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Rouen is the historical capital city of Normandy, in north-western France on the River Seine, and currently the capital of the Haute-Normandie région. Rouen is renowned for its medieval cobbled streets and antique shops.
Rouen, Capital of Haute-Normandie is situated in north-western France on the River Seine and has one of the most important French harbours. It is also one of the most beautiful cities in France. It often sees the arrival of cruise ships and, every four years, the famous tall ships Armada.
Not only is Rouen a thriving industrial and commercial centre it is also steeped in history. Already important during Gallo-Roman times, Rouen became part of the Kingdom of France in the 12th century.
Both William the Conqueror and Joan of Arc died in the town Victor Hugo called ‘the city of a hundred spires’. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake here by the English in 1431 in the Place du Vieux Marché. It was during the Hundred Year's War. You will find the Eglise Jeanne d'Arc which contains some fantastic stained-glass. To continue the Joan of Arc theme, you may want to visit La Tour Jeanne d'Arc (one of eight towers that used to encircle the city) and where she was imprisoned before her execution.
Rouen is a cultured city with enough museums and churches to quench the thirst of the most dedicated tourist! Including the Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame, which is immortalized by the French Impressionist Claude Monet. After sipping a petit café in the shadow of the gothic masterpiece, one of these paintings can be examined at the Musée des Beaux Arts.
The old quarter has a high number of half-timbered houses which surround Rue des Carmes. Rouen’s cobbled streets invite visitors to explore, offering interesting shops in which to browse and cafes and restaurants in which to linger. The town is particularly renowned for its antique shops. The Rue Gros Horloge with its huge clock is the main route from which to explore the picture-book, medieval, pedestrianised centre.
There is a big weekly market on Saturdays as well as Wednesdays in the summer.
Place St Marc on Sunday mornings is the setting for the giant flea market with the majority of the shops open until lunchtime. For anyone looking for bric-a-brac there is also a market on Thursday mornings on the Rive Gauche near the Eglise St Sever.