Day 1,592 of Traveling the World | Rouen, France | June 12, 2022

Rouen was a city on our list to visit because Monet had done a series of Impressionist paintings of the Rouen Cathedral. We wanted to see it in person, and we arrived to fabulous news. Each weekend, the Cathedral is the site of the Rouen Lumiere show – a video presentation using the Cathedral as the backdrop and tabula rasa. Waiting until it was completely dark, the show began at 11 pm, and it exceeded our expectations. In the first photo, you will see the Cathedral as we did in the afternoon. Starting with the fifth photo, wait’ll you see how the church changes with some video enhancement. We have also included three short videos of different parts of the 25-minute show. By the way, even at 11 pm, the plaza in front of the church was jammed with people. We have read that most towns in France have similar shows, using the facade of their largest church, so we will be on the lookout as we travel through the country.

Rouen is also noteworthy as the town where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 at age 19. There is now a church named for her where it occurred, with ruins outside noting the place as well. Her church is quite striking, dating from 1979, and the windows give it a very modern look; however, they were saved from another church that was bombed in WWII, and actually date from the year 1520.

The Old Town consists of twisting cobblestone paths, with stores and restaurants on both sides. The town has an ancient clock set in a tower that dates to the 14th century – everyone stopped in front of it to watch it for a while, even though it had no moving parts (they looked rusted, understandably), and the time depicted was wrong. That all just added to its charm, as we understood that it was suffering from old age.

Cathedrale Notre-Dame l’Assomption de Rouen (1063 AD). It was built and rebuilt over more than 800 years, and is known for having three towers in different architectural styles. You can see it from most places in the Old Town.
Part of the fabulous interior.
A very vibrant stained glass window that we found stunning.
A headless female saint. Some statues were created headless if the saint depicted was a beheaded martyr. Some lost their heads over time. We don’t know which category this one falls in.
Let the show begin!
The three videos show different parts of the show.
The timber-framed buildings were interesting to see.
One of the medieval streets, looking down toward the town clock.
The Gros Horlage (1389). Still stunning, given her age!
A cute street decorated with umbrellas.
St. Joan of Arc Church. It was built to resemble an overturned Viking ship, and the right edge slopes down to resemble a dragon’s mouth fountain!
The glorious interior, with 700-year-old windows.
A modern statue of Joan of Arc without armor, standing on a fiery branch symbolizing her barbaric death.
The church’s roof motif continues on, covering a farmer’s market.
The square where Joan of Arc was martyred.
A pretty timber-framed building on the square across from her church.
GRUNGEMAMA, across from our hotel. We loved the name.
Also loving the Delirium.
We don’t know the story behind this store, but we love “Don’t Call Me Jennyfer,” with a sign in the window saying “Thank you for calling me.”