Rouen: the historic capital of Normandy

Sunlit building through a tree on Place du Vieux Marché in Rouen, France.

At the end of December, I posted the first part of this travel series, where I shared photos of the cruise ship and outlined the journey.
From our first port of call in Northern France, Le Havre, we traveled an hour east to the capital of Normandy: Rouen. We crossed the Pont de Normandie (last photo in this post), a bridge crossing the river Seine joining Le Havre to Honfleur.
Rouen is famous for its Cathedral of Notre Damme and I will do an entire post on this traditional gothic church. Rouen is also known as the city where Joan of Arc was trialed. There are several monuments dedicated to her: a square, a tower, a museum and a church (photos of which will also be part of the next post). 

Japanese Anemone flowers on Place du Vieux Marche, Rouen.

View of buildings on Place du Vieux Marche in Rouen, Normandy, France.
Buildings on Place du Vieux Marché

Flowers, greenery and trees on Place du Vieux Marche in Rouen, France.
The flora on Place du Vieux Marché in Rouen

Front of a building with flags and flowers on Place du Vieux Marche in Rouen, France.
A building on Place du Vieux Marché

Upon arriving in Rouen, our tour guide led us to the charming Market Place - Place du Vieux-Marché, where the Joan of Arc church is located. This square, right in the centre of Rouen, is lined with historical timber buildings.

A view of a building through tree branches in Rouen, France.

View of the buildings on Place du Vieux Marche, Rouen, France.
Place du Vieux Marché, Rouen, France

Yellow roses and other plants in the square in Rouen, France.

A red window in a tower in Rouen, Normandy, France.

Japanese Anemone in the square in Rouen, France.

View of buildings in Rouen, Normandy, France.

Our next landmark was the Gros-Horloge, a 14th century astronomical clock installed in a Renaissance arch over a quaint pedestrian street. This clock is one of the oldest working clocks in Europe. While the clock's movement was made in 1389, the arch wasn't completed until 1529. Each dial is 2.5 meters in diameter and they are full of astronomical symbolism. The sun and the stars on one side, accompanied by the phases of the moon. On the opposite, a panel reveals the day of the week along with the God of the day. Monday is represented by the Moon, Tuesday by Mars, Wednesday by Mercury for Wednesday, Thursday by Jupiter, Venus by Friday, Saturday by Saturn and Apollo indicates Sunday.

The Gros Horloge above an archway in Rouen, France.
The Gros-Horloge, Rouen, Normandie

A view of the buildings on the Gros-Horloge Street in Rouen, France.
 Rue du Gros-Horloge

View of the Gros-Horloge street in Rouen, Normandy.
 Rue du Gros-Horloge, Rouen

Gros Horloge street in Rouen with a view of the clock.
 Rue du Gros-Horloge

Street sign for Rue de la Vicomte in Rouen, Normandy.

Sunlight on buildings on the Vicomte Street in Rouen, France.
Rue de la Vicomte, Rouen

View of the Hotel de Bourgtheroulde in Rouen, France.
Hotel de Bourgtheroulde, Rouen

On the way to the Cathedral of Notre Damme we made a stop at Palais de Justice, Rouen's  Gothic Courthouse. The construction of this building dates back to 1494. The city councilors passed a resolution to build a new market for the merchants of the city. It has evolved into the present day law courts. Rightfully named "a palace" as it is incredibly ornate.

A view of the Palace of Justice in Rouen, France.
Palais de Justice, Rouen

Thouret Street in Rouen, Normandy with a view of the Palace of Justice in sunlight.
Rue Thouret, Rouen, Normandy

Palace of Justice tower in sunlight in Rouen, Normandy.
Tower detail, Palais de Justice
After visiting the Notre Damme we had some spare time to explore Rouen on our own. We sampled local coffee and ice-cream macaroons as we enjoyed the sunny but breezy afternoon in the North of France. Then we met back at Place du Vieux Marché, we made our way to the bus and traveled back to Le Harve. We embarked on the Sapphire Princess and spent two days at sea before we reached our next destination. 

A bare tree in front of a sunlit building in Rouen, France.

Normandy Bridge over the river Seine at sunset.
Pont de Normandie

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