I spent this past Saturday at Auvers-sur-Oise, the town where Vincent Van Gogh spent his last 70 days. I’ve been wanting to go here since I watched the Doctor Who episode which made me cry and is hands down the best Doctor Who episode.
From the second we got off the train, I was freaking out from excitement (sorry, Emma). One of the coolest things about this town were the plaques scattered around showing Van Gogh’s painting of that scene. Also, incredibly, the town doesn’t appear to have changed much since the late 1800s. It also showed how Van Gogh saw this world a little differently than the rest of us.
- Auberge Ravoux: the inn where Van Gogh lived and died while in Auvers-sur-Oise. The room has never been rented out since, and has just a single chair left in it (peep the photo we weren’t supposed to take). It was actually really cool, and you could feel the heaviness in the room. There is also a restaurant now in the building next to the inn, which smelled amazing, and was also hella expensive.
- Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption: The church from one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, the subject of the Doctor Who episode, and one of my personal favorites. This is where I really freaked out.
- Graves of Vincent and Theo Van Gogh: Theo was the beloved brother of Vincent, and also funded and sold Van Gogh’s artistic career. Theo died shortly after Vincent, and they are buried next to each other, with ivy covering both their graves to create one. A sad fun fact: Vincent wanted his service to be held in the church from #2, but as a Protestant who attempted suicide, the church refused to hold his funeral.
- La Maison du Docteur Gachet: Doctor Gachet was close friend of Van Gogh and many other important impressionist painters in the area. His house was at the top of a hill, giving a beautiful view of the town, and surrounded by trees and ivy. My favorite thing in his house were all the dinner invitations for the club of these artists, which were all pretty weird (my favorite: a man riding a giant lobster). They called themselves Les électriques, which I thought was pretty cute.
- Musée de l’Absinthe: An absinthe museum! I learned a lot, mostly since I knew nothing about absinthe. A very kind man from the Rocky Mountains bought Emma’s and my entrance tickets. We wanted to try an absinthe cocktail / shot, but the lady at the front desk was working alone and said she couldn’t leave the desk unattended 😦 So now we have to find absinthe in Paris to try..
- La Caverne aux Livres: We had a bit of time to kill before our train, so we stopped by this book store right next to the station. It was so, so cool. It has a main building, but the majority of the store is in an abandoned train, so you move through the wagons to get to the rest of the store. It was very cute, and the owner was also very nice.
All in all, it was an incredible day! I am so happy I was able to go; the town, the rich art history, the beautiful countryside, it was all amazing.