Secret history of France's cities: Rouen

Immersive history in the vaulted medieval setting of the old archbishop’s palace, now the Historial Jeanne d’Arc.

In the first of a series revealing the hidden histories of France’s cities, art historian and medievalist Julia Faiers turns the spotlight on Rouen in Normandy

The capital of Normandy is known to many of us through the iconic image of one building – its medieval cathedral – in the sublime daubs of Impressionist painter Claude Monet.

Statue of Joan of Arc, Rouen Cathedral

His world-famous canvasses of Rouen’s Notre-Dame cathedral, many of them sun-kissed and ethereal, offer a beautiful and romantic vision of this imposing edifice.

But what drama and darkness these old stones have witnessed!

The event for which Rouen is most famous, or perhaps infamous, concerns La Pucelle, the Maid of Orléans.

During the Hundred Years War between the English and the French, Joan of Arc was condemned as a heretic and burned at the ...

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