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The city of Vernon is located in France's Haute-Normandie région and was built along the Seine River, about half-way between Paris and Rouen. Dating from the 9th century, it was originally a fortification built by the first Duke of Normandy. The city's more recent claim to fame is due to aircraft and rocket engine manufacturing.
Most attractions of interest to visitors are outside the ancient city walls. The castle at Bizy is approximately two miles to the west of Vernon. Built in the mid-18th century for a rival of Louis XIV, the castle is now owned by the Duke d'Albuféra, and is open to visitors.
An even more well-known attraction is the village of Giverny, situated just two kilometers to the south-east of Vernon. Claude Monet, a leading Impressionist painter, lived and worked in Giverny from 1883 until his death.
It was here that he painted a series called the Nymphéas, which is now on exhibition in Paris at the Musée de l'Orangerie. Monet's house has been converted into a museum, and its gardens are a highlight of a visit to Giverny.
The city itself can be seen on foot, and local buses are available for travelling from town to town. It's a good idea though to hire a car so that you can see the castle and also the garden at Giverny at your own pace. You'll be sure of the best possible deal by renting a car online in advance of your visit.