Rouen – Some of the Houses
Rouen is an old city, one of France’s most wealthiest during the Middle Ages. Their houses and buildings were constructed to last, and last they did. Walking around the inner city will enable you to see many of these old houses and the implacable state they still are in. But often you will be fooled; the house you are admiring, the one that looks like Joan of Arc could have lived in, it’s in fact a brand new house made to look old. That is because during WWII, bombs from both the Allied and Germans destroyed whole sections of the city. But still there are many very old houses.
Here are a few examples of the houses you can see in Rouen. It’s only a very small sample, there are thousands (in fact there are 2000 houses made out of wood) of these to be seen. Construction periods are between the 13th century and present-day.
No wood here, this is the Tourist Office of Rouen (at least the left part of the building). It is located opposite of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The building itself is the oldest Renaissance style building in Rouen, and was constructed in 1509 as a tax office. In 1959 the Tourist Office took over most of the building. As a sidenote, the famous French painter Claude Monet used to the building as base to paint 11 paintings of the cathedral.
Don’t let the name fool you, Hotel d’Etancourt was a private mansion. The word “Hotel” in French has other meanings that the word does in English. It can mean, amongst others, “mansion”, “lodging”, “residence”. It was built in the 17th century.
Here are a few other houses, without descriptives (to be honest, I couldn’t find any):
This one is located next to the Saint-Ouen church. Notice how the houses are slanted.
As you can see from these photos, walking in Rouen is a pleasure for anyone who likes seeing these old houses. It’s also admirable that the new houses have been constructed to look like the old ones, giving the city centre a real “old” feel.