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3 Historical Figures That Will Influence Your Seine River Cruise

21st May 2019

A Seine River cruise can take you from the green pastures of Normandy to within a mile of the Eiffel Tower. There’s no better way to end a river cruise than in the shadow of this iconic monument, but there is so much to see and do before then.

Influencing many of those things to see and do will be a number of historical figures that have left their mark on this part of the world. So, if you’re a fan of history or art, here are some ports to look out for on your itinerary.

Richard The Lionheart

Chateau Gaillard

Whilst a Danube River cruise will take you to the place where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned (Dürnstein Abbey), you can also learn about this iconic monarch whilst sailing the Seine. In 1196, he instructed that a castle be built near to the spot of present-day Les Andelys, with the goal of defending Normandy’s capital, Rouen, from King Philippe Auguste. Château Gaillard stands in ruins today and, although Richard lived to see it completed, he died a year later, leaving his brother in charge. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long until Phillippe Auguste took it by force.

The town itself was created when the villages of Le Grand Andely and Le Petit Andely merged together. This is such a picturesque part of the Seine, with river cruise passengers being enchanted by a magnificent panorama that includes the castle, the town, the iron bridge and the pretty chalk cliffs in the background.

Joan Of Arc

Church of Joan of Arc

If you know anything about the story of Joan of Arc, you will probably be aware that she was burned at the stake in the centre of Rouen’s Old Market Square. Today, this spot bears a small sign marking the events of 1431, but the people of the city are much more concerned with celebrating her life than dwelling on the horrifying way she died.

Nearby, in the same square, the 1970s architecture of the Church of St Joan of Arc stands out against the half-timbered buildings for which Rouen is famous. Its design is said to mimic the flames that engulfed her and, inside, there are some stunning stained glass windows. Other sights linked to this famous martyr include the Joan of Arc Historical Exhibition, held in the Archbishop’s Palace. Once the place where Joan was put on trial, it now uses multimedia displays to tell her story and help you learn more about what life was like in Rouen at the time.


Monet's Garden

When your ship arrives in the port of Vernon, you will have the choice to visit two places that played a big part in the life of artist Claude Monet. Whilst Vernon proudly displays some of the impressionist’s works in its halls, it is in nearby Giverny where the true highlight can be found.

Monet’s House and Garden was the source of his inspiration during the 43 years he lived here and serves as an interesting look into the artist’s mind. A lover of gardening, he created the flower and water gardens to bring him joy, both of which would end up on canvases around the world. Inside the house, you can tour the many rooms that have been lovingly reconstructed to show how they would have been at the time. His studio and bedroom display paintings by himself and famous friends like Renoir and Cezanne, whilst the kitchen highlights his love of Japanese culture and vibrant colours.

If you would like to enjoy a Seine River cruise to learn about any of these historical figures, we can help you find the perfect itinerary. Call the team on 0800 954 0064 or sign up to our mailing list to stay up to date with the latest news and offers

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