Visiting Évreux

Deutsche Version ist hier.

I didn’t go to Évreux for fun. I wanted to get a vehicle registration certificate. I didn’t get anything except a lot of photos. But that’s something. Évreux is the capital of the département Eure. It had 50,537 inhabitants in 2010 and it has one of the worst official websites I have ever seen (They want to sell me something?). It has lots of history, even more than the average village around here. And you might have noticed, all those villages got some history.

Court house of Évreux. It was built between 1682 and 1714, renovated and redecorated in the 19th century and hit by lightning in 1911. All the archives burned. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

In Celtic times (since around 600 BC or earlier) Évreux was the capital of the Eburovices. Then the Romans took over (52 BC to 486 AD). They left some ruins and nice things to put in museums.

Then the Christians took over. In the 5th century the first bishop arrived. His name was Taurinus. His life is a legend. According to said legend he died in the year 410. Maybe he didn’t exist. But the people of Évreux prefer to believe that he evangelised the region, was directly ordered to do so by an angel and so on. The usual story.

In the 10th century Richard I, Duke of Normandy (933–996) found an abbey in the name of Taurinus. The church of that abbey is still standing and I visited it. Hurray. It was built at the end of the 11th century or 12th century or in the 13th century. Wikipedia, the city of Évreux or the tourist office and the government in terms of the “Base Mérimée” don’t seem to be able to agree on a certain date.

Floor plan of the church Saint-Taurin with letters indicating the age of parts of the church. I found the floor plan somewhere, think it should be in the public domain, but am unsure. But I don't claim any rights on this image.

Floor plan of the church Saint-Taurin with letters indicating the age of parts of the church. I found the floor plan somewhere, think it should be in the public domain, but am unsure. But I don’t claim any rights on this image.

église Saint-Taurin à Évreux

It has some nice gargoyles, sadly the relief over the entrance door was damaged in the French Revolution (1789-1799). Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Said lintel with the damaged relief. It was created in the 13th century. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

My camera doesn't get along with darkness or with light. The flash has no power whatsoever. It's better to take photos without flash. In Saint-Taurin it was really very much too dark for my poor camera and therefore I got only very small photos, like this one. Sigh. Own photo, licence: public domain.

My camera doesn’t get along with darkness or with light. The flash has no power whatsoever. Sometimes it’s even better to take photos without flash. In Saint-Taurin it was really very much too dark for my poor camera and therefore I got only very small photos, like this one. Sigh. Own photo, licence: public domain.

13th-century stoup. The sculpture shows a snail with a human head. Poor little flash managed to light on this thing at least. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Altar. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Choir stalls 19th century, Madonna and Child 16th century. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Madonna and child (16th century) in the church Saint-Taurin in Évreux. Own photo on Wikimedia Commons, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Biggest treasure of the church is the chasse with the reliquaries of Taurinus and Landulf (Laudulphe d’Évreux). It was made in the 13th century and blessed in 1259 by king Louis IX of France (1214 – 1270). It looks like a miniature cathedral and shows scenes of the life of Taurinus. The chasse was originally full of precious stones, but they stolen and were replaced with glass stones in the 16th century. The box was made of copper and gold on a frame of wood. The whole box is covered with leaf gold. It weighs 82 kg. They hide it in a small room, where they only have red light, so it’s completely impossible to take proper photos, with a cheap camera like mine. You can find some good photographs on this site (click on suiv. for the next side of the chasse).

See what I mean, when I say, my little camera can't do that? Sigh. Own photo, licence: public domain

See what I mean, when I say, my little camera can’t do that? Sigh. Own photo, licence: public domain

16th century baptismal font in the church Saint-Taurin in Évreux. Own photo on Flickr, licence: public domain

Romanesque "bonhomme couché" (lying man, 12th century)

Romanesque “bonhomme couché” (lying man, 12th century) Own photo, licence: public domain

The organ stands on a gallery with richly decorated 19th century woodwork. This rosette is under the gallery. Own photo, licence: public domain

The organ stands on a gallery with richly decorated 19th century woodwork. This rosette is under the gallery. Own photo, licence: public domain

Interior of the church. View of the organ. To the right the pulpit (19th century). Own photo, licence: public domain

Interior of the church. View of the organ. To the right the pulpit (19th century). Own photo, licence: public domain

Évreux lies at the river Iton. The river flows through the centre of the town.

The Iton in the middle of the town. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Many small bridges lead overs the river. There are some lavoirs (wash places) but not many. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Looks very idyllic, but there were some rats as well, probably European water voles. They were too fast and didn’t answer when I asked for their correct scientifical name. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Évreux has a cathedral by name of Notre-Dame. It was built in the 13th century and is “classé au titre des Monuments Historiques”. It is indexed in the Base Mérimée, the French database of architectural heritage. I didn’t visit it. Had not enough time, or was too out of it. After all I didn’t go to Évreux for sightseeing. I only saw the cathedral from the distance.

View of Évreux with the cathedral Notre-Dame. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Behind the train station I met this cat. I asked a woman, that was working in a garden, about the cat. And the woman said, it’s a stray cat. The cat gets food from one of the neighbours. The woman said she can’t do anything for the cat. Her son is allergic and he chases the cat away and tries to kick it. The cat is very friendly. It was purring and was happy on my arms and on my lap. At first she looked healthy with shiny fur. But later I saw, that her eyes were bloodshot and her tongue was hanging out quite strangely. It makes me sad when friendly cats like that are homeless and abandoned.

I think her name is Minette. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

She was sitting on my lap, while I was sitting on a wall on a hill behind the train station, as if we’ve been doing that every day. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

At first I thought it's funny how stupid she looks with her tongue hanging out a bit. But then I was kind of worried. What if she has some kind of illness? Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

At first I thought it’s funny how stupid she looks with her tongue hanging out a bit. But then I was kind of worried. What if she has some kind of illness? Own photo, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

It was very hot on that day. Another woman approached and we’ve been talking about the weather. The cat got bored and went away, not out of sight, just some metres higher on the hill. And since she had been the only interesting thing/person around, I went back to the train station and still had loads of time. But not enough to visit the cathedral. There are only 3 trains per day, it wouldn’t have been a good idea to miss the train.

I went in the public garden and park “François Mitterrand”. At its edge is the former convent of the Capuchins. The building is indexed in the Base Mérimée, the French database of architectural heritage, under the reference PA00099401. It was built in the 17th century.

Sundial at the southern façade of the convent of the Capuchins. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

In front of the building stands an 18th century sculpture of Heracles and Telephus that is classé Monument Historique in the base Palissy, database of the French furniture patrimony under the reference PM27000727. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Under the trees in the corner stands a Merovingian sarcophagus. The Merovingian dynasty lasted from 468 to the 8th century. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Rather modern. Looks like a big tombstone. Seems to be a monument for the writer André Beaunier (1869-1925). Might have been made in 1935 by someone by name of Vial. But I delted the photo I took as proof. Dang. There’s a graffiti face on the thing, which makes it look much better. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Then I went home.

Train station of Évreux. Built in 1887. Own photo on Flickr, licence: CC by-SA/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

In Bernay an old farmer picked me up and took me to our village for only 10€. Hurray! Luckily there were police cars on the roads on that day. And thus he didn’t try something. He’s very old, shrivelled, and looks like a hybrid of a dwarf and a dried plum. I felt unsafe in every aspect and was happy when I got out of the car.

Further reading

Évreux in the Base Palissy, the French furniture patrimony.

Évreux in the Base Mérimée, the French database of architectural heritage.

Évreux, église Saint-Taurin, Private French website.

7 thoughts on “Visiting Évreux

  1. …a hybrid of a dwarf and a dried plum? hahahahaha, be careful dried plums are sneaky in many ways. Sorry you got only the photos (but they are great!) maybe that’s common that you have to come at least 3 times for all things…

    • Yes, he’s a dangerous plum. I just didn’t want to get into details in public. And yes I think it’ll be three times. But I ordered wood for winter yesterday and there could only be one. Wood or car.

  2. Going from Pontius To Pilatus .. as they say in Germany.🙂
    I believe there’s a very funny page in one of the Asterix & Obelix comics where they have to deal with bureaucracy .. or just read Kafka’s “Das Schloß” or “Der Prozess” .. although those aren’t funny at all ;-P
    youtube has a video of it, but the comic-strip was somehow .. ah, never mind: search for “Asterix Obelix” and then either “bureaucracy” or “bürokratie” (en/de) .. you’ll find videos with a title something like “the house that makes you mad”. Nomen Est Omen!

    Finally – just because it’s my area of expertise: the website of Évreux seems to be targetting YOUNG people .. much younger than us .. and technically it’s pretty good, not the cutting edge of responsive design, but it’s mobile-friendly and the system (drupal 7) isn’t a bad one either .. err ..

    Got quite off topic there – no historical data, nor cat-fancy fun. Sorry!
    Wait – Pontius Pilatus, that’s somewhat historical .. if you believe (!) the historical source (bible).

    • 13th years old? And what do they want to sell them? Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of websites of cities and villages and this one has not much information. It doesn’t matter to me, if they used the newest standard in whatever, that’s only of interest for coders.

      The house that sends mad you mad. I’ve been linking that video twice already when talking about the car adventures. Did post the link on Facebook. Contrary to common beliefs I do not show or tell everything on my blog. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtEkUmYecnk

      And concerning young people and Facebook, a very good short film, that shows how people communicate nowadays (it’s not Évreuxwebsiterelated though). Got to admit I’m a bit like that too, it happens that I click on something while talking about something else and it happens that my multitasking, which is only a legend anyways, gives up: http://www.fastcocreate.com/3017108/you-need-to-see-this-17-minute-film-set-entirely-on-a-teens-computer-screen

      You know I don’t write for you anyways. Or I would look out for fancy websites to show you. ^^

  3. That cat looks kind of like Scratchy, the cat I live with. It’s fun to see pictures of old beautiful buildings. The only things around here that old are old rock indian ruins that are falling apart.

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