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Rouen Sights and Landmarks Guide, France

The city of steeples, Rouen, has preserved an exceptional patrimony, a true invitation to wander in its pedestrian historical centre.

Walking on the streets animated by the fronts of the half-timbering houses, you will discover the city architectural treasures: gothic marvels, such as Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Saint-Ouen Abbey, Saint-Maclou Church, le Palais de Justice and pure Renaissance jewellery such as Le Gros-Horloge or Hotel Bourgtheroulde.

Notre Dame Cathedral is well known around the world, as the French painter Claude Monet immortalized it in a series of 30 canvases. Dating the 12th century, and undergoing different embellishments and transformations over the centuries, you will find here some illustrious tombs (first duke of Normandy, Richard Lion Heart or the cardinal of Amboise). You will still find beautiful stained glass windows from the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. Daily visits are possible, except early Sundays in low season.

If you enjoy panoramas, go for a trip up to Sainte-Catherine Hill and admire the city huddled around the Seine River and surrounded by green hills.

If you take a walk down the River Robec you will be surprised by the view offered by the windmills and the industrial capital that tell about the textile past of this draper city – its symbol is represented by a sheep. If you enjoy walking or biking you can stroll on the quiet and pleasant banks of the Seine.

Le Gros-Horloge - in fact a gothic belfry, a pavilion, a Renaissance vault and a classic fountain - was first built to receive the first steeples of the city, whose mechanism remains the oldest in Europe. Inside the pavilion you can visit the watch hall and in the belfry you can discover the 16th century mechanism as well as a unique panorama of the city.

If you are a museum fan, you have plenty of choices: Le Musee des Beaux Arts, the Ceramic Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Antiquity Museum, The National Educational Museum, Jeanne D’Arc Museum and The Maritime Museum.

There are also special week-ends organized to discover the beauties of Rouen. Try a romantic week-end on Saint-Valentine’s Day with tickets to the Brahms Opera concert, the Nordic Cinema Festival in March, an impressionist ride in April or The 24 hours Motonautique, in May, to experience the powerful water machines races.

Gourmand restaurants, charming hotels and original boutiques complete your stay in a city where the art of living combines with a sense of welcoming and festivity.

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