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 Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.