thrived in Roman times. Built in 90 AD, the amphitheatre was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles. Today, it draws large crowds for bullfighting as well as plays and concerts in summer.
The building measures 136 m in length and 109 m wide, and features 120 arches. It has an oval arena surrounded by terraces, arcades on two levels (60 in all), bleachers, a system of galleries, drainage system in many corridors of access and staircases for a quick exit from the crowd. It was obviously inspired by the Colosseum in Rome (in 72-80), being built slightly later (in 90).
With the fall of the Empire in the 5th century, the amphitheatre became a shelter for the population and was transformed into a fortress with four towers (the southern tower is not restored). The structure encircled more than 200 houses, becoming a real town, with its public square built in the centre of the arena and two chapels, one in the centre of the building, and another one at the base of the west tower.
This new residential role continued until the late 18th century, and in 1825 through the initiative of the writer Prosper Mérimée, the change to national historical monument began. In 1826, expropriation began of the houses built within the building, which ended by 1830 when the first event was organized in the arena - a race of the bulls to celebrate the taking of Algiers.
Arles Amphitheatre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with other Roman buildings of the city, as part of the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group.