"See the Flamboyant Gothic Churches" Top 5 Page for this destination Rouen by hquittner

Rouen Travel Guide: 459 reviews and 1,177 photos

Enjoy Walking Around

Rouen (pop.100K+) is the capital of Haut-Normandie and is a major tourist attraction. It has a cathedral and two large churches built mostly in the 14-15 C at the height of the Flamboyant Gothic style. The Cathedral has been further immortalized by its facade serving as the template for Monet who in 1893 painted a series of canvases exploiting the effects of time and light to illustrate his developing theories on the visual process. Jeanne d'Arc was executed in Rouen and there are places to see that memorialize her. The town has been carefully rebuilt after the ravages of WWII with tasteful restoration of as many half-timbered houses as possble and harmonzing modern constructions making for a pleasant walking city. Its main street, the r.de l'Horloge has at its midpoint the famous clock tower from which it gets its name.

Arrival Hazards and Coucous

Our first visit to Rouen (over 25 years ago) was as “do-it-yourselfers” with a Frommer “Europe on Less than $10 a Day” in hand. We came by train from Paris with backpacks. We stopped at the first hotel that we found (See our Hotel Tip). We came for a second visit many years later, by car, and had to maneuver between the municipal parking and our central city hotel. On our first trip the proprietors recommended that we eat couscous (which we had never heard of) in the nearby Algerian neighborhood, cautioning “be sure to return before dark, it is not considered safe there”. We have eaten this starch since at every opportunity and make it at home.

More Sights

Rouen has a Fine Arts Museum that dates back to 1800 and is extensive and contains both decorative arts and great paintings from the 15C on to Marcel Duchamps and beyond. It has one of the Monet series of the Cathedral and other works of his. The city is famous for the place of execution of Jeanne d’Arc and their are several sightseeing experiences devoted to her . The town is basically level and the feel of walking on cobblestones wears off with time.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A Feast for Church Enthusiasts
  • Cons:Use good logistical planning in choosing your hotel
  • In a nutshell:Rouen requires 2 days of sightseeing
  • Last visit to Rouen: May 1998
  • Intro Updated Jan 19, 2008
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Reviews (31)

Comments (1)

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2008 at 1:28 AM

    Love that we stayed at the same hotel many years apart! Doesn't look like the decor has changed much.

hquittner

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