Bernay, Eure

Bernay, Eure

French Commune
French Commune Less

Bernay, Eure

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Bernay is a commune in the west of the Eure department about fifty km from Évreux in northern France. The city is in the Pays d'Ouche and the Lieuvin. On its territory run the Charentonne, an affluent of the Risle and the Cosnier.


The etymological origin of Bernay indicates that it is a marshy place, which does not surprise since the Charentonne river comes to butt against a slope ("les Monts") and receives the Cosnier river that has an important flow.

Between 996 and 1008, the duke of Normandy, Richard II, offered this area in dowry to his wife, Judith of Brittany, who built a Benedictine abbey at once. The monks organized the site by important hydraulic work: cleansing, mills, fisheries... and the construction of an abbey which remains a jewel of the Norman Romanesque architecture . To cover the expenses and to ensure their defense, they yielded a part of their property in 1048.

The commercial activity attested since 1198 takes its rise on the principal axis of the town. The industry of cloth is famous, the fairs are numerous (the "Foire Fleurie" at the time of Palm Sunday is memorable), because of the diversity and the abundance of the agricultural produce of the area. Besides Bernay holds a big market each Saturday. The veneration of "Notre-Dame de la Couture" as of 13th century, is the origin point of important pilgrimages which attract crowds from all Normandy; the diocesan Marian pilgrimage still takes place each Whit...
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