- accessible by bus
- Evreux city center
- Art of living
- Budget friendly
- Take the time
The River Iton: a mad & ghost river, real source of life!
The 120 km long River comes out from Orne (southern Normandy) into Seine in Acquigny (25 km North of Evreux). Aka Mad River, its course is winding and underground over 8 km (geological feature called “Sec (dry) Iton”).
Iton has always played an active role in society, socially and economically. Anywhere at any time, the river has been diverted and exploited: Roman acqueduct, defensive moats in Evreux, Queen Jane Canal, industries of Evreux (watermills, the rafting of square timbers for Royal French Navy, drapery, tanners & fulling workshops, butchers and executioners). It is also a tool for social links: women gather to wash their clothes in the washhouse.
Evreux used to be named “City with 100 bridges” ; in fact there were about 300 bridges over Iton
because many houses were built over the river and owned their own walkways.
Today, few cities can take pride in possessing a river in the heart of the city that brings freshness and pleasure ideal for taking a stroll. The “walk of Iton” highlights the remarkable monuments of the heart of the city until the episcopal city, along the Gallo-Roman wall.
The oldest races of Watermills in Evreux can be dated to the 13th century, such as that of the “moulin d’Harrouard”, which was under the authority of the Saint Taurin Abbey until the 15th century. Most of them were used for wheat grinding, but several had more an ” industrial ” use : ” Le Moulin du Trou Béchet” was a sawmill, the ” Rochette” a tannery.
During the 19th century, many were transformed to industrial buildings such as, for instance , “le Moulin Vigor” first a wheat mill, secondly a cloth fuller, and then a spinning-mill (Le Tissage Saint-Pierre). As well as the Navarre Mill, built in 1841 on the former domaine of the Count’s of Evreux, was a cotton-spinning mill before being used as a wheat-grinding mill. In 1893 hydraulic force was replaced by an electrical turbine. Today the Navarre Mill is being maintained by passionate people (https://www.facebook.com/lesamisdupatrimoinedevreux?fref=ts)
The Washing Houses
Many public and private washing houses mark the banks of the Iton. The owners, who longing the river, often built washing houses and didn’t hesitate to sell the access. In the 19th century, the City built several public Washing Houses in the downtown area as well as on the outskirts : Pré-Margot (1880), rue de la Rochette (1895), route de Breteuil (1899),…Damaged during the WWII , reconstructed in the 1950’s, they couldn’t compete with washing machines. Some still remain today and can be seen from the rues du Pont-de-Fer, from the rue du Docteur Guindey, Dubais du Président-Huet, and on the promenade between the rues du 7è-Chasseurs and the rue Saint-Sauveur.