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Medieval abbeys, castles, mills, old convents … let yourself be surprised by the richness of our built heritage

 Lyons Andelle is a surprising territory where abbeys, castles, museums, parks and art galleries can be visited between two nature outings embellished with gourmet moments.

Discover the rich heritage of our region, by visiting medieval abbeys, castles or strolling through the industrial heritage of the Andelle valley.

 

The Pays de Lyons has been occupied since the Gallo-Roman period. Traces of a 3rd century theater have been discovered near the church of Lyons-la-Forêt. The forest of Lyons, natural reserve of wood and game has always attracted dukes of Normandy and kings of France, lovers of wine.

During the 11th century, Lyons-la-Forêt becomes a strategic place as it is situated at the limit of the Kindgom of France and Normandy. William the Conqueror decided to establish a defensive place in Lyons-la-Forêt. Henry I of Beauclerc made it a castle which was dismantled at the end of the Hundred Years War.

visite-guidée-lyons-la-forêt©M Mortecrette OT Lyons Andelle

Lyons-la-Forêt, old convent

At the heart of the forest, the abbey of Mortemer is another testimony of the medieval past of our region.

 

ABBAYE-DE-MORTEMER-2018-©-OTLA_MLVAbbey of Mortemer

 

From the 16th to the 18th century, Lyons-la-Forêt plays a major role in the development of the administrative region, thanks to the three justice courts that meet here, and to the generosity of the Duke of Penthièvre (1725-1793), last lord of Lyons-la-Forêt. Until the French Revolution of 1789, Lyons-la-Forêt remained a place of residence and hunting for dukes and kings.

 

The town hall of Lyons-la-Forêt and its bailliwick room (ISMH, 18th c..)

 

Since the Belle-Époque, Lyons-la-Forêt, and has become a holiday destination appreciated by artists and literary men, looking for inspiration.

Throughout the 20th century, Lyons-la-Forêt became a place of holiday and inspiration for numerous artists such as Maurice Ravel, Paul-Emile Pissaro, Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, Claude Chabrol and many more.

It is now ranked among The Most Beautiful Villages of France® for its well preserved heritage with several classified monuments.

Discover Lyons-la-Forêt’s heritage, architecture and surroundings

with

« Ca vaut le détour » by La Chaîne Normande

While the industrial revolution settled in the Andelle valley, this era did not that much reach the Pays de Lyons: spinning mills, printed cotton factories, and glass factories were for a short period, an important asset of the territory. The forest exploitation is also boosted at the time, thanks to the evolution of paper.

The Andelle valley has a strong heritage from this period, with not only old mills, but old manufactures, plants, among which the impressive Levavasseur old spinning mill in Pont-Saint-Pierre, next to the medieval abbey of Notre-Dame de Fontaine-Guérard, which a beautiful built heritage of the medieval age in the valley.

 

ABBAYE-ND-DE-FONTAINE-GUERARD-5-MLV-800X600

Notre-Dame de Fontaine-Guérard abbey

Several châteaux were built in the area of Lyons Andelle between the 12th and 18th centuries, such as the château de Vascoeuil (12th-17th c.), which became a contemporary art center, the château de Fleury-la-Forêt (visits by reservation only, also a B&B), château de Bonnemare (now B&B and reception hall).

 

Château de Vascoeuil

Château de Vascoeuil

 

 

To discover the map of the Andelle valley’s industrial heritage click on the image below

Ancienne-filature-Levavasseur©M Mortecrette OT Lyons Andelle

 Old spinning mill Levavasseur

Discover the history of the old spinning mill Levavasseur

In 2019, Lyons Andelle invites you to discover

this industrial heritage during cultural events,

among which,

an ephemeral museum of Eureka toys, which manufacture was located in Douville-sur-Andelle

Click on the picture to see the program

musée éphémère des jouets Eureka ©CDCLA