The gardens are breathtaking, and it's easy to see how this tranquil setting inspired Monet to paint some his great works. I went a little nuts with the camera, taking over 200 pictures and already plotting which ones I want to have printed on canvas and hung in my home.
And, I might even attempt to do some painting as well! I can only imagine how this garden looks in Spring! It was stunning.
Claude Monet bought the house famous for its pink brick façade in 1890 and lived there until he died in 1926. He and many members of his family are interred in the village cemetery. After Claude Monet's death in 1926, his son Michel inherited the house and garden of Giverny. He did not live there and it was Monet's step-daughter Blanche who took care of the property.
Unfortunately after the Second World War the house and garden were neglected. In 1966 Michel Monet made the Academie des Beaux-Arts his heir. It took more than 10 years to restore the home and gardens to its former glory. Not much was left. The greenhouse panes and the windows in the house were reduced to shards after the bombings of World War II. Floors and ceiling beams had rotted away, a staircase had collapsed. Three trees were even growing in the big studio. The pond had to be dug again, and the garden replanted with the same species of plants that Monet had carefully cultivated.
I thought it interesting that most of the monetary donations for the restoration project came from the US.
It was a glorious way to spend an afternoon and I highly recommend this day trip from Paris, just a short 40 minute journey from St. Lazare train station. Now I want to visit in the Spring - imagine how stunning all the tulips would be!
You can view the rest of my photos from Giverny here.