Upper Normandy – Rouen, France

The Rouen Cathedral series was painted over 33 times, at different times of the day, in every light, by the French impressionist Claude Monet. The cathedral, built in the Gothic style represents a style of architecture that was admired and adopted by many European countries during the middle ages. For Monet, the effects of light on a subject became as important as the subject itself. In his Series Paintings, he painted many views of the same subject under different lighting conditions, in an attempt to illustrate the importance of light in our perception of a subject at a given time and place. Several of these paintings reside in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. I admired these when we were there.

Eglise Saint-Maclou was built in 1437. This jewel of Gothic architecture was severely damaged during WWII, but has been well restored. The belfry once again has its five church bells chiming daily.

We strolled through the quaint streets of Rouen, in Upper Normandy. Even though Rouen has more than 50 religious buildings and many are of the Gothic architecture style, most of our time was spent in the charming area of winding medieval lanes and picturesque half-timbered buildings. We saw the site where Joan of Arc went to trial and the square where she was martyred.P1000274Visible damage from Allied bombing in 1944 on the Palais de Justice.

The Palais de Justice covers several blocks and the destruction suffered during World War II is obvious on its exquisite facade. It houses the Rouen Law Courts and was the meeting place of the Parliament of Normandy. The masterpiece was built in 1508-1509.


Tour du Gros-Horloge (Big Clock Tower). The Gothic belfry tower was built in 1389. The decorative clock dates from 1889 and still serves as a timekeeper for the city.


Author: emnye

I'm an abysmal golfer. My blog is my object of rumination. I like to carry my heart to new places, fill it with as much awe and wonder as it can hold and and let it overflow onto the pages.

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