3 Things To Do In The Port Of…Rouen
Aside from Paris, Rouen is the biggest port that you will visit on a Seine River cruise. Starting and finishing in the French capital, a trip along this peaceful waterway provides the chance to see the Normandy beaches, explore Monet’s garden in Giverny and wander through the beautiful city of Rouen. So, if you feel like going off on your own, here are some great things to do during your time in this port.
Marvel At Magnificent Buildings
As you wander through the medieval streets of Rouen, you can’t miss the breathtaking buildings that line the streets. From modern churches to dramatic cathedrals and Gothic palaces, there is so much excellent architecture to admire and explore. The most prominent building in the city is the 13th-century cathedral which features the tallest spire in France. Its façade was immortalised by Claude Monet in his famous painting series and some of the intricate stained glass windows are still the originals. During summer evenings, a fantastic light show is projected onto the façade of the cathedral. This will take place between June the 3rd and September 23rd, in 2017.
Other buildings of note include the Church of Abbatiale Saint-Ouen, built as a Benedictine Monastery; the Palais de Justice and Monument Juif, which holds the Rouen parliament; the Eglise Saint-Maclou, which features a seamless blend of Gothic and Baroque design; and the Eglise Jeanne d'Arc, a modern church built on the site where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake. Finally, if you are looking to enjoy fantastic views over the city, a climb to the top of the Tour du Gros-Horloge (Clock Tower) will offer sweeping panoramas.
Have Musings At The Museums
There are a few interesting museums that are all worth a visit during your Seine River cruise, depending on your interests. Without doubt, the most intriguing option is a museum that manages to create a link between the author Gustave Flaubert and medical oddities from the 18th and 19th centuries. Inside the house where Flaubert was born, you will find all sorts of strange displays relating to medicine and various artefacts once used by the author himself.
Other museums include the Musée Le Secq des Tournelles and Musée de la Ceramique. The first features antique ironware that dates back as far as the Romans, housed in an old church, whilst the second takes a look beautiful porcelain items made in the local area during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The most modern museum gives you a chance to look into the past and see what Rouen would have been like during the times of Joan of Arc. The Panorama XXL presents a 360-degree viewpoint of the city in 1431, complete with soundtrack and lighting that changes depending on the time of day.
Relax In The Place du Vieux Marché
After exploring the fascinating sights of Rouen, you may wish to take some time to sit down and relax. The perfect place to do this is the Place du Vieux Marché, the main square where Joan of Arc was martyred and where the church dedicated to her now stands. Unless you are visiting on a Monday, there will be a lively market here where you can buy something to eat, grab some souvenirs or just take a look at what’s on offer.
There are also plenty of restaurants and cafés here that will give you the chance to rest your weary feet and refuel yourself for whatever you have planned next.
If you would like to visit the beautiful city of Rouen as part of a Seine River cruise, we have a range of itineraries available for 2017 and 2018. Contact our river specialists today and start planning your next exciting trip.