Visit Rouen by Mouse
Rouen is on the Seine in Normandy, 81 miles northwest of Paris. It was the capital of Normandy in the Middle Ages and has been witness to a great deal of important history.
King Richard the Lion Heart's lion heart is entombed in the Cathedral here. (Cathedral Photos) Since Richard spent much more time in France than in England he must have known Rouen pretty well. He could not have known the Cathedral because he died in 1199, 21 years before construction of the Cathedral began. The Cathedral is huge and looks a tremendous Gothic melange both inside and outside most likely because it was not finished until 1880, and therefore had all sorts of additions and restoration designed and supervised by many people with different ideas. It was damaged by bombs in WWII and that damage was repaired as well. Ron could not get a good picture of the front because of the Cathedral's size and because there is not space in front of it. Perhaps that was not the case when the artist Claude Monet painted it as it looked at different times during the day.
The old market square in Rouen is also the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. A small sign marks the exact spot. There are two photos of this on the Rouen photos page. Right next to it is the Joan of Arc Museum and the Church of Saint Joan of Arc, a building shaped like a nun's hat. There is a photo of this church as well.
We visited on our 2006 trip and found the city very pleasant indeed.  We were surprised to see so many half-timbered houses which seemed to be in great condition and very pretty to look at.  There are many pedestrian-only streets full of shops of all kinds.   And the public transportation system is quite good.  We had no trouble busing in and back from our campground in a near suburb.
The Rouen tourist office web site offers a map, more photos, information about museums, markets, and monuments. In addtion you can download a series of audio tours about places of interest in the city including the Cathedral, the old market and the spot where Joan of Arc was burned. (Letter)
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