Favorite thing: The église Saint Maclou is a charming church, built in "gothique flamboyant" style between 1437 and 1517. It is very homogeneous. Its front is very special with five portals, fan shaped. However, the outermost portals are "blind". Each door has been completely carved with many figures that I will come back to describe in details.
Favorite thing: Rue Martainville is one of the streets in the old core of Rouen that show the most "maisons à colombage" (half-timbered houses). Though this was for centuries the most current way to build private houses, there are few cities that have kept so many of these houses than Rouen.
Favorite thing: The North portal of the Église Saint Maclou is not in a very good condition and needs some refurbishing. At mid height are represented eight musician angels, each playing of a different instruments : harp, psalterion, rebec-viol, portable organ, lute, string tambourine and two unidentified instruments.
Before 1520 the stages in half-timbered houses were often "en encorbellement" (corbelled construction). After 1520, it was forbidden.
As the whole frame is of wood (often oak), it is strong but can distort somehow. Look at the strange shape of the main horizontal beam of the central house !
Favorite thing: Half-timbered houses are made of two parts. Thick standing beams and string-pieces (horizontal beams) are arranged on a stone basement (to insulate from the soil dampness) to give a stiff frame on which the wooden floors are set. This frame is not stiff enough and has to be strengthened by smaller logs (colombes) arranged in different ways, that help for the stability of the whole. When they are oblique, they are called "écharpes" (slings), when two are crossed they are "Croix de Saint André" (Saint Andrew crosses).
Favorite thing: Each door has been completely carved with many figures. Four statues support the medallion of the left door of the left portal : Samson, David, Moose and Salomon. Between them, in the background, human figures represent False Belief : Greco-Roman paganism, the religion of the ancient Egyptians, Islam. A close-up on the medallion will be given on next picture.
Favorite thing: Near rue Martainville, by the side of saint Maclou, close to a traditional half-timbered house painted in black a house that should have been built at the turn of the 19th century is trying to look different and smart, by alternate use of red and of white bricks.
Favorite thing: Among the carvings on one of the doors of the left portal on the front of the Église Saint Maclou, this one represents a maid (a virgin or the Virgin ?). If you click to enlarge it, you will better see that the carpenter who made the door has without any doubt, nailed her.
Favorite thing: John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan river near Bethany. Jesus was about 30 years old when he was baptized. John was reluctant to baptize Jesus, for he said, "I have need to be baptized by you." John knew that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus had no need to be forgiven of sins because he was sinless. Knowing John's reluctance, Jesus told him, "It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." So John obeyed Jesus and baptized him in the Jordan River. When Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove, and the voice of God spoke from Heaven, saying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."
Favorite thing: At the corner of Église Saint Maclou, between the front and the north side, the figure of a poor decayed young boy is watering permanently as the Bruxelle's famous Mankenpiss. It is not in very good condition and has even lost the most important part of his anatomy, which had to be replaced by stainless iron prosthesis.
Favorite thing: If you are looking for the Église Saint Lo, you will not find it but only a plate that says that it was here. The plate reminds that it was dedicated to Saint Lo in 1533 june 9th by the Reverend Jean de la Massonaye, bishop of Hippone, etc... The amazing thing is that Hippone, now Annaba, is a town of Algeria. It was the city of Saint Augustin but why the bishop of Hippone dedicated a church in Rouen ??
Favorite thing: On the central portal of the Église Saint Maclou, the left medallion represents a scene of the life of Jesus. It seems to be the Presentation in the Temple, which is related in the New Testament. Mary and Joseph bring the child Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to dedicate him to God where Simeon receives him for circumcision.
This commemorative slab reminds the memory of Claude Poulain of another emigrant. It says :
“On January 25th 1616, was baptized in this church Claude Poulain, son of Paschal Poulain and of Marie Levert. He married at Quebec on August 8th 1639 Jeanne Mercier, daughter to Loup Mercier and Jeanne Gaillard from Mortagne-au-Perche* (a small town in Normandie) who had been baptized on November 25th 1621”*.
Note that the groom was 23 years old and the bride 18 years old.
Favorite thing: Rouen has been severely hit by collateral damages from D-day and the bombing destroyed many ancient buildings. Restoration of the most prominent pieces of architecture took years and was (nearly) finished very recently. Minor buildings have been either erased or are still under reconstruction, 50 years later, as this tower.
The association of the Perron families of America has set on September 10th 1993 this slate that says :
”Homage to Pierre Dugrenier and Marie-Thérèse Grenet, married here on August 9th 1711 and to their son Joseph, married in New-France in 1742, ancestor to the Dugrenier and Dugrenier called Perron of America”*.