Rouen is known for its half-timbered buildings

The same day that we went to Monet’s Gardens in Giverny (read more about that here), we also drove up to Rouen to see a few of the sights.

One of the many beautiful stained glass windows in the cathedral

The first place we stopped at was Rouen’s Notre Dame Cathedral. The cathedral was first built in the 1200’s. It was built in the Gothic style and later a spire was added to it in the Neo-Gothic style. This spire made the church the tallest building in the world from 1876-1880.

We were able to take a tour of the church (which I believe is only offered at 2:30pm on certain days) but it was all in French. We actually had a really tough time finding parking so Aaron rushed in there to start the tour and the rest of us caught up with him later, I’m not sure if all the tours are offered in French or if there are other languages offered. We were lucky enough to have another guest who spoke English and translated a bit for us.

You can see the Gothic architecture here with all the arches that support the church.

While we were here, we saw a dedication to Joan of Arc (she was burned here in Rouen) and we also got to visit the crypt below the church. In the crypt lies a chest with Richard the Lionheart’s actual heart in it. I wasn’t able to get any good photos of it, but it was pretty neat.

The front entrance

After we visited the cathedral, we went for a walk around the town to find the half timbered buildings that Rouen is known for.

In medieval times, Rouen was France’s second largest city. William the Conqueror lived here for a time and, like mentioned earlier, Joan of Arc was burned here in 1431.

I just love this photo of London

One of the only unfortunate parts of our tip was when we were looking for a snack. We decided we would get a couple of crepes and stopped at a stand only to have to wait around for at least 30 minutes for our order to be made. It wouldn’t have been too bad, except that by then we had at least 1 grumpy child (maybe 2) and all we wanted was something quick to tide us over until dinner. But, oh well. C’est la vie!

Gros Horloge

Luckily, we had Aaron’s wonderful parents with us who took Adeline for a walk to try and get her to sleep while I took London for a walk to give her something to do and poor Aaron waited for crepes.

On our walk, London and I found the Gros Horloge (Big Clock). The mechanism for this clock was first built in the 1300’s and the facade was added in 1529. It was electrified in 1920 and restored in 1997. Not only does it tell time, but it also shows the phases of the moon and the days of the week.

We walked underneath the arch that had the clock and found these intricate sculptures.

We had a wonderful afternoon and evening in Rouen. It seemed like a great city and was full of history.

For more information, check out: (French) (Great information about all of Normandy. We watched a bunch of his episodes before we moved and it really helped us plan out some of our trips.)

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