Rouen is the capital of Haute-Normandie and is a district in the north-west of France situated on a meander in the River Seine, 130 kilometres from Paris. Founded by the Gauls, the city acquired real economic, political and commercial power in the Middle Ages. It was conquered by the English in the Hundred Years War and it was on the city’s old market square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. After being retaken by the French, the city enjoyed a new era of prosperity up until the Second World War when it suffered heavy bombing in 1944. Today the city has been totally restored. As you wander through its narrow streets lined with magnificent timber–framed, corbelled houses you will find many sights to visit. Starting with the cathedral of Notre-Dame with its gothic architecture the monument which symbolises Rouen and the façade of which was immortalised by Claude Monet. Two other must-see sights of this city of a hundred bells are the church of Saint-Maclou and the abbey of Saint-Ouen.
After enjoying a glass or two of Normandy cider or maybe some caramels from Isigny on the busy pedestrian street Gros-Horloge, you can admire the extraordinary fourteenth century astronomical clock, which marks the phases of the moon. Then there are the museums and galleries; the Musée des Beaux-Arts houses a splendid collection of paintings. There are three other smaller museums which commemorate the city’s most famous inhabitants: Joan of Arc, and the writers Corneille and Flaubert. Pariscityvision.com offers you a new excursion Normandy between Earth and Sea by minibus which comprises guided tours of the city and the chance to discover delightful old coastal towns such as Honfleur and Deauville.