• Renata Haidle

Musée Christian Dior, Granville

Guest post by Landen Kerr. Images ©Landen Kerr


Today I have the great pleasure of introducing guest writer Landen Kerr. A former Texas resident now calling Paris home, she is a woman of many talents. She writes, she takes beautiful photographs, she knows her way around a kitchen, and she can help you design and plan your dream trip to Paris as well.


I first met Landen via Urbansider Paris (an insider's guide to the city where we both submit regular recommendations) and fell in love with her daily images of France which she posts on her Instagram account. During the recent lockdown, she spent a few weeks in Normandy, where she paid a visit to the Christian Dior Museum in Granville. She kindly agreed to take us all on a quick tour of the property. Without further ado, I'll let Landen tell the story.


Musée Christian Dior - Granville, France


An incredible way to experience Christian Dior’s inspiration firsthand is visit to Normandy and the Musée Christian Dior. The museum is set inside Les Rhumbs, the great couturier’s childhood home and garden. The pink Belle Époque style home is perched high on a cliff with breathtaking views of the bright blue sea below. The town of Granville is known as the “Monaco du Nord,” and Musée Christian Dior is perhaps the crown jewel.


Seaviews from the gardens - scroll for more images.


Dior spent his first six years living at the home in Granville before his family moved to Paris. Upon returning each summer he became increasingly fascinated with the English garden his mother Madeleine had created. He spent much of his time working in the garden and reading as much as he could about botany. The rose and the lily of the valley, two of Madeleine’s favorite flowers, quickly became Dior’s favorites as well and later inspired perfumes, jewelry, and of course clothing. When Dior was just 20 years old he designed the pond and pergola in the garden.


Musée Christian Dior Gardens - scroll for more images.


Dior’s mother Madeleine died in 1932 and his father had to sell Les Rhumbs shortly after. The city of Granville bought the home and reopened it as a public garden in 1938. Dior’s cousin Jean-Luc Dufresne spearheaded the efforts to turn Les Rhumbs into a place to celebrate Dior. A collection was created largely thanks to donations from Dior’s sisters Catherine and Jacqueline as well as the city of Granville. In 1995, Dior Couture, Dior Perfumes, and LVMH joined in on the efforts. Musée Christian Dior finally opened in 1997.


Dior Gowns - scroll for more images.


Musée Christian Dior reopens on July 1st with a new exhibit, “Christian Dior: Itinéraire d’un Couturier,” which showcases over 100 haute couture pieces, photos, archival documents, and personal possessions that were special to Dior. Objects include his lucky star, his last agenda, his watch, and his scissors. All of the items showcased are a part of the museum’s permanent collection that has been amassed over 30 years with a particular focus on recent acquisitions. The exhibit runs through January 3rd 2021.


Musée Christian Dior Gardens - scroll for more images.


Also in the garden is La Bonne Aventure, a charming tea room and restaurant where you can stop for lunch or a drink to further enjoy the atmosphere of the garden. The restaurant is a nod to Dior’s fascination with fortune tellers, specifically one in Granville who told Dior in 1919 that he would have a bright future inspired by women.

Whether you’re visiting the museum or just want to take a stroll through the gorgeous garden with fabulous views, the Musée Christian Dior is a must-see when in the Mont Saint-Michel area of Normandy. 


Practical information:


Address: Villa les Rhumbs, 1 Rue d'Estouteville, 50400 Granville


Hours: 

  • From July 1st to September 30th: 10 AM to 6:30 PM

  • From October 1st to January 3rd: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 12:30 PM and from 2 PM to 6 PM

Price: 7-9€, free for children under 12. 



© 2020 Renata Haidle