How well do you know the capital of Normandy? Here are 5 fun facts about Rouen that might surprise you. Dimensions, history, national classification, the city of a hundred spiers has many assets that are unknown to the public.
The big clock street,
a first in France
Rue du Gros-Horloge or the Big Clock Street has a peculiarity that many of its visitors do not know. Indeed, the Rue du “Gros”, as the locals call it, became the first pedestrian street in France in 1971.
This cobblestoned street hugged by half-timber wood houses dating back to the middle ages is still pedestrianized and thousands of people still use it every day.
in the top worldwide
An unmissable site, the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Rouen also hides some fun facts. The 151 meters high cathedral spire allows it to rank 4th among the highest cathedrals in the world.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral of Rouen is the tallest cathedral in France, it is positioned behind that of Ulm Minster in Germany that stands at 161.5 meters, The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro in the Ivory Coast at 158 meters and Cologne Cathedral in Germany at 157 meters.
Just another reason to come and Instagram it!
Discovering Rouen also means discovering its conviviality. Indeed, the capital of Normandy is the city with the largest number of bars per inhabitant. In the historic center or on the banks of the Seine, these numerous establishments are very popular with locals and also tourists passing through Normandy.
A morning coffee at the foot of a religious building, an aperitif with friends with a view of the Seine or a frenzied evening in one of the night bars … so many good reasons to give it a try.
The butter tower,
The Tour de Beurre or Butter Tower’s construction began in 1506 and was finished in 1530 and makes up the eastern facade of the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Rouen’s gothic style. This beautiful tower with its rich butter colour was to become the inspiration to a new skyscraper planned for Chicago 4 centuries later. Construction begun in 1923 and in 1925 the 141 m Tribune Tower was unveiled.
Various rocks and bricks from historically important sites throughout the world have been incorporated into the lowest levels of the building and are labeled with their location of origin. One such stone comes from Rouen Cathedral’s Butter Tower, which inspired the shape of the building.
Its 2nd largest collection
of Impressionist paintings
Impressionism was born in Le Havre when Claude Monet set his hand to paint the “soleil levant” in 1872, but unfortunately, they do not have the biggest collection of paintings dedicated to this movement. The Orsay museum in Paris is number one and shortly followed by the Fine Arts Museum of Rouen with the second biggest collection.
Masterpieces by Turner, Monet, Gauguin, Pissarro, Sisley and Renoir are celebrated and loved the world over and their paintings are proudly displayed for all art lovers, for free, in this exceptional museum.