Rouen – a historic and beautiful city
Rouen, the capital of Normandy, is a historic and beautiful city in Northern France with plenty of things to see and do!
Rouen is famous for being hugely important during medieval times. It is significantly known as the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, giving a special meaning to this city and making it a place full of historical interest.
The one that’s called “The Maid of Orleans” is an emblematic figure of French history and gave her name to different streets, squares and monuments such as: the church of Saint Joan of Arc and the Tour Jeanne d’Arc (the dungeon where she was imprisoned before her execution).
Things to do in Rouen
I would personally recommend going for a walk along the Seine, wandering in the pedestrian streets and just take in all the medieval buildings and houses that make this city a unique place, giving you the feeling of being in a different time.
You should definitely see the Gros-Horloge which is a beautiful, gigantic and golden clock dating back to the 14th century. You can also visit the Cathédrale Notre-Dame which has featured in many paintings by Turner and of course, Monet, who was very much inspired by the landscapes of Normandy, much like all the Impressionists.
Rouen is not only a source of inspiration for painters but also for writers. Indeed, this is where the story of Emma Bovary takes place, the legendary character of one of the greatest authors of French literature: Flaubert.
What is also great about this location is that it’s near the countryside, the sea-side and not too far from Paris all at the same time! You can see the wonderful landscapes of Normandy, its green land and famous cows and also get to visit the capital, if you need.
In Rouen you could relax in one of the beautiful gardens the region has to offer, have a coffee at a terrace, visit some of the numerous traditional markets, taste local products and discover the delicious Norman gastronomy! You cannot go to Rouen and miss the “tears of Joan of Arc” which are delicious chocolate covered almonds. You should also taste some cider and “perry”, the Norman apple pie with cream. Cheese is of course popular in the region; Camembert, Livarot, Neufchâtel and Pont-l’évêque are all specialties but can be hard to appreciate if you’re not used to them!
If you are looking for history, art and great gastronomy with generous meals, Normandy is made for you, so go to Rouen without further delay!