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Rouen, France: a Historical Treasure

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

A magical destination along the Seine River cruise in France

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Rouen, France is a charming town located on the River Seine, and is known for its beautiful architecture and vibrant history. Visiting Rouen sends you on a trip back through some of the world’s most important moments in history, art, architecture and culture.

In the Middle Ages, Rouen was considered one of the largest and wealthiest cities throughout medieval Europe.

Old Market Square

The Old Market Square is one of the most historic spots not only in town, but in all of France. This is where Joan of Arc was martyred in 1431. Joan of Arc, nicknamed the Maid of Orléans, remains one of the world’s best-loved heroines. Canonized as a Roman Catholic saint, a teenage Joan d’Arc said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret and eventually helped to turn the tide of the Hundred Years’ War (a war which actually raged on for 116 years). Joan was eventually captured, held prisoner in Rouen, tried and burned at the stake when she was only nineteen.

In 1456, she was declared innocent and a martyr and has remained an important symbol of France ever since. A church named St. Joan’s now stands in the square and a sign marks the spot where she died.

Rouen Cathedral

The Cathedral of Notre Dame (often referred to as the Rouen Cathedral) will surely be recognizable to all fans of great art. It was one of Claude Monet’s favorite subjects and he painted it numerous times to capture the differences in the alternating light throughout the day. Paintings of the cathedral can be found hanging in many museums throughout the world. These include the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, The Met in New York City, The Broad in Los Angeles, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., The National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade and The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. As you know, there is nothing better than seeing a painting in person rather than on a website or in a book!

This Roman Catholic church, constructed in the Gothic style, was long famous for its magnificent choir.

Great Clock

The Great Clock is another landmark that has inspired famous artists throughout the centuries, including author Victor Hugo and painter J.M.W. Turner. First built in 1389, the clock is one of the oldest mechanisms in France. The clock was moved to its current location in a Renaissance arch in 1529 and is a stunning sight for all to see.

Medieval Quarter

The Medieval Quarter of Rouen is known for its lovely half-timbered homes and buildings, public gardens and historic streets.

Rouen is just one of the many amazing spots you can enjoy on our French river cruise next year! The ship stops here on Day 5 of our 7-day river cruise down the Seine River.

My husband Sean and I would love to have you join us, if you’d like!

I have some group space blocked out just for you, so if a river cruise has been on your bucket list, you should come with us! There are different room categories and price points available, and all of your food and excursions are included on this magical cruise on the Seine River!

In a previous post, I talked about some other stops, the Beaches of Normandy, Caudebec-en-Caux, and Monet’s Gardens at Giverny. Click to read more about them.

If you’d like more info on the cruise, click here. It’s happening Oct. 14-21, 2023, and I’d absolutely love to have some friends come along!


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