just to say its a must to see ,and Rouen is one of my favorite cities in France, come here often even just for the market . The Cathedral is magnificent and recently clean and renovated.
visits are done from April 1 to oct 31 from 7h30 to 19h weekdays, and from 8h to 18h Sundays and holidays. From November 1 to MArch 31 from 7h30- 12h and 14h- 18h weekdays, and from 14h- 18h Sundays and holidays.
Closing are Mondays mornings, Jan 1, May 1, and Nov 11.
Very beautiful Church Cathedral historic construction on the site goes back to 314AD. long prestigious history indeed. A must to see
For services which are wonderful, this is the official site of the diocese
for the church official site is here
tourist site in contact below
The facade of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Rouen has been immortalised in at least 30 paintings by Monet and as you stand in the square in front (Place de la Cathédrale) and gaze up at the elaborate frontage you can see why the artist was so captivated by this building.
There is an obviously lack of symmetry between the two towers of the cathedral. The North tower (to the left if you are facing the front of the cathedral) is the Tour St Romain and is in an austere early gothic style in line with it's 12th century origin. The South tower (to the right) is the Tour de Buerre or Butter Tower which is much more flamboyant in style, reflecting it's later origin. It was built between 1485 and 1506 and was paid for by donations from members of the congregation in exchange for being allowed to eat butter during lent!
The statues around the doors are of prophets and patriarchs. The spire is actually early 19th century as the previous one was destroyed by lightning.
The inside of the cathedral is almost as impressive and seems very ordered. Visiting early in the morning (and presumably also late in the day) allows you to see the stained glass windows at their best as the colours come alive across the interior.
Notable features inside are the Chapelle de Ste-Jeanne (Chapel of Joan of Arc) which has a post war statue of Joan tied to the stake and at the bottom of a window above and to the right of the statue is an interesting inscription: "from the English in homage". Interesting considering it was we English who executed her.
Reinforcing the English connection is the presence of a tomb of Richard I (the Lionheart). I say a tomb because actually only his heart is buried here, the rest is at Fontevraud Abbey in the Loire. Also to be found buried here is Richard's 7-greats grandfather, Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy who was a Viking raider who conquered Normandy from the French king Charles the Simple.
Entry to the cathedral is free, although donations are welcomed, and photography is allowed. Opening hours are 7.30am to 12 noon and 2pm to 6pm Tues to Sat, 8am to 6pm on Sunday and 2pm to 6pm on Monday.
If you've seen Monet's paintings of the Cathedral in Rouen at the Musée d'Orsay, a visit to the cathedral will be a very special experience for you. You can revisit it at various times of the day and see what the lighting is like to get an idea of Monet's fascination.
There are a couple Monet paintings in the Beaux Arts Museum in Rouen so you may want to visit that too.
In the Lady Chapel are fine stained glass windows and two elaborate tombs. On the right wall is that of the Cardinals of Amboise (both first names Georges) , both are kneeling. The one on the right is the nephew of the other.They were carved between 1515-25. The Cardinal Virtues are there with them as well as Theological ones. and more symbols in the background. On the opposite wall is the tomb of Louis de Breze, husband of Diane de Poitiers who is seen weeping at his head (the Virgin is at his feet). His effigy on horseback looks a bit shrunken in size. The lower part is said to have been by Jean Goujon who was too fine a sculptor to have done the top. At the Altar is an Adoration by Philippe de Champaigne. In the ambulatory are 13C effigies (gisants) of William Longsword, Richard I (Lionheart), among others.
Not to be missed are the transepts especially the North one. Here we find a Rose window with 14C glass (restored)., also there is a charming Renaissance door with a fancy gable and two flights of stairs. This is the Booksellers’ Stairway , the work of Guillame Pontis.
The chancel is spacious and light. It is three levelled unlike the nave but is of 13C Rayonnant style. There is an ambulatory separated by graceful columns which have circular capitals with plant-like structures and some heads at their tops. The arches are very high and pointed. The high altar is a marble slab backed by a crucifix in gilded lead with a tormented Christ upon it(Clodion 18C). There is an ambulatory and beyond it a Lady Chapel and two others. There are transept chapels as well (one to Ste. Jeanne d’Arc). There are tombs in the ambulatory and in the Lady Chapel (a separate Tip).
The nave is tall as are its arcades. In addition it is 4-levelled with tribune, triforium and traceried tall clerestory windows. This leads to very tall aisles.The transept crossing is topped by a very tall lanterned tower (167 feet to its keystone) which bears a tall cast-iron spire above that. The tower is supported by massive piers.
Along the North and South sides of the church are other famous doorways. On the North is the Booksellers’ Door from 1300 and on the South the La Calende Door near where the greatest of the WWII damage occurred. to the nave.(some damage was not repaired in 1988). There is a tall cast-iron spire on the lantern tower at the central crossing that can be seen from afar, It replaced a wooden one in 1822 when it was struck by lightning.
Although begun in 1201, the west facade is Flamboyant Gothic. It was not finished until 1514 with two dissimilar towers and a richly decorated main doorway. The left (N) tower is Romanesque 12C, from the previous cathedral which burned down at that time. Work on the right tower stopped in 1514 without a spire.(called the Butter Tower). There were two levels of statues of Apostles and Prophets around the gabled central door but almost all were destroyed during the Revolution. However the Tympanum of the Tree of Jesse and the celestial archivolts were out of reach and survive.
Inside the cathedrale notre-Dame de Rouen, a series of old graves shows the history of Normandy. Normandy was actually a colony of the Vikings (Normans), that usually only "visited" foreign towns (these visits excisted out of plundering, raping and burning down everything). It was Rollo that became the first king of Normandy and he turned to Christianity in the 10th century. His grave can be found in the cathedral, as well as the grave of his son. Furthermore, almost all bishops and cardinals of Rouen (also an important district capitol in religious sense) are buried in Notre-Dame de Rouen. Even a few saints can be found here. The oldest gravemarkers are dating back from the 3th century! The last is from 2004. A true journey through history.
In the former Tip I showed the outside, but the inside of this catehdral is a true domain of God. When you stand in the middle of the ship, the space around you is overwhelming. The height of the roof makes your head spin and the lights fall in beautifully from all the windows around you. Some of them are stained windows that are extremely colourful and representing parts of the bible, as well as historical events of Normandy. Many statues, paintings and other decorations make you want to walk around several hours in the Notre-Dame de Rouen. The church holds a treasury and a small museum, but in my next Tip I will especially emphasis the old graves in the church.
The cathedral in Rouen is a trie masterpiece in Gothic architecture. It's dazzling seizes is at it's peak (litteraly) on top of the spear that crowns the central tower of the cathedral Notre Dame. 151 meters high the spear rising to the heavens, making this church one of the highest in the world. The length of the church is more then 130 meters and the styles around the enormous building are of splendid variety, though almost everywhere kinds of Gothic architecture is used. The enormous rosette windows, the three very different towers. The oldest left tower in the facade = Tour Saint Romain, the right tower = Tour de Beurre and the central tower with it's high spear.
Already in the year 396 a church is mentioned on this place, devoted to Saint Pierre. In the time of William the Conqueror (11th century) a first cathedral was erected, but with a wooden roof, it was very fire sensitive. Finally in the year 1145 the start of the present cathedral was made and the construction kept going for ONLY littel more then 100 years. This achievement was extraordinary, as we know that many other cathedrals took several centuries to be built. Of course during the ages, the cathedral was renovated and restored many times. However, the Notre-Dame de Rouen was only little damaged in the wars and so the cathedral that you see now-a-days, is the real thing that stood the times. Only the heavy storm of 1999 damaged the church on several places, which is restored in the years after.
Rouen was the capital of Normandy and Richard, as King of England, was the Duke of Normandy. When he died though his body was buried in Fontevraud Abbaye near Saumur with his mother and father, his lion's heart was brought to Rouen to lie in rest with other ancestors in the cathedral.
Located right in the heart of the city and built over the course of several centuries, Rouen’s cathedral is a living record of how Gothic architecture evolved over the years. In the 19th century, the Impressionist painter Caude Monet immortalised the façade with numerous works. The cast-iron spire is the tallest in France with 151 meters. The interior is designed with stained glass art from the 13th century to the present. The choir contains the tombs of some of the dukes of Normandy, including Rolon the founder of the duchy, as well as Richard Lionheart, who loved the city and who ordered that his heart would be buried in the cathedral.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen is probably best known by being immortalized by Monet in a series of Impressionist paintings. Porte Central, the main door, is surrounded with sculptures depicting the Tree of Jesus. Construction of Tour de Beurre, an impressive piece of Gothic architecture, was financed by parishiners who wanted the privilege of eating butter during Lent. The church was consecrated in 1063, but was the victim of bombings during World War II, and reconstructed following. The Archbishop's Palace (Palais de l'Archevêché) is located behind the church, but it too was badly damaged during WWII.