How to get there from Paris
It is usually necessary to travel by train to Pontoise on either line C of the RER or on suburban services from Gare Saint-Lazare and then change onto the Pontoise – Persan – Beaumont – Creil line. There is also a suburban service from the Gare du Nord to Valmondois where a connection can be made for the line to Auvers. The stations of Chaponval and Auvers may be used for access to the town. It is also possible to travel by bus from Place Charles de Gaulle, outside the railway station at Pontoise.
Between 4th April and 1st November 2009 there is a direct railway service between Paris (Gare du Nord) and Auvers. Trains depart Paris at 09.58 and arrive in Auvers at 10.28. The return train departs Auvers at 18.15 and arrives in Paris at 18.48.
From Porte de Clignancourt take the A1 north in the direction of Lille and Charles de Gaulle Airport. Take the exit for the A86 for Nanterre and then the A15 for Pontoise. When the road divides after crossing the Seine, follow signs for the A15 (Pontoise). Before Pontoise take the exit for the N184 at St. Ouen L’Aumone. Take this to the D928 and then follow signs for Auvers.
Manoir des Colombières, rue de la Sansonne, 95430 Auvers-sur-Oise
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.auvers-sur-oise.com
Open: Tuesday and Friday 10.00–12.30 & 13.30–17.30; Wednesday and Thursday 10.00–12.30 & 13.30–18.00; Saturday and Sunday 10.00–12.30 & 13.15–18.00
Museums and places of interest
For more information about the following list of sites please visit www.followtheartist.co.uk
Musée de l’Absinthe
Le Château d’Auvers
La Maison-Atelier de Daubigny
Le Musée Daubigny
La Maison du Docteur Gachet
L’Auberge Ravoux, Van Gogh’s Room
Auvers is a small town on the right bank of the River Oise a few kilometres upstream from Pontoise. Together with the neighbouring communities of Chaponval and Valhermeil, Auvers forms a ribbon-like development between the river and the limestone ridge behind the town. The origins of the settlement extend back to before Roman times and it is in an area that, for much of its history, has been subject to conflict and invasion. Throughout the disturbances of the One Hundred Years War, the religious wars of the sixteenth century, the Napoleonic Wars and later the Franco-Prussian War, the town remained a fairly insignificant rural backwater.
However, the impressive church of Notre-Dame gives a clue to a more illustrious period in the towns past. The church dates back to the twelfth century and is centred around a small chapel which was used by Louis VI’s widow, who lived in Auvers after her husbands death. As with so many towns and villages in the area, the arrival of the railway in the mid-nineteenth century led to a change of fortune, and the community grew considerably. Much of the old fabric of the town remains, although most of the thatched roofs have been replaced by slate and tile, and it is still possible to appreciate the ambience of the place that was so attractive to artists arriving by train from the hustle and bustle of the capital. It must have seemed like a different world and explains why so many of them chose to move to the area. In the words of Van Gogh: “Auvers is very beautiful. It is the real country, characteristic and picturesque.” To get a real sense of the ‘spirit of place’ it is probably best to visit the town avoiding the peak season and therefore avoiding the crowds that Auvers inevitably attracts during the summer months.