The Impressionist Trail at Le Port-Marly
Come and enjoy all leisure activities in Le Port-Marly! This commune, marked by its industrial past, now offers moments of relaxation and fun. The town is looking forward to your visit! From the banks of the Seine to Ile de la Loge, via the Château de Monte-Cristo, Le Port-Marly is sure to delight young and old alike.
We invite you to follow the trail to learn more about the works of the Impressionist movement, its forerunners and its successors. Take advantage of this walk to explore all the Impressionist paths across Saint Germain Boucles de Seine.
Le Port-Marly: an industrial past during the Impressionist era
The work of the past
The washhouse along the banks of Le Port-Marly can be seen in various Impressionist works. Le Bateau-Lavoir (Washing Boat), by Maurice Denis, and La Seine à Port-Marly, le Lavoir (The Seine at Le Port-Marly, the washhouse), by Camille Pissarro are a couple of examples. The washhouse is highlighted, as is the pulp mill with its characteristic chimney, and the printed fabric factory with its bright red roof bringing the work of the time to the fore.
The Seine and the port were essential to the town’s economic growth.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the hills were populated with vineyards. These were used to produce ‘clairet’, a fairly simple red wine with a short maceration. This beverage was exported via the Seine to Paris, Normandy and England.
As the port developed considerably, new trades and activities were created. By 1850, fishermen, sand-haulers, washing boats and others were gradually setting up on the banks of the Seine.
In fact, most of the inhabitants of Le Port-Marly worked in a river-related activity. Industrial activity had never been as developed as it was at this time.
Between 1872 and 1876, episodes of heavy rainfall hit the village of Le Port-Marly, causing significant flooding of the Seine. These events, which caused a great deal of damage, also proved to be a source of inspiration for some.
Alfred Sisley, fascinated by the flooding of the Seine, made it one of his favourite subjects. On several occasions, he painted different stages of the water’s progress from the same vantage point, including the Auberge Saint-Nicolas. He called this series of paintings L’inondation à Port-Marly (The Flood at Port-Marly).
|Flooding of the Seine – February 1910|
Activities on the banks of the Seine and leisure activities in Le Port-Marly
Camille Corot was one of the first to discover the village of Le Port-Marly. He was captivated by the waterway bordering the town, which stretched out slowly, like an invitation to stroll.
In August 1872, Corot painted Le Tournant de la Seine à Port-Marly (The Bend in the Seine at Port-Marly), while staying at the Château des Lions for ten days. In this painting, he depicts a fisherman on the Seine surrounded by idyllic scenery. Strolling and fishing are not the only pleasures to be enjoyed on this river.
In the days of the Impressionists, boating was also a popular activity on the Seine. Today, sailing continues in a variety of forms, including rowing, paddling and boating.
The Port-Marly Rowing-Club, for example, provides one of the many leisure activities on offer in Le Port-Marly. Every year, it organises the Régate des Impressionnistes, an event open to all (if you have a boat licence). You can also enjoy the cruises organised by the Tourist Office. They depart from Croissy-sur-Seine, Chatou, Carrières-sur-Seine and Le Pecq.
Numerous small islands dot the Seine and are an invitation to relaxation. Île de la Loge in Le Port-Marly is one of them, offering children’s play areas, flower meadows and shady paths.
Île de la Loge: Le Port-Marly’s leisure island
Thanks to the footbridge inaugurated in 2017, you can reach Ile de la Loge. Make the crossing on foot or by bike and enjoy the facilities on site. This universally-accessible entertainment and leisure park also promotes respect for and preservation of biodiversity. On site, you’ll find sports facilities, paintball and a children’s playground.
And if you love large parks and beautiful monuments, head for the Château de Monte-Cristo.
Château de Monte-Cristo, a must for leisure activities in Le Port-Marly
The Château de Monte-Cristo was built in 1846 and is set in an English-style garden. It was Alexandre Dumas who designed and built this residence. It was in fact his living space and where he held his lavish parties. The Château d’If, on the other hand, was designed in a Neo-Classical style and was more intimate, serving in particular as his writing room.
Today, you can visit the Château de Monte-Cristo on your own or with a guide (one Sunday a month), or enjoy a dramatised tour (last Sunday of the month from February to November).
Your visit to Le Port-Marly
After strolling along the banks of the Seine, cross the Alfred Sisley terrace and the footbridge to the Île de la Loge, take a break and enjoy a meal at one of Le Port-Marly’s restaurants. Want to extend your stay? Saint Germain Boucles de Seine offers accommodation all year round.