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GracefulVarengeville‑sur‑Mer

Graceful Varengeville‑sur‑Mer

An inspiring village

While the sea acts as a gorgeous mirror to the turbulent sky, the white of the cliffs joins with the deep green of the gardens. Claude Monet, Joan Miró and Louis Aragon made no mistakes in capturing the fascinating beauty of a village which offers a little slice of eternity to anyone who spends time there.

“I am much more interested in achieving unison with nature than in copying it.” 

These are the words of Georges Braque, inscribed on the wall of the small sailors’ cemetery overlooking the ocean. This is where the painter is buried, along with Jean-Francis Auburtin and Albert Roussel, after spending more than 30 years in the village. In fact, the church contains one of his stained glass windows, and those of Raoul Ubac, in a symphony of colours clinging to the cliff. From this magical place where everything exudes a sense of calm, a hanging valley descends towards the sea. You can walk in the footsteps of Claude Monet, who painted multiple pieces here, including several of the customs house. The pastel hues of the beach below are an invitation to contemplation.

A studio facing the sea

Countless artists have been fascinated by this village! The architect Paul Nelson, sculptor Alexandre Calder, painter Joan Miró – who developed one of his most emblematic series here, Constellations – and of course Georges Braque met up here in the early 20th century. You must, at all costs, visit Saint-Dominique Chapel! Tucked away amidst lush greenery, its choir houses three stained glass windows by the artist, showing his more intimate side. More recently, Michel Ciry imbued a number of pieces with the character of Varengeville, now magnificently on display in the museum adjoining his home.

A collection

Unlike any other

Shamrock Garden is home to the biggest collection of hydrangeas in the world, boasting more than 1,000 varieties. Horticultural wonders are at their peak during the summer season.

The scent of travel

Looking out to sea, Jehan Ango’s manor is reminiscent of the era of major maritime expeditions. Dieppe’s famous shipowner had this summer palace built by Italian architects between 1530 and 1542. The loggia, galleries and frescoes make it one of the most beautiful Renaissance-style buildings in Normandy, and its dovecote is exceptional in size and décor. Exoticism and architectural finesse complete the singular character of this magnetic village.