Land of inspiration for many artists, Rouen and its Metropolis continue to feed creation in all its forms. It is here that Monet, Pissarro or Sisley set down their easels, making Rouen the capital of Impressionism. We can admire their works at the Musée des Beaux-arts, which has the second largest impressionist collection in France. Admission is free as in all permanent collections of the museums of the Metropolis. From iron to stained glass, through ceramics, lovers of crafts will also enjoy and lovers of literature slip into the footsteps of great writers. Corneille and Flaubert were born and lived here, making “the city of a hundred steeples” the theater of their writings, as perpetuated by Michel Bussi in his contemporary thrillers that take us right to the bucolic lands of Jumièges.
Ready for a trip back in time? Hang on to the hands of the Gross Clock, this symbolic Rouen monument, because the Norman capital is an open-air history book! Here you are first immersed inthe era of the Viking chief Rollon, in the heart of the capital of the Duchy of Normandy, then in a vibrant Middle Ages with its architectural nuggets such as the Cathedral,the Saint-Ouen Abbey,l’aître Saint-Maclouor the Sublime House, the oldest Jewish monument in France. On your way, you meet Jeanne d’Arc, burned alive in Rouen in 1431 and whose Historial brings the epic to life. Jewels of the Renaissance, such as the Parliament of Normandy or the Hotel de Bourgtheroulde, punctuate your discovery while the former textile factories of the Cailly valleyand Elbeuf immerse you in the industrial past of the territory. Few cities preserve the traces of such an extensive History that has kept all its vivacity.
It is in the hollow of this Seine Valley that an exceptional natural heritage unfolds. It can be explored by boat, on foot or on two wheels on La Seine à Vélo, a secure route of about 100 kilometers. A palette of colors and sensations awaits you in these green landscapes with grandiose panoramas, between cliffs, marshes and forests that have received an exceptional national label. On the Fruit Route, we follow the course of the seasons and escape to the city’s doorstep.
Privileged by its position between Paris and the sea, Rouen forges a major relationship with its port from its leading manufacturing activity in the Middle Ages, with textiles and faience, to the export of cereals that raises it, today, to the first European rank. It must be said that innovation is at the heart of the DNA of Rouen, since the time when the city was one of the most dynamic cloth cities in France. Workshops, factories and plants have shaped its territory as far as Elbeuf. The Vallois Corderie, a former hydraulic spinning mill, and the Knowledge Factory allow visitors to relive this industrial adventure.
Rouen is also a tasty land, labeled a Creative Gastronomic City by UNESCO, which thus rewards its gastronomy of excellence and its organic and sustainable agriculture. You will hear about apple sugar, Elbeuf douillon or the famous Rouen-style duck. Ciders, cheeses and scallops have the best part and are sublimated by local chefs who share their enthusiasm in more than 135 gourmet restaurants. The art of the table is, here, a tradition of excellence carried by flagships such as Christofle Goldsmiths, official supplier of the Élysée.