An old mill house on the Seine River in Vernon, Normandy 23 Nov 2016
About this photo
An old mill sits over the Seine River at Vernon, in northern France. The Seine River is the third longest in France, and this mill is believed to date back as far as the 16th century. Today, the mill still straddles two pillars of the original wooden bridge, which was built back in the 12th century. Since then, the bridge was destroyed and rebuilt several times; in 1861 it was replaced by a stone bridge, only to be destroyed in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. The bridge was restored in 1872, and then painted by Claude Monet in 1883. The bridge lasted until 1940, when it was once again destroyed, this time by German artillery during World War II. The old mill was also badly damaged. After the end of the war, the bridge was rebuilt once more, but in a different location further up the river. After an unsuccessful search for the building's rightful owner, the residents of Vernon stepped in to save the old mill, restoring it just as it was about to fall into the river. Since then, the old mill has become symbolic of Vernon, and even appears on its postage stamps. Travel to Vernon as part of Insight Guides' Northern France: Coast to City tour; simply request an additional stop of your itinerary.