France Odyssey: Seine River, Reims, & Paris Day 4

The Amadeus Diamond arrived in Rouen about 8:00 AM.

Rouen, France

Across from our riverboat was the newest area of Rouen and the tall building you see in the picture below was the Archive Tower. It was built in 1965, stands over 300 feet and had no windows.

Archive Tower

Rouen, France was a port city along the Seine and was located about 78 miles from Paris. In 1204 the French captured the city from the Normans. Rouen prospered until the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) and it was taken by Henry V of England. St. Joan of Arc, in 1430, France’s patron saint was imprisoned in a tower in Rouen. She was burned at the stake by the English in the city, in May, 1431 for heresy.

The church above was the E’glise Jeanne d’ Arc. It was completed in 1979 and built in the center of Place du Vieux Marché (old market). The inside of the church had a beautiful wall of 13 Renaissance stained-glass windows that were from 1520-1530. They were in the Church of St. Vincent in Rouen that was heavily damaged by the Allied strikes in 1944. The windows were stored in a safe location for the rest of the war. Then the windows were used in the Joan of Arc church!

Panorama of the stained glass windows.

Also in the church was a memorial to Saint Joan of Arc.

Also located on the Old Market was the La Couronne restaurant. It was where Julia Child had her first French meal.

La Couronne

On our walk through the city we saw the Gros-Horloge or Great Clock. It houses one of the oldest clock mechanisms in Europe. It was an astronomic clock that sat on a Renaissance arch and it was flanked by a Gothic belfry from the 14th century. The belfry housed the bells that were linked to the clock’s movement. All of this was restored from 1997 to 2006.

The Gros-Horloge and the Belfry

The two faces of the clock displayed 24 rays of sun against a blue starred sky. There were moon phases on the oculus above the face of the clock. Also, a hand showing the week inside an opening at the base of the dial! Since the 1920s the clock was powered by electricity.

The arch below the clock contained bas-reliefs and the center was of Christ as the Good Shepherd.

The narrow streets of the old town were lined with half-timbered houses. Some of which date back to the middle ages. The town had about 2000 half-timbered homes which were made with timber posts. It was amazing that this many survived with all the devastation from WWII.

The Gothic style Cathedral Notre Dame de Rouen suffered damage from the Allied bombings that occurred a week before D-day. It was hit by seven bombs.

Rouen Cathedral

It was the highest cathedral in France after the reconstruction of its cast iron spire in 1876. The cathedral became internationally famous because of the paintings of it by Claude Monet who once lived across from the church.

The beauty of the Rouen cathedral continued inside its doors. The mostly Gothic style could be viewed. The right side of the cathedral was destroyed by the Allied bombing but the restoration was amazing!

Below were additional views of the cathedral.

We stopped in the Le Cacaotier, Hubert Masse, Artisan Chocolatier because we were told this shop had the best chocolate. We got some to take back to the riverboat. We enjoyed this delicious chocolate for the rest of our trip!

The Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce travelers dressed as pirates to “take over the ship” and we took the second captain as hostage. The captain took many pictures and videos. He thought it was great! We had a lot of fun as the other passengers looked on with amusement!

The captain was on the far left and next to him was his second captain and some of our pirates!
The Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce “pirates”!
The Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce president captures the second captain!

We did our O-H-I-O in honor of our Buckeyes!

This evening we set sail for our next port Le Havre!

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