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Rouen, best known as the site of Joan of Arc's burning at the stake, has been a leading city of France since Roman times. Historically the capital of Normandy, it is currently the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the Seine-Maritime department, with a population in the metropolitan region of about half a million. The impressive Nôtre Dame cathedral, the tallest church in France and famous from Monet's paintings, is well worth a visit. The heart of Rouen contains many medieval half-timbered buildings, fortunately surviving Allied bombardment in World War II. Other remnants of the medieval city include the Gros Horloge, a large clock; ...

Rouen, best known as the site of Joan of Arc's burning at the stake, has been a leading city of France since Roman times. Historically the capital of Normandy, it is currently the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the Seine-Maritime department, with a population in the metropolitan region of about half a million. The impressive Nôtre Dame cathedral, the tallest church in France and famous from Monet's paintings, is well worth a visit. The heart of Rouen contains many medieval half-timbered buildings, fortunately surviving Allied bombardment in World War II. Other remnants of the medieval city include the Gros Horloge, a large clock; the churches of Saint Maclou and Saint Ouen; and the Aître St. Maclou, a courtyard decorated with macabre carvings (the remains of plague victims were once kept here; it's now a Fine Arts school). Presenting a contrast is the modern church of Saint Joan, completed in 1979 at the site of her execution and meant to evoke the shape of the pyre.

Juliette Rogers
About the Expert

Juliette Rogers is coauthor of the guidebooks Eating New England: A Food Lovers Guide to Eating Locally, Secret Providence and Newport, and two Thomas Cook guides on France.

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Juliette Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Rouen is located in northwestern France on the River Seine, in the Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy) region.
  • Language: French
  • Currency: Euro
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year round; April to October for outdoor activities