t2.bmp (300054 bytes)  Rouen

 

August 10, 2007

Notre Dame Cathedral of Rouen

During the French Revolution, the peasants stormed the cathedral and tore down the statues lining the exterior and bashed them up.

Hello, I have been bashed by an angry peasant!

On one side of the doors is a plaque that says that Joan of Arc was sentenced to death here, and on the other side is a newer plaque that says Joan of Arc's reputation was restored here.

Everyone is trying to get a good look at a DEAD CAT that was found walled up in this building. (Karen would not let Lou take a photo of the poor cat.) 

The guide said that people thought that cats spread the plague, so having a dead one in the building was what, good luck?! 

Anyway, since rats spread the plague, and cats killed rats, it was pretty stupid to kill cats and people paid the price as rats multiplied unchecked.

Here we are in a square enclosed by ancient timbered houses.

The guide told the story of how there was a huge mass grave of the victims of the Black Plague.  Then, when the plague came back, they wanted to re0use the mass grave so they dug out all the old bones and placed them in the open air upper stories of these buildings so the bones would dry out.  

Look closely -- can you see the skulls and bones carved in the dark wood beams?

Lou loves a bustling street scene.

Karen used her atrocious high school French to buy two espresso and two chocolate croissants.  Yum! We stood and ate and drank right in the street.

McDonalds had to jump through a lot of hoops to get to open a restaurant here.  They had to completely renovate the building.

Right around the corner of the building on the right is the spot where Joan of Arc was burned. Straight ahead is the door to the public bathroom with funny pink toilet paper.

So pretty!  In a way, it reminded us of Curacao with all the buildings all touching each other and yet with a different color and their own personality.

 

This is the
"
Great
Cross of
Rehabilitation"

This
monument
is to
Joan of Arc
on the site
where
she
was
burned.

Joan of Arc.

The tour was supposed to offer an hour of free shopping, but we ran out of time because some people on the tour insisted on getting themselves some espresso in a restaurant right at the beginning of the tour, and our tour guide was weak and let them!  So we milled about aimlessly for awhile at the beginning of the tour.  We still enjoyed ourselves -- mostly Lou and I were looking for an ATM machine so that we could get some money to buy espresso ourselves!

 

Excursion : Visit To Rouen
Explore Normandy’s ancient capital on a walking tour of one of France’s premier tourist
cities.

WHAT YOU VISIT
Rouen - Travel the old section of Rouen with your guide, walking down narrow cobbled
lanes lined with ancient, timbered houses. Rouen boasts over 700 of these medieval
structures. Stroll down the bustling Rue Saint Romain and the Rue du Gros Horloge,
passing Rouen’s old fortified clock tower. Pass the law courts, housed in a superb
Renaissance building.

Notre Dame Cathedral of Rouen - A superb example of French Gothic architecture, the
cathedral took 300 years to complete. The cast iron spire is the largest in France and the
central portal features an elaborately painted "Tree of Jesus." Your guide escorts you
into the interior, which features a Lady Chapel, the tombs of Rouen’s archbishops,
secure behind wrought iron gates, and impressive 15th-century stained glass windows.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Place du Vieux Marche - Pause during your walking tour to admire Rouen’s old market
square. It was here in 1431 that the English burned Joan of Arc at the stake. Today, the
square boasts the Great Cross of Rehabilitation, erected in tribute to the Maid of Orleans;
a daring modern church is dedicated to her memory.

SHOPPING
An hour of free time is allowed to shop in Rouen. The busy streets are lined with
boutiques, jewelers, perfumeries and department stores such as Printemps.

WHAT YOU SEE ALONG THE WAY
Depart Le Havre and travel through the Norman countryside on the motorway, heading
inland to Rouen. Upon arrival, disembark near Saint Maclou Church for your walking
tour. Return to Le Havre on the same route.

SPECIAL NOTES
The drive from Le Havre to Rouen is approximately 1 1/2 hours each way.

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