Rouen

Discover the historic medieval city where Joan of Arc was executed. Walk along quaint cobblestone streets in this Normandy city.

Rouen is famous as the location where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. It is the former home of one of the country’s greatest writers, Gustave Flaubert. The city’s cathedral attracts travelers and sightseers just as it once inspired works of art by Monet. Rouen has many museums and historic landmarks created during its important role in Anglo-Norman rule.

Admire the gothic design of the 13th-century Rouen Cathedral. See stained-glass windows dating back more than 800 years as well as the tomb of Richard the Lionheart, a former king of England. The church’s majestic façade inspired impressionist artist Monet to create works now worth millions of dollars.

Find one of Monet’s cathedral paintings in the city’s Musée des Beaux-Arts, which was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801. Browse paintings, sculptures and other artworks around the halls of the 19th-century building. Many genres are included, such as impressionist and renaissance art.

Make your way to the Gros Horloge (Big Clock), one of the world’s oldest and largest surviving mechanical clocks. Made in 1389, it has an 8.2-foot (2.5-meter) diameter. Admire the clock’s design with a sun at its center and 24 rays of sunlight pointing to the hours. At the nearby Saint-Ouen Church, appreciate its grand gothic design and famous 19th-century organ.

Stroll along the charming cobblestone street of Rue Eau de Robec to browse its shops and cafés and enjoy interesting architecture. Water flowing down one side of the road offers a tranquil ambiance. Turn down Rue Saint-Romain, near the cathedral, to see gothic and renaissance architectural styles. Some houses have thatched roofs and wooden façades.  

The city has warm summers and cold winters with a fair chance of rain. Local people are known as “ Rouennais.”

Take a look around the Tour Jeanne d’Arc in Rouen Castle, where it is said the famous heroine was shown instruments of torture designed for her. In contrast, modern Rouen will show you a very pleasurable experience.

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