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Villerville, discovery tour in 1 hour

Walking tour

Villerville, a small village with character, has a rich and varied history that spans time. Initially a fisherman's village, the village quickly developed with the arrival of the railroad, thus becoming a landmark for artists. Discover the artistic and tourist highlights of Villerville in an hour-long itinerary.

Distance:

2,5 km

Duration:

01:00
Visit of Villerville - Le Calvaire
Le Calvaire de Villerville overlooks Villerville and gave reference to the sailors who went to sea. It was in 1885 that Father Heudier had the idea of ​​building the Calvary. Built in 1888, it offers a clear view of the coast. He has also been the subject of many painters such as Valère Lefebvre, Moutier, Daubigny, Butin or Mozin.
Broken in 1928 by a great storm, it was rebuilt in 1930 in the same place where it is still visible today, opposite the Parc des Graves.
Coastal Route
VILLERVILLE
Visit of Villerville - The Castle
The castle is at the origin of the village, built even before the church. The first castle belonged to Richard de Villerville in the 1195s. It was destroyed during the Hundred Years War and was rebuilt in the 1450s with turrets and loopholes under the orders of Lord Robert de Grente. It was destroyed in 1767 by Louis Jacques Labbey in order to reconstruct a more up-to-date castle in a Louis XIII style.
Since the death of Lord Labbey the castle has passed into the hands of the Legges, Landals and Nétumières, related to Richard de Villerville. It has therefore remained in the same family through the centuries.
Since 1946 the castle has been renamed La Ferme du Château and belongs to the De la Porte des Vaux family which produces biodynamic organic fruit and vegetables.
Castle path
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Visit of Villerville - The Parc des Graves
Protected and landscaped, the departmental natural area of ​​Parc des Graves offers 800 meters of footpaths, rest benches, picnic tables, games for children and a gazebo which offers a very beautiful view of the sea.
There are wild plant species, vestiges of the pleasure gardens of yesteryear, as well as recent plantations and ponds. The "Hôtel des Graves" today houses ducks and water hens. The Park is also home to six goats, known as ditch goats, nicknamed "bramble-eaters" for their ability to eat all kinds of plants. Their objective: clear the entire surface and stop the proliferation of brambles and invasive plants on the site. More recently, five Warré hives, inhabited by black bees from Calvados, have been installed in the park in order to help repopulate them.
Before being a nature reserve, the Parc des Graves was a place of habitation for fifteen houses. In 1982 a major landslide forced residents to evacuate the premises.
Coastal Route
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Visit of Villerville - Le Lavoir
Today place of life where everyone likes to meet, the washhouse of Villerville dates from the end of the XIXth century, when the borough develops thanks to the arrival of tourists via the rise of the train.
Until the years 1830-1840, Villerville was only a small town with half-timbered houses, bordered by a stream called the Douet. Running water did not exist and it was not until 1892, when the Countess of Landal gave up a plot of land to build the market place and a washhouse that the first hygiene measures appeared.
The washhouse has a typical architecture typical of the nineteenth with a frame covered with slate resting on large cast iron feet. The roof goes around the washhouse and is open on the central part, thus allowing to collect rainwater.
Lavoir Square
VILLERVILLE
Visit of Villerville - Notre-Dame de l'Asomption church
Built after the Castle, the first church in Villerville dates from the 2th century, of which today the massive bell tower, the slatted roof (sloped roof) still exist; and the building choir, in pure Romanesque style. This first building was enlarged in 1871 with two new chapels and the sacristy. New enlargement works occurred in 1900, giving it its particular and unique current form.
The church houses beautiful statues from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries and a wooden statue of the local Patron Saint Saint-Roch, who, according to legend, treated patients suffering from the plague, a particularly virulent disease at the time, before contracting him. - even this disease, this is why we see him regularly represented with his dog licking his wounds.
It also houses the relics of the local martyr Thomas Jean Montsaint, priest martyr executed on September 2, 1792 at the Abbey of Saint Germain des Prés, for having, during the Terror, refused to take the oath to the Republic (which meant no longer recognizing the authority of the pope). To salute his courage and his faith, he was beatified by Pius XI in 1926. A commemorative plaque sealed in the bell tower of the church recalls his sacrifice and his name was attributed to the first part of "bout du haut".

The church of Villerville also experienced its hour of musical glory. Indeed Gabriel Fauré composed the "Mass of Fishermen of Villerville" which will be performed in the church a first time, without instrument in September 1, then a second time in September 1881.
Church Street
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Visit of Villerville - Place du Bouloir
Until 1830 Villerville was only a fishing hamlet with half-timbered houses, the only street of which had no sidewalk or lighting. It was in 1850 that everything changed when the railway moved to Normandy between Paris-Lisieux and then to Trouville-sur-Mer in 1963. It was then easy for Parisians to come and discover the coast and Villerville developed then, especially with the opening of the Hôtel des Bains and the sea bathing establishments. The typical and authentic side of Villerville seduces many artists-painters including Ulysse Butin, Charles François Daubigny and Edouard Jospeh Dantan.
All three have produced numerous paintings on Villerville with the subject of cliffs, the beach, fishermen, Graves and even local folklore. All three stayed in the heart of the village and Dantan lived on Place du Bouloir.
Bouloir Square
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Visit of Villerville - The Carrefour du Singe in Winter
In 1962 Henri Verneuil came to Villerville, renamed Tigreville, to shoot the film "A Monkey in Winter" based on the adaptation of the novel by Antoine Blondin. Among the actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Gabin and Suzanne Flon play the main roles.
The Cabaret Normand is the café where Jean-Paul Belmondo (Fouquet) orders a Picon beer after his arrival in Tigreville (Villerville). After having drunk several he becomes drunk and a conversation begins with the regulars of the cafe meet and extol the merits of their village.
Daubigny Street
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Visit of Villerville - The Hôtel des Parisiens
Built in the middle of the 1897th century by the same architect of the Hôtel Flaubert in Trouville-sur-Mer, the Grand Hôtel des Parisiens was a Mecca in Villerville. Deauvillais and locals rushed there for the "five o'clock" and sometimes linger there until dinner, sometimes in the hope of meeting Mistinguett or the Duke of Windsor. Very aside, Oscar Wilde also stayed there in XNUMX.
In the 20s, Abel Mahu, a villager opened a restaurant within the hotel. Classified two stars in the Michelin Guide, the restaurant is one of the best in the department and all of Normandy is thronging its doors. An emblematic figure of Villerville, and also mayor in 1945, the rue des Bains will take its name from his death0
Abel Mahu Street
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Visit of Villerville - Le Guettoir
Place du Guettoir is located at the end of rue de la Cabine, the place where fishermen's wives watched their husbands when they returned from fishing. Important place in Villerville, it was featured in several paintings including "Le Guettoir" by Valère Lefèbvre in 1887 or "Pêcheurs à Villerville" by Ferdinand Moutier in 1912 before appearing on the screens in the film "Un Singe en Hiver" by Henri Verneuil in 1962.
Cabin Street
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Visit of Villerville - La Digue du Casino
The current dike was built in 1920 in place of the wooden boom, it allows you to walk along the sea even at high tide.
At the end of the dike is the Petit Manoir, a manor that belonged in the middle of the 1939th century to Alexis Godillot, a manufacturing entrepreneur known for his creations of famous military shoes "godillots". Next to it is the old casino built in 1886 in place of the old wooden casino dating from XNUMX.
La Digue
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Visit of Villerville - The Pavilion of the Flots
At the end of the dike after the old casino is the Pavillon des Flots, also called La Tour. Resistant to all storms and wars, the tower is present on all the old postcards of Villerville. She also appeared in flames in the film "A Monkey in Winter" by Henri Verneuil.
Rue des Bains
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Visit of Villerville - The Allée du Jardin Madame
When Villerville developed with the arrival of the train, many villas emerged in the city center where artists, men of letters or musicians came to stay each summer.
Gabriel Fauré, Charles Gounod or the Queen of Naples come to the villa "Beauregard", Georges Feydeau settles in the villa "Jardin Madame", Mistinguett chooses the villa "des Marmousets" while the actress Paule Andral opts for the villa "The Jasmines".
The Hotel Le Bellevue, located higher, also emerged during this period, in 1910, more modern and comfortable than the first hotels on the coast. This hotel-restaurant, still open today, has a clear view of the sea and the coastline.
Alley of the Jardin Madame
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Visit of Villerville - The Town Hall
The Town Hall of Villerville is installed in the buildings of the old presbytery of the city. Before 2000 it was located in the current dormitory of the school.
General Leclerc Street
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