County of Vexin

Regional Overview

Impressions of the Past

Vexin is a rural region known for its woodlands, pastoral landscapes, and sweeping vistas of the Seine and Oisne Valleys. Its urban heritage suffered greatly in the World Wars, and the best reason to visit the region lies in its cultural landscapes along the Seine. Full of castles, palaces, and romantic villages, it offers a glimpse into the world of Early-Modern France.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • Vexin Regional Natural Park, the ancient Beech forest of Lyons, and the Vistas of the Seine Valley
  • Nesles-la-Vallee, Arthies and Haravilliers, and other villages with fortified manors, mills, and other ancient communal works
  • Country manors and estates of the minor nobility, many of which would become idealized by impressionist painters

5.4

5.6

6.5

Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel

What is Vexin?

My interpretation divides the region into three parts, the French and Norman Vexin and the ancient County of Beauvais. Unlike other areas, Vexin was never wholly unified, and the Dukes of Normandy already controlled the western part at the beginning of the Middle Ages. The County of Beauvais was, for much of French history, a separate ecclesiastical title. However, it is very similar to Vexin, and much of its heritage was lost in World War I and II.

Overall, this region is difficult to recommend visiting if you don’t already live in France. The 20th century eliminated most of its historical heritage, and you can find Vexin’s rustic charms elsewhere in France. Its main surviving historical urban center, Pontoise, is considered somewhat dangerous, and I can’t recommend visiting it to an unwary tourist.

The region excels in its natural beauty, and for a visitor to Paris looking for the best hiking within an hour of the city, Vexin has the best opportunities.

My Subjective Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

5.4 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 5
  • Transportation: 3
  • Volume/Capacity: 8
  • Infrastructure: 5
  • Interactivity: 6

5.6 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Context: 5
  • Monuments: 6
  • Quality: 6

6.5 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Abstraction: 8
  • Tradition: 5

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