La Roche-Guyon, Val-d'Oise: tourism & sightseeing
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La-Roche-Guyon village stands on a broad bend in the Seine River, 10km east of Vernon in the Ile de France (Paris) region of France. It is officially classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'. The small village of La-Roche-Guyon originally developed next to the river below a medieval chateau, the remains of which still stand on the hill behind the village.
Historically the region managed to remain under independent control despite the powerful regions that stood either side - the lands of the Loire Valley and the Kings of France to the south and the lands of the Dukes of Normandy to the north.
Exploring La Roche-Guyon
There are three 'parts' to La Roche-Guyon: the village itself, a large 14th century chateau, and the medieval donjon.
The village itself now falls within the Natural Park of Véxin, and is an attractive traditional village of the region and period centred around the 15th century Church of Saint-Samson - inside the church the marble statue is of Francois de Silly who owned the castle during the 17th century. Other small landmarks include the 18th century fountain and the troglodyte buildings that can be seen in the cliffs above the village.
After exploring the village you can walk along the river front or take a boat upstream - a relaxing way to enjoy the afternoon after lunch in one of the villages cafes - or take the steeper paths that run up to the hills above the village for some attractive views.
Chateau de la Roche-Guyon
The ruins of the tower of the original medieval castle, built in the 12th century, dominate the village from the top of a cliff, and has lovely views across the castle and village below. This donjon is joined by a tunnel carved through the rock to the main castle below the cliff.
The newer, altogether grander, castle that stands below the hill (and is built right up to the cliff face) was built around the 14th century, although it has been extended and renovated a great deal during the intervening centuries and the castle we see today is substantially an 18th century design.
Despite the long history, to the outside the castle presents a very unified overall design around a large courtyard. It is inside, passing from the troglodtye chapel to the donjon to the blockhouses of Rommel* that the long history of the castle is more evident.
The Chateau de La Roche-Guyon had an interesting military use in the Second World War when Field Marshall Rommel established his base here.
After exploring the castle in la Roche-Guyon you can visit the large stable complex and wander through the meticulously maintained 'potager' (kitchen garden) between the castle and the river. This has been classified a 'jardin remarquable' though because it is a potager it is largely empty in the winter months.
Places of Interest Nearby
The fabulous Giverny gardens are nearby and not to be missed.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Paris guide.
Photos of La Roche-Guyon
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Map of La Roche-Guyon and places to visit
Visit near La Roche-Guyon with France This Way reviews
La Roche-Guyon is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Roche-Guyon, Magny-en-Vexin, Pontoise, Val-d'Oise, Paris, 95780, France || GPS: latitude 49.081, longitude 1.6302
Plan your visit to La Roche-Guyon, Val-d'Oise
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Domaine de Villarceaux: remarkable garden (6 km)
- Jardin de Claude Monet: remarkable garden (7 km)
- Jardin du musée d’art américain: remarkable garden (7 km)
- Domaine du château d'Ambleville: remarkable garden (9 km)
- Les jardins du château de Saint-Just: remarkable garden (15 km)
- Vexin Francais: regional natural parc (20 km)
- Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais de Gisors (Gisors): religious monument (25 km)
- Parc zoologique de Thoiry: zoo or wildlife park (27 km)
- Les jardins du château de Miserey: remarkable garden (27 km)
- Parc du château de Thoiry: remarkable garden (27 km)
- Eglise de Saint Pierre et Saint Paul (Orgeval): religious monument (31 km)
- Villa Savoye: national monument (34 km)
The French version of this page is at La Roche-Guyon (Francais)