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Rouen is a city that may have lost prominence over the years, but it has certainly not lost any of its luster. Many around the world are familiar with the city because it was the location where Joan of Arc was sentenced and executed in 1431. From the time of the Romans coming forward, the city has had several populations utilize it as a center of cultural commerce, including the Vikings in the 9th century.
The most famous and most visited building in Rouen is its Notre Dame-style cathedral. Of prominence is the Butter Tower that was built by the sale of indulgences so that parishioners could use butter during the Lent period. Claude Monet famously painted the facade of this church in several paintings which are on display throughout the world. There are plenty of other unique items to see in Rouen – are you ready to explore?
You Can See One of the France’s Oldest Astronomical Clocks
One of the most fascinating parts of Rouen is the Gros Horloge which started its movement in 1389. It’s located in a Renaissance-style archway at the Rue du Gros-Gorloge. It was initially created without a dial, meaning that the clock would simply make one full rotation to indicate a 24 hour period. The clock was electrified in 1927 and underwent a major retrofit in 1997. All in all, it is likely the largest clock still in existence and still operational from its time period. It has also been prominently featured in artwork.
As you stroll down the street in this walking area, you’ll also notice that there are many half-timbered buildings here to explore. This means the bottom of the home is logged, while the top is framed in a more traditional style. La Salle, the famous explorer, had a home here that can be visited and there are plenty of shops to explore as well.
There Are Many Museums To Visit in Rouen
You could spend more than one holiday in Rouen and not see all of the fantastic museums that this city has to offer. From artwork to ancient navigation techniques, there is something that will intrigue everyone! Most notably is the Antiquities Museum, which features artwork and artifacts from the Bronze Age to the Renaissance Era with an emphasis on relics discovered around the local region or within the city itself.
To experience a taste of what visiting Rouen for free has to offer, be sure to visit the Jardin des Plantes de Rouen. Open daily, its total space encompasses 8 hectares and over 5,500 varieties of flora and fauna are tended to year-round. There are also 8 greenhouses on the grounds to explore, as well as a very large collection of fuchsias. The rock gardens are incredible sight in this area that has been open to the public since the early 19th century.
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