Rouen, France, turned out to be everything we had hoped for–a charming “old” French city with character oozing out of its streets. We were wowed by this forgotten city. Not one, but three, massive churches dominate the skyline. Rouen is where Joan of Arc was accused of sorcery and burned at the stake, and there is much ado about that part of the city’s history. It is also the burial place of the Viking warrior and first Duke of Normandy, Rollo.
We were mesmerized by the wonderful cathedral. It is huge and beautiful with three towers–one known as the butter tower, because it was financed by wealthy people who paid a special indulgence to buy forbidden butter during the Lenten Season. Later in the evening, we watched an illumination presentation on the cathedral’s facade. It was impressive. Moving images told the history of Rouen accompanied by captivating music.
We spent much time roving the narrow and cobble-stoned streets of Rouen. The city is famous for its streets filled with half-timbered buildings. Many are quite crooked but that makes for a charming atmosphere. Bistros with outside seating under brightly colored awnings were everywhere. We stopped for beer or wine and food on several occasions. We all said that Rouen would be a great place to spend much more time. We enjoyed the ambiance of mighty and massive gothic buildings combined with streets stretching out in every direction with medieval buildings. Alas, we needed to bid the city farewell. WEG