Posts Tagged ‘rouen’

PostHeaderIcon Living it up in Rouen

Now, for all those people who have had the good fortune to visit Rouen, I would not be surprised if they come back paraphrasing Edith Piaf’s “Rien, de rien, ” to sound something like « Rouen, de Rouen, je ne regrette Rouen ! » Well, what is there to regret in a visit to a historic city, which needs more than a couple of afternoons to explore fully. So right, there are the usual museums, gardens, cathedrals, churches, markets, and other places of interest found in any historic city. So what makes Rouen , so different from other cities of Normandy? Well, the moment one says Normandy, I immediately think of William the Conqueror. He set out to conquer England in 1066 from Rouen. Rouen is also associated with another of my favourite heroes Joan of Arc. The lady was not born here, but she was captured and kept in one of the castles here, in 1431 where she had to undergo a large number of vicious tortures to which the mediaeval French and English were so prone.

Richard Harris Barham has written a really lovable poem about a jackdaw of Rheims, who was the most pious jackdaw ever. Well, anybody who visits the Cathedral of Rouen may find himself growing very pious, throughout the time he spends here, looking at the magnificent mediaeval paintings, architecture and sculptures. Consider this Cathedral to be the main focus point from where you are going to move in all directions in Rouen. By the way, this is the place where the heart of Richard the Lionheart has been preserved. A matter of trivia, which I could not resist – his queen Berengaria is the only queen of England who never visited England or was crowned there. Admire the roses, the choir, as well as the bells in the tour (tower). Made up of around 740 t of iron, one is very grateful that these bells – like so many others – were not melted down to be used as ammunition during the terrible First and Second World Wars. For all those who are fans of Gustave Flaubert, he was born here. So remember to visit the place where he was born, (Hotel Dieu) which is now a museum.

I cannot resist a good loud horloge, especially when it is striking the hour. So remember to visit the tower of the Great Clock, which dates back to the later 19th century, though the tower was built in the 12th century. The great clock is still ticking away, and one wonders how one manages not to use that old chestnut on and around it, “ve haff vays to make you tock ! »
The old Market Square is definitely a place to visit, especially if you are interested in the history of this old city. There is an exhibition here, which is going to tell you all about its historical, traditional and cultural background. It is called the Galerie du Souvenir, which means the gallery of memories, along with the nostalgic souvenirs, which you are going to buy here!
So enjoy your trip to Rouen, and do not tock back to the clock!