A Visit with Vincent Van Gogh in Auvers

A Day Trip from Paris to See Where the Painter Lived, Died, and is Buried

Author: The Traveling Professor/Friday, January 10, 2020/Categories: Paris

Rate this article:
3.7
This post, with minor revisions, was originally posted on Laura Keefe Junod's website, https://voyagescholar.com/.  

Chère Readers, today I am sharing with you a special day-trip outside of Paris, which is to visit the town of Auvers-Sur-Oise.  Auvers is 30 kilometers northwest of Paris and is famous as the place where Vincent Van Gogh lived the last two months of his life, and where he died and is buried.  It is a favorite destination of mine because it is easy to imagine why Van Gogh was so taken by this place, and moved by its peacefulness.  [Note:  Sur-Oise means "On the Oise" and the Oise is the beautiful river that runs alongside the town.]


The village of Auvers remains much the same as when Van Gogh lived there in 1890.  The town was at that time an artist's colony and remains so today.  From the 1850's on, it became an area where some of the greatest artistic talents gathered such as Daubigny, Corot, Pissaro, Cezanne and Van Gogh.

Van Gogh wrote many letter to his younger brother, Theo, and in a letter from May, 1890, he wrote:  "Auvers is beautiful...really, it is seriously beautiful, it is full of character and picturesque countryside".


What is also quite special about Auvers is that it is an outdoor museum.  There is a marked path and hiking trail around the village which commemorates many of the places where Van Gogh painted some of his most famous masterpieces.  It is fascinating to follow the path and come across a vista where you can imagine the artist sitting on a chair with his easel and painting the lovely views with his signature heavy-brushstroke style.

 

You probably recognize the famous painting by Van Gogh, "L'Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l'Assumption".  However, you may not know that it was painted in Auvers, and that it took Van Gogh only two days to complete!  This painting today hangs in the Orsay Museum in Paris.  

The next photo I took of the actual church in Auvers as it stands today.  The church has undergone an extensive renovation which was completed in 2016.  Apparently, it was in danger of collapsing and the necessary funds were raised to save the structure.
A visit to Auvers from Paris After climbing the path to the top of the hill, it was inspiring for me to see the church for the first time.  I suppose I was just a bit surprised that the church actually existed and was not something created out of Van Gogh's imagination.

The hiking path continues on along the road where the cemetery is located and visitors can stop to see where Van Gogh and his brother are buried.

After passing through cornfields and wheat fields, the path loops around through a forested area.  Before descending back down into the village, the trail passes through some peaceful lanes lined with trees and stone cottages.

Besides the hiking trail around the village, visitors to Auvers also have the chance to see the room where Van Gogh lived and died.  The room, which is now a historic monument, is located on the second floor of an Auberge, or Inn.  The tour of his room is quite interesting and the museum staff describe Van Gogh's living situation and interesting information about the circumstances surrounding his death.  Some of this information was completely new to me, even after just recently visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.  

Another interesting note is that below Van Gogh's room is the restaurant where he ate his meals.  This restaurant is still open today and is quite good!

On each of the times I have visited Auvers, I have been surprised at how few other visitors I encounter.  There are some tourists walking around, but mostly I have had the hiking trail to myself.  This has been quite a bonus because without vast numbers of visitors, Auvers has been able to maintain a peaceful quality.

It seems one of the reasons Auvers is quiet is because travelers can't reach the town via a direct train from Paris.  It is necessary to change trains and the schedules can be confusing.  Yet, in this case, the extra effort is completely worthwhile!

And, as you might have guessed, if you are joining me on my "Walking Paris in 7 Days" trip in May, 2020, I will be taking my guests to Auvers-Sur-Oise.  On this trip, we will be learning more about Van Gogh and the interesting story of his life and death.  So, please contact me if you are interested in experiencing this fascinating glimpse into the world of Vincent Van Gogh.

For more from Laura Keefe Junod, see her website: https://voyagescholar.com/

Number of views (129)/Comments ()

«January 2020»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
3031123

Who Traveled With Us in 2019

who travels with The Traveling ProfessorThe Traveling Professor ran small group tours to Iceland, Peru and Machu Picchu, Scotland, Croatia, Italy, Normandy Invasion Beaches, and Canada in 2019.  We had a wonderful year, making new friends and traveling to great places.  But who goes on Traveling Professor tours?  In this blog post, we will tell you the number of people and what the make-up of our small group tours looks like.
Read more
4

26 Places to Eat in Paris

where to eat in ParisAh, we love to eat when we go on our small group tours to Paris.  Who doesn't?  The Professor presents his list of Paris restaurants. The list includes places for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  Some are expensive, some are not.  Some qualify as a great place for a romantic dinner, but most of them are on the casual side. Take advantage of The Professor's experience and see where to eat in Pars. 
Read more
5
67

The Perfect 14 Day Introduction to Italy Itinerary

perfect 14 day Italy itineraryEveryone loves Italy.  The Traveling Professor's small group tours to Italy usually covers Venice, Florence, Rome and Sorrento (the Amalfi Coast).  Planning an itinerary can be daunting, but The Traveling Professor makes it easy for the first-time Italy traveler.  See all the great sites, eat wonderful food, experience the culture. Take a look at our introduction to Italy itinerary and get ready to say "Ciao!" to Italy.
Read more
8910

A Visit with Vincent Van Gogh in Auvers

Day trip to Auvers from Paris

Vincent Van Gogh is considered by many to be the greatest painter of all time. He spent much of his time in France.  Those who have gone to Paris with The Traveling Professor on one of his small group tours to Paris can remember walking the neighborhoods frequented by Van Gogh and seeing his paintings at the Musee d'Orsay. In today's guest blog post adapted from a  post originally done by Laura Keefe Junod of VoyageScholar.com, she talks about visiting Auvers - the place where Van Gogh lived, died and is buried. She does a wonderful job of explaining where Van Gogh  lived, died and is buried.

Read more
1112
13141516171819

What to Do in Paris the 2nd Time You Go

what to see 2nd time in ParisThe Eiffel Tower, the Musée d'Orsay, Louvre, Montmartre, Seine River Cruise, Pantheon, Pomidou Center, Rodin Museum, Arc de Triomphe - those are all things people see on their first trip to Paris.  They are timeless sites that probably could be visited time and time again. But what should you see on your second and even third or fourth visit to Paris. In this blog, The Traveling Professor gives some ideas on other great sites that would be superstars in nearly any other place in the world. 
Read more
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789