Notre-Dame de Rouen CathedralAa Mrn 20 02 18 Rouen Place De La Cathédrale 0181
©Notre-Dame de Rouen Cathedral|Alan Aubry

The architecture of Rouen

Hold on to the clocks of time, the journey is sensational! For Rouen retains traces of all its history. From the Vikings to the Reconstruction, the Norman capital unfurls a heritage of several millennia whose vibrations we can still feel today. Small historical summary of a city with great potential!



3000 years of history

It was the Romans who founded the city on the right bank of the river. And already, Rotomagus, the ancestor of Rouen, is an important city: it includes an amphitheater, baths, a port. It undergoes barbarian invasions and strong Christianization before becoming, in 911, the capital of the duchy of Normandy, led by the Viking leader Rollo. During the Renaissance, Rouen became a particularly dynamic commercial and intellectual hub in Europe. It acquires a parliament, builds many buildings and opens up to the world. The time of expeditions begins.Rouen settlers leave for New France (future Canada) and Cavellier de la Salle discovers Louisiana. In the 19th century, Rouen takes the train of the industrial revolution. Spinning mills and working-class neighborhoods redesign the territory as far as Elbeuf, a real cloth city. Rouen also shines through its cultural activity. Maupassant, Flaubert, Monet and the Impressionists magnify the city in their arts. But the Second World War bruised the city, which still managed to preserve its treasures. The Metropolis is labeled Ville et Pays d’art et d’histoire for the preservation of its remarkable buildings from the medieval period to the present day and launches a vast development plan for the city center and the Rouen quays.

Rouen in the Gallo-Roman period

Welcome to Rotomagus, the ancient city of Rouen! It is to the Romans that we owe the foundation of the city on the right bank of the river, during the first century. Small overview of the Gallo-Roman remains of Rouen…

Romanesque & Gothic

Do you love Romanesque and Gothic? You’ve come to the right place!
Rouen and its territory are full of Medieval architectural treasures that have chiseled the silhouette of the city and its surroundings with a elegancesingular.

The Renaissance style

Open to the world and economically prosperous, thanks in particular to drapery, Rouen, during the Renaissance, experienced a fold certain.
It was Cardinal Georges I d’Amboise who was responsible for the blossoming of this style in Rouen, around 1500. We’ll take you for a ride!

The baroque & classical side

Passionate about the baroque and classical style? Follow in the footsteps of this architectural era in the Norman capital and discover masterpieces of the genre on its territory. We promise you some surprises in the process!

Contemporary art

While Rouen is a city of art and history, it continues to inspire today’s artists. Bold buildings, neighborhood construction and creative buzz are its signatures.