"Rouen : both a modern and a medieval city." Top 5 Page for this destination Rouen by JLBG

Rouen Travel Guide: 449 reviews and 1,124 photos

Rue Martainville

Rouen began to grow at the Roman period under the name of Rotomagus, capital to the Véliocasses. It is situated on the Seine river at the place where was the last bridge between both banks before the sea. From the beginning, it was a trading place.
The Viking Rollon (845-933) took the baptism under the name of Robert and bacame the first earl of Normandie.

Porte des Calendes

During the hundred years war, Rouen a strategic place between the king of france and the king of England. Jeanne d'Arc was burnt alive on the May 30th 1431.
Most of the building that can be seen in Rouen were built during the "golden century" Traders from Rouen, in association with the navigators from Dieppe control man trading routes and are very wealthy. This is when were built jewels such as the Cathedral, the Saint Maclou church, etc...

Tour de beurre

At the end of WW2, in connection to Dday, Rouen was severely hit by collateral domages due to bombing that was aimed to the destruction of all the bridges on the Seine, but that hit too a large part of the town, mostly close to the river. The Cathedrale Notre-Dame, Place du Vieux Marché, Église Saint-Maclou, the Palais de Justice were mostly destroyed. Rebuilding the main places, such as those cited here took merely 50 years and actually if a great deal has been done, there remains still parts still in reconstruction. Buildings of minor interest or too severely destroyed were not reconstructed.
The part of the old core of the city that had minor destruction hes been restored.

Rouen if the city in France where the old core is in the best condition and covers the widest area. It is still a living part of the city, not a preserved area as it can be found elsewhere, cities or part of cities living only for and by tourists.

This is not the case in Rouen. If there were no tourists in Rouen (which would be a shame !), life of the city would not be dramatically changed. Rouen is definitely a must visit, one of the (if not the) place to see what a medieval town looked like.

  • Last visit to Rouen: Sep 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (128)

Comments (31)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Nice page

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Returned for another tour of your great pages here - we are planning a REAL return visit (after too many years absence) as soon as my broken leg learns to walk again!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    You said no tourists. what to do and see, then? NO street gawking at those other people. This is one a a number of towns we hope to visit on trip to castles and elegance. Great presentation.

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2009 at 6:35 AM

    You have the distinction of having the only pg. on gravediggers and garbage collectors!! I'm grinning. Love the signs at the restaurants. Interesting town.

  • Jul 27, 2009 at 4:16 AM

    The pictures from Rue Martainville houses are excellent

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2009 at 2:28 AM

    HI JL - just starting to look at your Rouen pages - my sister "jumpingwithnorman" might go see it for a day when we're in Paris this September...will be back, Norman :)

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2008 at 6:16 AM

    Rouen really has a superb cathedral, though when we visited a bad rock group were giving a (loud) concert outside and it echoed right through. We loved the town regardless: you've reminded me that we must return.

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2007 at 12:00 PM

    After reading your page I quite agree with you, Jean-Louis, Rouen is really worth visiting. Giant and detailed job! Rouen is in my wish-places, especially its Cathedral. Pity, it's situated aside of my every year roads in Europe, but who knows?

  • May 5, 2007 at 8:17 AM

    Lots of great information. Hopefully i will be going to Rouen alot more clued up. Thankyou.

  • tissie's Profile Photo
    Sep 23, 2006 at 2:44 AM

    A super page. I love Rouen. Last time I visited it was freeeezing, all the fountains were ice. very picturesque but chilly for sightseeing! Bonjour from UK.


“I believe that tourists are very valuable to the modern world. It is very difficult to hate people you know. (Steinbeck)”

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