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Épernon / Maintenon

[ Cycle routes Veloscenic, Paris <> Mont-St-Michel ] [ The Royal Eure Valley ]
  • 17.1 km
  • intermediaire Level Intermediate

Epernon, on the edge of Rambouillet Forest, stands in a very green setting. As you head on along roads, the pretty local architecture adds to the pleasure of the trip. You arrive at the town of Maintenon, where Eure and Voise Rivers meet. The Château de Maintenon and the Vauban aqueduct close by will impress you.

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Itinerary

Leaving Epernon from the station, you follow a series of quiet little roads taking you along the Drouette Valley. The route then joins the Eure Valley at Villiers-le-Morhier to head on to Maintenon. 

Railway station

Épernon and Maintenon stations: many Express Rgional Transport (TER) from and to Paris-Montparnasse.

 

TIC

Maintenon : +33 2 37 23 05 04

 

Not to be missed

Épernon : Le prieuré St-Thomas – the 18th century old storeroom. – The square du Change – The romanesque church of St-Pierre

Maintenon : le château, its park and unfinished aqueduct.

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Maintenon's Aqueduct

The famed watergardens at Louis XIV's Château de Versailles required vast amounts of water. The springs nearby proved insufficient, so engineers hatched the idea to transport water from the River Eure beside the Château de Maintenon. Work began in 1684 on canals and an aqueduct, but was halted in 1689 as war broke out. The majestic aqueduct was never completed, but the king offered it to Mme de Maintenon as compensation for the disruption caused around her castle. 

 

 

 

Madame de Maintenon

The extraordinary Ancien Régime figure known as 'la Maintenon' was born in a prison in southwest France, where her father was incarcerated. As a penniless orphan, at 16, she married the humorous, deformed writer Scarron. Widowed, she became governess to Louis XIV's children by Mme de Montespan, only to replace the latter in the king's bed. She and Louis XIV secretly married in 1683. Devout 'La Maintenon' clearly had her worldly side and doubtless greatly influenced her royal husband.

 

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