Château de Gisors la Barbacane and Governor's Tower ML VittoriChâteau de Gisors la Barbacane and Governor's Tower ML Vittori
©Château de Gisors la Barbacane and Governor's Tower ML Vittori
Vexin NormandLand of medieval history

Vexin Normand, land of medieval history

In the Vexin Normand, dream of knights, of Templar treasure. Travel back in time way to the Middle Ages! The Epte valley, historical border between the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of France, is dotted with medieval fortresses built to defend this territory against assaults from the Kingdom of France. As you stroll through the town of Gisors or the villages of the Epte valley, keep your eyes peeled for the nuggets of our region’s historical heritage.

Visit Gisors castle

impressive fortress of Vexin Normand

Created under the aegis of William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror, this military fortress is one of the most emblematic in the medieval history ofNormandy. Visit the park of Gisors castle, open to visitors all year round, to discover the different parts of this imposing fortress, dominated by its dungeon built on an huge artificial castle mound, 30 m high and 70 m in circumference.  Guided tours to discover the Dungeon, cellars and Tour of the Prisoner are organized by the tourist office from April to early November.


The adventure of a fortress under restoration

This ruined fortified castle overlooking the Epte valley and surrounding countryside is a must-see! With such a vantage point, it’s easy to understand its defensive role for the Duchy of Normandy against the nearby Kingdom of France, separated only by the river Epte.

This fortified castle is owned by an association of enthusiasts who have made it their mission to restore it and reopen it to visitors. You can see it from the Epte valley greenway. You’ll appreciate it much more if you’re a hiker, by taking the hiking loop Le circuit de Rollon, or, alternatively, by taking part in one of the restoration workcamps organized by the association throughout the year if you’re a true amateur of old stones and medieval architecture.

La Tour de Neaufles

Put on your hiking boots

Neaufles-Saint-Martin is home to the remains of another 12th-century fortified castle, of which only one tower remains, known as the “Tour de la Reine Blanche”. You can admire this tower as you stroll along the “Tour de Neaufles Loop” hiking trail. You’re bound to stop and admire this tower, a vestige of a medieval site overlooking the River Lévrière from the top of its feudal mound. It’s impossible to miss as you drive along the road between Bézu-Saint-Eloi and Gisors. Depending on the season, it may be shrouded in mist, or magnified by a beautiful sunset.

Une grande dame !
Une grande dame !
Une grande dame !

La Croix Percée

de Neaufles

Join the village of Neaufles-Saint-Martin from Gisors, to see this megalith. La Croix Percée, known as the Templars’ Cross, dates back to the 13th century. It is one of the last Romanesque crosses in Normandy. It stands beside the D10 road. This megalith is located in a field beside the departmental road, just before the Moulin de Neaufles, where you can stop to bargain at the Puces du Moulin, a huge antique store.

Authevernes fort

As you stroll through the Vexin Normand region, you may come across Authevernes. Another medieval gem awaits you in the village: the Fort d’Authevernes, a fortified manor house that has become the Fort’s farm, is another testimony to the medieval history of the Vexin Normand. Some architectural features suggest that parts of the building date back to the 12th and 14th centuries. This private site is not open to visitors. However, its imposing fortifications are clearly visible from outside the property and the village has typical Vexin stones houses.

The Saint-Luc Chapel of the Leprosarium

a place where contemporary art meets history

Immerse yourself into the special atmosphere of this place, a remnant of a medieval leper colony, off-center from the city to isolate the sick from the rest of the population. It houses a work by Montenegrin artist Dado, “Last Judgment”, created between 1998 and 2010.

In this historic place, imbued with the suffering of mankind, the characters in Dado’s pictorial work evoke a particular emotion, correlated to the place and its history. It will not leave you indifferent!