Pete's Pics
Search this Album
Rouen
April 21, 2008
Pete's Pics > Rouen
A walk around Rouen
image

The bus deposited us in the Place Du General de Gaulle - an ancient feature of the town conveniently renamed to honor Charles de Gaulle when the French rejoined the winning side near the end of WWII


image

The east side of the Place is filled by the Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) and the massive St Ouen church


image

The little fella on the dancing horse is, of course, Napoleon


image

The former Abbey church of St Ouen alongside the Town Hall. The Benedictine Abbey morphed into the town hall at some point. The curch was started in 1318 but not finished until the 15th century due to the 100 year war


image

Much of the stained glass in the church dates from th 14th century but the hitherto unfinished fa├žade, detail shown here, was not completed until 1846-1851. This church is actually bigger than the cathedral


image

Many streets in the old town are pedestrian only and contain a great variety of so-called half-timbered houses


image

In spite of the best efforts of the builders, many structures have a certain "hand finished" appearance


image

The building here is significantly out of sqaure but has nonetheless survived


image

Streets such as this one, are mixed retail and residential although retail tends to favor restaurants and botique priced specialty stores


image

A short walk further and the spire of St Maclou appears


image

Another Gothic church, this one was built between 1437 and 1521, St Maclou is almost across the street from the Cathedral


image

16th century carved doors in the main portico of the church


image

Place Barthelemy, the square surroung St Maclou, is lined with half timbered houses


image

Carefully controlled traffic access is permitted in some areas


image

The facade of Cathedral Notre Dame. The subject of several Claude Monet paintings, the unequal towers were added at separate times


image

The tallest church spire in France and, for a few years in the late 18th century, the tallest in the world


image

A bit like the broom that had a new head or two and a couple of handle changes, this is still the original church from the 9th century. In the meantime, it has burnt down twice and has been variously added to over the centuries including a thorough restoration in 1955


image

Facade detail. Some of the pre-restored figures are currently on display in the church


image

A little worse for wear, these figures are about eight feet tall


image

A side aisle of the church


image

Central nave of the basilca style building


image

No fixed seating for the congregation, just simple wooden chairs with matching kneelers


image

In 1999 a fierce storm moved across the area and part of the spire and adjacent roof collapsed into the church. This view is not untypical of the somewhat parlous condition of the the roof structure even after repairs are complete


image

Neatly corralled, in a little fenced off area outside, are these "sweepings" that have presumably fallen from the building but have not yet been hauled away


image

The Rue de Gros Horloge runs westward from the cathedral. Along this street is an astronomical clock dating from the 16th century although the movement actually dates from the 14th century


image

One block north lies the Palais de Justice, formerly the "Parlement" of Normandy. Note the bristling array of gargoyles


image

The courtyard of the Palace is one of the few places it is possible to see the architecture clearly. Generally a fine looking building somewhat spoiled by heavy security


image

Boy, these are such cuties!


image

France is beleaguered by surplus churches in varying state of decay. The zealous preservation standards notwithstanding, many are without a use and certainly without funds for restoration or maintenance


image

This example, St Pierre du Chatel in central Rouen, is just waiting to fall down at which time it will probably be rebuilt


image

Another example of what might be called the CTTP policy - Clinging To The Past - these poorly maintained wall fragments and arch sit in the midst of a highrise commercial area


image

Just up the road, successfully impeding traffic flow, is the Tower of St Andre, a relic of a 15th and 16th century church


image

This particular ruin is crumbling so profusely that a debris collar has been fitted to prevent masonry from falling on passers by


image

Southwest in the old city is Place de la Pucelle d'Orleans in which stands the Temple of st Eloi, yet another crumbling church


image

The buildings surrounding the square are mainly half timbered although it is tough to determine what is genuine and what is recently rebuilt. Notice that even the trash receptacles have been decorated to to blend in


image

St Eloi was given to the Protestants at which time it was retitled as theTemple St Eloi. A rather forboding building sadly ine need of cleaning


image

The entrance and facade are little more appealing and much evidence of decay is visible. The church was locked to prevent entry


image

Our next goal was not far north of St Eloi and we shuffled along more cobbled streets lined with historic buildings


image

The cobblestones are extremely wearing to walk on and, in vehicular streets, just as bad to drive on


image

This is the north side of Place du Vieux Marche (Old Market Square), our last objective


image

The south side of the square contains, guess what? - more half timbered houses of varying authenticity


image

Prior to WWII, the square was occupied by St Vincents Church but this was destoyed during the hostilities. In 1977 the Church of Jeanne d'Arc was built in its place - a fitting location since it was in this very square that she was burned at the stake


image

The new church is modernistic with an unusual floorplan and a distinctive roof


image

The stained glass window wall shown here is eyecatching from the inside and quite unlike a traditional church


image

The facade, such as it is, is also unusual and the overall impression is intended to suggest stacked wood to commemorate the fateful bonfire


image

On our way to catch the bus we saw more of the same and began to feel quite at home


image

We were especially thrilled to see that graffiti and vandalism are alive and well, even in this liberal society
Powered by Phanfare