Images en cours de chargement
The old market square|The Cathedral Notre-Dame de Rouen|Photo Frédéric BissonRouen and its port|The Museum of fine arts|The big clock is a symbolic monument of the city|Photo Jan BogersThe aître Saint-Maclou is a former mass grave cemetery|

The city of hundred spires

Rouen is not only "the city of a hundred spires", the capital of Normandy is an extraordinary diversity. Labeled "City and country of Art and history", it has an important architectural and religious heritage with one of the most sumptuous France Gothic cathedrals and museums of quality. Crossed by the Seine, Rouen appreciates above all for its atmosphere.

Brief summary of history

The city was founded on the right bank of the Seine during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus, it was the second most important city of Gaul behind Lugdunum. From 841, the Vikings made frequent incursions in the Seine Valley and ravaged Rouen.

In 949, the Duke of Normandy Richard I, said "without fear", broke the a great coalition between the King of France Louis IV of outremer, the German Emperor Otto the great and the count of Flanders during the siege of Rouen. This victory was decisive for the future of the Normandy, it is attached to the royal domain in 1204.

The prosperity of Rouen was mainly based on the river trade of the Seine. Rouen merchants since Henri II held the monopoly of navigation on the Seine downstream from Paris. They shipped to England, wine and wheat, and imported wool and Tin.

During the hundred years war, the King of England Henry V took the city of Rouen and associated Normandy to the English Crown in 30 years. Rouen was one of the Norman homes of the artistic Renaissance. The economic growth of the city at the end of the 15th century is essentially due to draperies but also the silk industry and metallurgy.

At the beginning of the 16th century Rouen became the major french port of trade with the Brazil, mainly for dyes of draperies. As early as 1560, tensions between Protestant and Catholic communities are exacerbated. The massacre of Wassy force the protestants to take up arms, it is the outbreak of the first war of Religion. The 16th and 18th centuries were prosperous with the textile trade and port activity.

The old Rouen

  • The streets of the old quarters of Rouen have preserved ancient half-timbered houses. Damietta, Martainville and Saint-Romain streets are particularly rich in timber-framed houses.
  • The old market square is the city where Joan of Arc was burnt in 1431. The Church Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc, a highly original modern building, occupies the center of the square.
  • Symbol of the power of Rouen, du Gros-Horloge is an emblematic monument of the city. Gros-Horloge astronomical clock with a mechanism of the 14th century is located in a Pavilion over the rue du Gros-Horloge on a renaissance arch.
  • The aître Saint-Maclou is a former mass grave, it is a place to both quiet and mysterious, with a courtyard is surrounded by buildings carved funeral attributes half-timbered: dance macabre, frieze decorated with skulls, crossbones patterns, etc. It is a remnant of the mass graves of plague of the middle ages.
  • The Abbey Saint-Ouen is radiant and flamboyant Gothic style. The former Abbey of Saint-Ouen was one of the most powerful Benedictine monasteries of Normandy. The work of the Abbey Church, begun in 1318, and completed in the 16th century.
  • Saint-Maclou Church is a jewel of flamboyant Gothic art built between 1437 and 1517. It has an ornate façade with a rose.
  • Former seat of the Parliament of Normandy, the Palace of Justice is undoubtedly one of the most important and the most beautiful achievements of civil architecture at the end of the middle ages.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

The construction of the Notre-Dame de Rouen Cathedral was undertaken in the middle of the 12th century. A hundred years later, it was completed but it was redesigned and completed during the following centuries. The facade represents a precious testimony of the evolution of the Gothic art of the middle of the 12th century to the early 16th century.

The Cathedral houses in the ambulatory of the graves of the former Dukes of Normandy, including Rollo, the founder of the Duchy and Richard Coeur de Lion. The history of stained glass from the 13th century to the present can be read inside the Church. During the 1890s, the famous painter Claude Monet painted a series of 30 paintings the Cathedral at different hours of the day and the seasons.

The Museum of fine arts

The collection, one of the most prestigious of France, brings together paintings, sculptures, drawings and objects of art from the late Middle Ages to the present day. The great masters make up an exceptional golf course: Veronese, Caravaggio, Rubens, Velázquez, Poussin, Fragonard, Ingres, Géricault to whom an entire gallery room is dedicated, Delacroix, Modigliani and the Duchamp brothers.

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen has the largest collection of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris, with number of very famous works by Monet and Sisley.

Museum of fine arts - 1 Esplanade Marcel-Duchamp, 76000 Rouen - Tel. + 33 (0) 2 35 71 28 40.

Other museums of Rouen

Other museums of Rouen are also exceptional, rare and original collections. They deserve a visit.

  • The natural history museum is the second of France, after the national museum of natural history in Paris, by the richness of its collections.
  • The Museum of Antiquities traces Gallo-Roman and Merovingian archaeology and presents a collection of objects of art, stained glass and elements of the middle ages and the Renaissance and Egyptian collections, and Greek.
  • The Flaubert Museum and history of medicine where the native House of the writer. There are memories, pharmaceutical ceramics, surgical instruments.
  • The national Museum of Education traces the history of the child and education since the 16th century illustrated with paintings, engravings and books students. It is the largest collection of educational heritage in Europe.
  • The ceramics Museum presents the most important centres faïence (Delft, Nevers) and the splendors of the production of Rouen.
  • The Le Secq des Tournelles Museum houses the largest collection of ancient ironworks in the world. There is the most beautiful pieces of Rouen art and 8000 coins from the Gallo-Roman era in the 19th century.
  • The Musée Pierre Corneille, is this House, where he was born in 1606, Pierre Corneille wrote Le Cid. His working cabinet is reconstituted with furniture from the 17th century and a beautiful library and the first editions of his works.
  • The Musée maritime, fluvial and port traces the history of the port, its crafts, rouennais tall, of shipping, the skippers of the shipbuilding, the whale hunting and the polar expeditions of Charcot.
  • Wholesale-Clock Museum traces the history of watchmaking and in particular the Gros-Horloge in Rouen. Mechanisms of Gros-Horloge 1389 and the Saint-Vivien 16th century Church are on display.

The golf of Rouen Mont-Saint-Aignan

The Mont-Saint-Aignan club golf course is very varied and asks an excellent technique. After six fairly short holes requiring a little game without fault, the Valley offers six holes of cant and steep slopes, with some threatening out-of-bounds. The six holes of the final shelf are an excellent test length and attacking game. The impeccable preparation of the terrain and the greens makes this very pleasant golfing experience. 18 holes - Par 70 - 5'560 meters.

Golf de Rouen Mont-Saint-Aignan - Rue Francis Poulenc, 76130 Mont-Saint-Aignan - Tel. + 33 (0) 2 35 76 38 65.

Useful information :

Address :
76000 Rouen

Good to know :
Office Tourisme et des Congrès de Rouen 25 Place de la Cathédrale 76000 Rouen Tel. + 33 (0) 2 32 08 32 40

Free of charge.

Where to stay:

All accommodation