as many cities in France, the summer is a time to révélations,and no exception at Rouen they have their beach by the Seine river too.
This is from July, and all can enjoy it
A sandy beach of 10000 m² borders the banks of Seine where everyone can find his happiness. Relaxation and rest for some, cooking demonstrations, workshops, concerts and theatre workshops for others... or from sporting activities like beach soccer, beach volleyball, capoeira, or dance with salsa. A month of animation in the heart of the city.
great time to be in the city, just after the baseball season of the Champions of France is done and playoffs are in.
This is a local custom I have been coming since the second edition, will missed the next one it is the 6th edition. A wonderful way to be in Rouen.
The Armada is a chance to see the biggest sail boats in the world, entering by the river Seine, and for 10 days you have the opportunity to see them all. You have themes restaurants and small villages representing different areas of our world;games, boutiques shops, all along the river banks for 7 kms of quais or river banks.
There are, also, concerts every night, the rise and down of the levies on the bridges crossing the Seine, parade of equipment and uniform along the city center of Rouen, acts of footing with jogglers and marines,and of course the Grand Parade along the 120 kms of the Seine !!!
All is done every four or five years, beginning with the race to fix the tower of liberty in New York city to Rouen in 1986 with the first parade done in 1989 on the French bicentennial celebration.
In French I will put the unofficial site of the event here
the official site is in no 3 below and it can be read in English.
In order to preserve the character of an "old town" in a tourist-ridden city, rigorous architectural zoning and building regulations must be strongly in place. The (invisible) insides of " historic sites" may be modified but the exteriors and heights must conform to "historic preservation" principles (no "Golden Arches" of McDonald's can be in evidence). This is as true for Rouen as it is for the "French Quarter" of my hometown, New Orleans. Here is a picture of a half-timbered house being redone just off the main street. Obviously, nobody would sacrifice the sturdy oak beams inside the building; note that the simply carved vertical timber beam out front is kept and reinforced. Eventually the half-timbering and plaster will be restored and added.
Water is present everywhere in Rouen. The city along the river Seine thanks it's excistance on some small creeks that ended here in the river Seine and provided the growing medieval town with fresh water and first forms of energy (watermills). When the town grew, the little creeks, such as the Robeq, disappeared into the sewer system, but in present times one recognises the soothing effect on running water throughout the busy streets in a large city and some well-planned projects made it possible to again bring the water back in the streets. Fountains and drinking taps are also found on many places in the city centre.
The architectural style of gothics is created in and spreaded from Normandy. First experiments in this very important architectural style that is one of the main styles from medieval Europe, were made in Europe and got perfected in the many cathedrales that arose in the early medieval centuries. Slowly but steadily it spread over Europe and the world. Fine gothic works can above all be seen in cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen, as well as in the Palace of Justice, the abbey church of Saint-Ouen and the hurch of Saint-Maclou.
Most people have heard of Joan of Arc. Even me, who is useless with historical events knew who she was. Nowhere in France is Joan of Arc more honoured than in Rouen. It is here that she was very publicly burnt to death on a stake in the middle of the main square.
Joan was born in the village of Domremyin 1412, during the 100 years war, when France was being governed by an English king. At the age of 12 she started to receive visions from three saints, telling her that she was the one that had to save France, and return the throne to a French king.
When she was 17, she approached the man who was to eventually become king, telling him her story and by some sort of miracle he believed her and gave her command of the French Army!
She led 4000 or so men to attack the English and over throw the throne. With a French king in place, Joan was so pleased that she wanted to defeat more and more of the English and this led to her capture.
The English took her to Rouen as they had a stronghold on the city, and she was tried for several wrong doings, the most serious one being heresy, based on her communication with God directly, rather than through the church.
She was found guilty, and on 30 May 1431, at the age of 19, she was tied to a stake and burned alive.
Joan of Arc is remembered throughout Rouen as a heroine and an important part of France's history.
Unlike many countries I visit it seems to be perfectly acceptable here to be drunk in the afternoon... and i don't just mean drunk I mean to the state that can only be described as.... legless...
but fear not, the drunken frenchies i met on my trip all seemed to be very funny... a group of people dressed themselves up as knights and were stumbling along the road trying to get more people to join their... "army" lol
I have to admit though i was suprised by how many people were peeing in the streets, I thoguht that was only an english thing :)
The columns of "Aître Saint Maclou" are topped with capitals. Most of them are in poor condition but it is not always s easy to guess what they represent, even if they are in relatively good condition, such as this one. I have tried to figure out what this guy (girl ?) was doing among gravediggers but without any success…???
Nettie (Tapis_Volant) suggests that it might be an angel. This is not an usual position for an angel representation but looking carefully, it (grammatically speaking is it "it" for an angel ?) seems to have vestigial wings (as Drosophilae in heredity experiments, haha !) that are so small that at first I had not noticed them. I will try to find more clues but thank you Nettie for that idea !
On this column, another capital. It is in relatively good condition, and I have tried to figure out what this dancers were doing among gravediggers but without any success neither…??? Witches dancing at night among the graves ??
What they might show ? Well that is very easy, what are the tools that they use ? The most important are the shovel and the pickaxe. If you click to enlarge this picture and some of the previous and of the following ones, you will see plenty of shovels and pickaxes. There does not seem to be any ice axes, which were used much later in Hollywood.
If you were to show out your job, you would certainly first think to show the tools you are using. The butcher shows his knife, the tailor his needle, the restaurant its forks, the wore … nothing (please don't consider, not a good example), then, what would the gravediggers might show !
That means that Aîtres, such as Aître Saint Maclou were the kingdom of gravediggers. Gravediggers, as any other professionals love what they are doing and as any other professional, they carve it everywhere so that everybody knows what it is all about !
When we were having dinner at the Restaurant "les Maraîchers", this guy arrived and began to sing Country and among them, a Johnny Cash. We assumed he was American and asked him in English if he could sing another one, which he did.
Barrel organs were very popular in France until the middle of the 50th century. They gave music out of a cardboard card with holes that flow a specific instrument to blow. Modern way of broadcasting music have pushed barrel organs into the past but, there are sometimes a few individuals that it feels it will be possible to come back nest year.
Amazingly, after you have toured the Aître Saint Maclou, when you go out, through a little, half covered passage, you find again a beam, of sun, your leader ! Would it be possible hat this the very shop where were carved all these figures ? It is impossible to say but this joiners workshop is in perfect condition, till working (and I suppose, fulfilling the laws about security at work !)
Driving to this hotel was like driving in the centre of London in rush hour, gps was totally useless...more
about 50.00 US dollars or less...Under 300 french francs for one Magnificent and modern marble...more
It was 1982. It was our first trip outside of Paris into France. We had just arrived by train...more