Favorite thing The Place du Vieux Marché is a place you are almost certain to want to visit in Rouen. Not only is it home to one of the most popular attractions, the Église Jeanne d'Arc but the rest of teh square has some real architectural gems as well.
The South side of the square in particular has some lovely half timbered buildings. Many of the properties on the square are restaurants or bars, most with outside seating. The quality and value are very variable but Pub Murphy's and JM's Café are worth stopping at.
In the centre of the square, next to the church, is a small covered marketplace which often has a strong smell of fish to it, but it keeps that tradition of the marketplace here going after so many centuries.
Of course, the real historical significance of the Place du Vieux Marché is that this is the place where Joan of Arc was burnt to death by the English.
Favorite thing La Couronne, on the Place du Vieux Marché, claims to be the oldest Restaurant in France (may be in the world) that has been continuously open since it first opening in 1431 till now !
More on my Restaurant tip at : La Couronne%L
Favorite thing On the western side of the Place du Vieux Marché, the houses are taller and wider than on the eastern and southern sides. They look wealthier. I have not been able to document it, but it does not seem that they were private housing as on the other sides. I will keep searching what they were designed for.
Favorite thing Strolling around Place du Vieux Marché will allow you to admire many of these "maisons à colombage" (half-timbered houses). For centuries, that was in most parts of France the way of building houses as well in cities as in the country. Rouen is probably the city where there remain the most numerous.
Favorite thing Place du Vieux Marché is a pedestrian only area. This is a place where there are always many people strolling, citizens of Rouen or visitors. If you listen around you, you will soon realize that French is not the language the most spoken on the Place du Vieux Marché !
Favorite thing From all the reports made by the most serious historians, Jeanne d'Arc was burned alive on a stake that used firewood. However, I discovered by pure chance that in the close vicinity of the stake was a cast iron cover revealing the presence of gas ("gaz"). This had never been reported. However, I will not allow myself any comment on that rough fact.
Favorite thing A plate signals the exact place of the stake where Jeanne d'Arc was burnt alive in 1431 after she was condemned by the church as "heretic and schismatic". More on Jeanne d'Arc at :
Favorite thing In this new building are both a covered market, replacing the old open-air market, and a church dedicated to Sainte Jeanne d'Arc. Sorry, no picture from the inside, when we were in Rouen, it was temporarily closed.
Favorite thing The foundations of the old church that was on the Place du Vieux Marché at the time of Jeanne d'Arc have been kept. The church was destroyed as a collateral damage of D day. A new church has been built in a modern style (see next tip).
Favorite thing visit the church known as the 'Place du Vieux-Marche'. The shape of this traingular church is supposed to mimic the form of Joan of Arc's hat that she wore. The beautiful stained glass (as you see in the picture) is definitely something to look out for while visiting.
Favorite thing visit the area which they say was the exact spot where Joan of Arc was burned. A cross is left there in her memory while the ground beneath the cross has been left untouched.
Favorite thing visit the old marche and see where joan of arc was burned (and visit the joan of arc museum), and definately go so la cathedral, the subject of many of monet's paintings.