Vincent van Gogh waiting in Auvers-sur-Oise

Are you one of the brave who despite Covid-19 will this summer of 2021 be coming to Paris? If so, then you will have to put the village of Auvers-sur-Oise on your agenda. Or rather you will have to put Vincent van Gogh on your agenda. Indeed, Vincent and Auvers are linked for eternity. It […]

Statue of Vincent as can be seen in Auvers-sur-Oise (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)

Are you one of the brave who despite Covid-19 will this summer of 2021 be coming to Paris? If so, then you will have to put the village of Auvers-sur-Oise on your agenda.

Or rather you will have to put Vincent van Gogh on your agenda.

Indeed, Vincent and Auvers are linked for eternity.

It is in Auvers-sur-Oise where he spent the last weeks of his life, and where — he died on July 29, 1890, just 37 years of age.

Here rests Vincent van Gogh cc Marilyn Z Tomlins

Living in Paris as I do, I go, at least, three times a year to Auvers and I do the walk to the cemetery where he lies buried.

Covid-19 and our lockdown did though make it impossible for me to have gone there from March 2020 (last year) until this month.

However as our lockdown here in France has been eased so we can again go further than 10 kms from our homes, and our museums have reopened, I have just been back to Auvers. Of course Vincent’s room in the Ravoux Inn – there where he died – is not a museum, but as it is classified as a ‘tourist spot’ it too had been closed due to our lockdown.

Also the restaurant in the Ravoux Inn (Ravoux Auberge) was also closed, as all eating and drinking places in France were closed. Not that I am a regular of that restaurant. It is quite expensive, and as I’ve been there when I first started to go to Auvers, I need not go again.

The Auberge Ravoux (cc Marilyn Z. Tomlins)

I am not going to go into the finer details of Vincent van Gogh or Auvers as you will find all on the internet – and I am certain that on reading this now, you have already done your research. I just want to add the little personal extra.

It is rather complicated to get from Paris to Auvers – or I should give the place’s full name Auvers-sur-Oise – Auvers on the Oise, and the Oise is a river, but you will know this of course.

The town is 45 kms (27 miles) from Paris and if you do not have your own transport, you have to take the train from Paris’s Gare du Nord station.. Unfortunately this is a really complicated station and to make it even more so there is some renovation work being done there now. If you do get lost those at the ‘Information’ desks will be delighted to help you: they do speak English, or something as close to English as possible!

You need to find Sector H at the station, because it is from there that the trains going north from Paris goes. There will be no direct line to Auvers-sur-Oise, so don’t look for it on the blue notice boards you will see in Sector H. You would either have to go via Chaponval, or L’Isle-Adam and the end line on the blue notice board will be wither Creil or Persan Beaumont. So, you will now know that it is all rather complicated. There is a direct train to Auvers-sur-Oise though on a Saturday and a Sunday, but it leaves the station rather early …

Auvers-sur-Oise Station cc Marilyn Z Tomlins

By the way, there will be no toilet on the train, but there is a public toilet on Auver’s station. You need to insert your train ticket into the toilet’s door for it to open. To get out of the toilet you need to press a button and push the door.

From the station you will see in the distance the cathedral which Vincent van Gogh’s painting has made famous.

Auvers-sur-Oise station and you can see the church (cc Marilyn Z.Tomlins)

Auvers-sur-Oise is small so it will be just a couple of minutes walk from the station to get to the Ravoux Inn from where your visit should (could) start.

I always stop for a coffee at this restaurant/bistro which faces the Ravoux Inn. You can also have a meal there, and its prices won’t send you to the bankrupt court.

Le Balto restaurant/bistro where prices are reasonable and the staff is always delighted to see you (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)
And it is delightful to sit out on the pavement (sidewalk) on a sunny day (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)

If you are going to walk to the cemetery take the street facing this restaurant/bistro and just walk along till you get to the steps leading up to the cathedral. You would want to go into the cathedral, and then afterwards from there you continue to walk to the cemetery. (The way to the cemetery is indicated on boards.)

You can either walk on the road or take a side path through the wheat fields.

The Wheat Fields (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)

Road that takes you right up to the cemetery (cc Marilyn Z. Tomlins)(

If you are female and on your own, it will be quite safe for you to walk to the cemetery as the road is safe.

Vincent and Theo’s grave (cc Marilyn Z. Tomlins)

The Cemetery (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)
The Cemetery’s gate is locked at night (cc Marilyn Z. Toml;ins)

If you may get the idea that you would like to be buried in this cemetery one day, do know that in France only those who had lived in the municipal area can be buried in a cemetery.

Some of the graves in the cemetery (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)

The Cathedral is of course also a must for a visit. It is not though as beautiful as Vincent van Gogh’s paintings show.

As can be seen in the cathedral (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)
Also inside the cathedral (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)

Well, after your visit to Vincent van Gogh’s room in the Ravoux Inn, and the cemetery and the cathedral you can also visit Dr Paul Gachet’s house and the Maison-Atelier of the painter Daubigny. You have to pay to go into both.

There is also a museum dedicated to the alcoholic drink Absinthe but it is almost never open. I have only once had the chance to find it open and it is quite interesting – and you can buy some Absinthe for less than what you will pay in a Paris bottle store.

Do make your visit to Auvers-sur-Oise a full-day one as apart from seeing the essentials like Vincent’s room and the cemetery, it is delightful just to walk around.

Well, enjoy your visit!

A wall in Auvers-sur-Oise (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)
The Oise just outside the town (cc Marilyn Z .Tomlins)

It will take you just a few minutes to walk down to the Oise river. The road to the river starts from beside the station.

Auvers-sur-Oise’s townhall

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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Should you wish to contact me you can do so by email: marilyn@marilynztomlins.com