Rouen is the capital of Normandy and in the past the second most important city of France next to Paris. It is known as the place of death of Joan of Arc and because of the magnificent Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral.
The history of Rouen dates back to the Gallic times, and already in the third century a bishopric was founded here. Due to its location on the Seine, near the coast in the 10th century, the Normans built their city here. It was an important point on the trade route and had a monopoly on the trade in wine from Champagne and Burgundy.
During the Hundred Years' War, at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, Rouen was besieged several times, and finally fell under English rule. It was here in 1431 that the trial of Joan of Arc took place before the inquisition tribunal. In the Old Market, at the place of death of Joan of Arc currently stands her statue, and next to the church of St. Joan of Arc. At present, the Rouen Tower, where the Virgin of Orleans was interrogated, now has a museum dedicated to her.
The most important monument of the city is Notre-Dame Cathedral in Rouen. It is a Gothic building with an over 150-meter tower, inside of which is the tomb of Richard the Lionheart. The Saint-Ouen church also comes from the Middle Ages with a huge rosette above the entrance.
There are many interesting museums in Rouen that can meet the needs of people with diverse interests. The most important of them is the Museum of Fine Arts in Rouen with a rich collection of paintings and sculptures. The oldest events in the history of the region are said by exhibitions at the Museum of Antiquities, and at the Secq des Tournelles Museum you can see a collection of blacksmith products from different eras. The modern Panorama XXL exhibition presents a multimedia image of Rouen from the 15th century. You can see here how the city life looked like, e.g. events related to the Joan of Arc process.
A curiosity about Rouen is the 16th-century Aitre Saint-Maclou ossuary next to which stands the church of St. Maclou. An interesting monument is also located in the belfry Big Clock, which is one of the oldest astronomical clocks in France.