In the ancient Vieux-Marché of Rouen is this very modern church, which at first looks so out of place and yet after a few minutes looks not at all out of place.
This is the site where Joan of Arc was burnt to death and so it seems fitting that a church dedicated to St Jeanne d'Arc should be on this spot, but before the second world war the church on this site was in fact one dedicated to Saint Vincent. That church was so badly damaged it was demolished (what was left of it) but somehow the stained glass from it's windows survived and was incorporated into the new church which was completed in 1979.
The church was designed by architect Louis Arretche and the exterior form of the building is supposed to represent both the flames that burnt Joan and an upturned Viking ship, two things which have great significance in the history of Rouen.
Inside the church it is hard to be disappointed by the effect of the stained glass wall and the way the colours play across the interior. The only drawback is that the church is very busy with many others coming to see the same as you. The organised tour parties were for me as always the most annoying aspect as they seem to try to obstruct anyone else getting into the place!
Entry is free and the church is open 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 5.30pm daily.
at the place where she was burned at the stake, a church in a spiral shape resembling the stakes, her ashes were thrown to the Seine so can people forget , but they did not, she is a Doctor of the Catholic Church, and Patron Saint of France.
A must to see
Cathédrale N-D De l'Assomption
This is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in France. Its Lantern Tower cast at 151 m in height. This "arrow" dates back to 1825 and replaces the previous destroyed by lightning in 1822.
At the time of its construction was the highest building in the world.Til 1880 when the Koln dom was bild.
C'est une des cathédrales gothiques les plus importante en France. Sa tour lanterne en fonte culmine à 151 m de hauteur. Cette "flèche" date de 1825 et remplace la précédente détruite par la foudre en 1822.
Au moment de sa construction c'était le plus haut batiment au monde. Détroné en 1880 par le Dom de Cologne.
Ste. Jeanne d'Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen. The Place du Vieux Marché is where she was burned and a large cross marks the spot. Beside it and stunning in its starkness is the very modern church of Ste. Jeanne d'Arc. The roof is the first thing you notice as it is different from everything surrounding it, like a sail set in the city. When you go inside there is a different surprise, the beautiful XVI century stained glass windows. Go up close and look at them. You will see little scenes of ancient Rouen embedded in the windows. The large colored glass is the religious stained glass but the little scenes are historic and utterly charming.
The 65 ft. high cross stands in a plot near the church on the spot where Jeanne was burnt at the stake. Excavations nearby have uncovered foundations of the pillory and the church where she was judged. Around the square are many original half-timbered houses and a statue of Jeanne has been placed by the church. Around the church a daily market occurs in stalls under a modern shed extension of the church and it shelters an expansion as well.
The church was built in 1979. It and the square (the Vieux Marche) were redesigned by the architect Louis Arretche (who redid the church at St. Malo. It houses a 500m square set of walls preserving the 16C stained glass windows reassembled from the chancel of nearby St. Vincent's Church bombed out in 1944. The glass depicts the lives of Christ and the Virgin in a most colorful style. The church has an unusual variant of the inverted ship-keel type of ceiling. The adjacent parts of the market share in the decor of the church.
The fact that such dreadful event happened on this square should not blind us for the beauty that surrounds the square, because here are some of the most exceptional pretty "vakwerk" (woodwork) houses. The square is - as the name "Vieux Marche" already tells - used as Market Square for many centuries and until today. From Tuesday until Saturday, vegetables, fruit and flowers are sold here until 12:30 h. Escavations (that can be seen alongside the church of Jeanne d'Arc) show that already in the earliest centuries buildings surrounded a somewhat smaller marketsquare on this place in Rouen (Rotomagus).
On the square (Vieux Marche, Old Market) where Jeanne was sentenced to death on the burning staple, a peculiar new church has been built in the last decade. The church is with it's forms very beautiful, though some regard this "art nouveau" building as an insult to the historical environment that it is built on. The stained windows show the life of Jeanne and her heroic deeds for France. A part of the building is also a covered market place, leaving the initial purpose of this square intact. Around the church are several marked places with monuments for Jeanne d'Arc, the maid of Orleans.
Jeanne was born in Elzas-Lotharingen during the turbulent times of the 100 years war. Parts of France had fallen in English hands and they roamed the remaining parts of France plundering and burning. The French lacked a general leader, as after the death of Charles the Sixth, his son (the Dauphin) was doubting whether he was the rightful heir to the thrown. The deeply religious Jeanne heared in her youth voices that told her to help the Dauphin to start caring for "his" France. She developed into a spiritual leader for the French troops and gave them courage. The tide definately turned when - under her spiritual leadership - the city Orleans fell back into French hands. With these military successes, the Dauphin trusted in the fact that he was entitled to become king Charles the Seventh in 1429. The maid of Orleans kept on going, however not always with success (the siege on Paris failed). She slowly became even more popular then the king himself and the king that thanked his kingdom to Jeanne betrayed her and handed her over to the English. In the prison of Rouen, the capitol of the English domains in France, they brook her by torture, rape and other pressure. Eventually poor Jeanne (not even 20 years old) was declared to be a witch that was guilty of several forms of blasphemy. On the 30st of May 1431 she was burned on the staple on the Old Market (Vieux Marche) of Rouen.
France, that had so much to thank from Jeanne, didn't care less until the 20st century, when finally they started realising the importance of Jeanne's actions to unify the French against the English. In 1920 Jeanne was declared a saint and in the same year the French governement decided to recognise her as national hero. Then things started to turn around and she became a true French hero. She now has her own commemoration day, the 30st of May. Her story will live on forevermore.
Built next to the site where Joan of Arc was martyred, this modern church has a dual vocation; first as a church honouring St. Joan and the second as a civil memorial to France’s national heroine. France officially commemorates Joan of Arc on the second Sunday in May. This is the time when one can visit the Joan of Arc Festival in Rouen.
Built in 1979, this modern church resembles an upturned ship. As soon as you get inside, your eyes will surely fall on the Huge stained Glass wall covering the church back wall. Part of the stained glass work tells the story of St Joan of Arc.( Please see other photos for Stained Glass Details)
The spot where my wife Josanne is standing is the location where Saint Joan of Arc was executed on the stake on the 30th May 1431. The small green area is just in front of the Joan of Arc Church. Please read more details in 'Things to do - Joan of Arc Church'
This church is amazing and important for many reasons besides the obvious!
The shape of the building is so intriguing! If it had not been signposted as a church, or if I had not seen the crucifix outside I would have been none the wiser!
Me and my friend Jamilah circled the church just to get the full effect, and boy is it great!! It was quite scary seeing the exact point where Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) was burned at the stake...very sombre!
Inside was beautiful, the ceiling was absolutely amazing, as was the altar and other ornaments there. It was very peaceful and I felt by taking photos I was disturbing the serenity, but the usher assured me it was ok!
I definately recommend going here, its so beautiful, even if you are not religious!
At the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by the English is a church dedicated to her. The church is interesting architecturally, with its long, sweep roofline which reaches all the way to the ground and the serrated "rooflets" seen here. Inside, gigantic panels of stained glass lend the church an ethereal air.
I didn't know this until I arrived. The church is definitely more modern. It was built just 25 years ago.
The roof looks like an inverted hull of a viking ship. A cross and red geraniums mark the spot where Joan was burned at the stake.