Joan of Arc celebrations Square Verdrel 34 (sarah Flipeau Ville De Rouen)Joan of Arc celebrations Square Verdrel 34 (sarah Flipeau Ville De Rouen)
©Joan of Arc celebrations Square Verdrel 34 (sarah Flipeau Ville De Rouen)

Joan of Arc celebrations

The Medieval and Joan of Arc Festivals will take place from May 09 to 11, 2024. The city of Rouen and its retail and tourism partners have put together 3 days of festivities. Parade, medieval market, workshops: let’s take a leap back in time to the era of troubadours and falconers, and discover the arts and crafts among the many medieval relics in the city center.

While we wait for the 2024 program, find out what happened during the previous edition.

What to expect from May 18-20, 2023

Rouen in medieval times
  • Place du Chêne rouge: exhibitions and bird-of-prey demonstrations
  • In the gardens of the Hôtel de Ville: activities for young audiences and families (archery and craft village).
  • In front of the Musée des Beaux-Arts: a medieval market and food court, as well as an encampment of medieval knights in the Square Verdrel.
  • In the allée Eugène Delacroix: entertainment areas for children
  • In the Notre-Dame Cathedral district: regional artisans, fun activities and a large medieval and craft market in the surrounding streets.
  • In the Vieux-Marché and Place de la Pucelle districts: demonstrations of medieval skills, with workshops open to the public.
  • In rue Saint-Sever, on May 19 and 20: strolling dances, shows, musical entertainment and children’s activities.

The medieval activities on offer during this highlight of the Joan of Arc Festival will be open and accessible to all. From May 17 to 21, Rouen Tourisme is spoiling you! Enter to win a stay in Rouen for two. To enter, visit our Instagram page.

Thursday, May 18 and Friday, May 20, let yourself be transported by medieval music

If you’d like to immerse yourself further in the spirit of the Middle Ages, we’ve organized a number of concerts in atypical locations: On May 18 and 19, Ensemble Vagarem, enjoy sacred notes and polyphonic a capella chants in the Church of Saint-Godard. May 18, 3pm… Solve Jeanne’s secrets in an Urban Escape Game. When the city becomes your investigative playground… Equipped with mysterious boxes, follow the scenario and reach the various enigma centers, between the Cathedral and the Place du Vieux-Marché.In many ways, Joan of Arc remains a mystery, a legend. Today, a major discovery has turned everything upside down: we’ve rediscovered the traces and fragments of her diary. Cryptic texts, enigmas, double-meaning messages – the mystery remains complete! What occult secrets was she the guardian of? With family or friends, suspense and laughter are guaranteed! On May 19, Luc Arbogast, revealed by the TV show The Voice, will perform a hymn to Joan of Arc in theAbbey of Saint-Ouen. Get your tickets now!

Saturday, May 20, a full program

9:30am: If you’re in the mood to tread the cobblestones in short strides and enjoy the early morning calm of Rouen, sign up for Footing Culturel! Give your general knowledge a new lease of life, as you immerse yourself in this fabulous medieval epic of myth and reality.Follow in the footsteps of Joan of Arc and her saints, friends, enemies and the people of Rouen at the heart of the Hundred Years’ War. 3pm: In the footsteps of Joan of Arc, follow the memory of La Pucelle through the streets of Rouen. Follow Joan of Arc’s path from the dungeon where she was interrogated, to the archiepiscopal palace where her trial took place her trial to the Place du Vieux Marché, where she was tortured in 1431, and feel the presence of this mythical heroine. 5:30pm: Vikings, beers and legends Accompanied by a guide, follow in the footsteps of the Vikings from the quays of the Seine to the city center. Then sample Viking-inspired Norman beers in the sumptuous setting of the Eglise-Brasserie Saint-Nicaise. From 8.30pm: the Grande Parade des Troupes From the rue Jeanne d’Arc to the Jardins de l’Hôtel de Ville, enjoy a semi-nightly parade. In costume, with family or friends, follow the troubadours and musical troupes in a festive, medieval spirit.

Who is Joan of Arc?

An outstanding figure in French history, a symbol of feminism for some, a popular saint for others, Jeanne is a universal character who arouses international interest. Jeanne was imprisoned in a tower of the Château de Philippe Auguste in Rouen, long known as the Tour de la Pucelle. The remains of this tower can still be seen at 102 rue Jeanne d’Arc. The prisoner only made one visit to the castle’s only surviving tower, the Donjon de Rouen, which has been converted into an escape game. The trial for heresy led by the Bishop of Beauvais, Abbé Cauchon, began on February 9, 1431 in the castle. The sentence was proclaimed in the Salle de l’Officialité of the archbishop’s palace, now theHistorial Jeanne d’Arc. Judged to have relapsed, Joan was condemned and burned at the stake in the Place du Vieux-Marché. On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc was burned alive and her ashes thrown into the Seine from the Pont Mathilde. A commemorative plaque at the entrance to today’s Pont Boieldieu on the right bank commemorates this event.At the request of her mother, Isabelle Romée, and with the Pope’s approval, Jeanne’s rehabilitation trial was held again at thearchdiocese of Rouen, near Notre-Dame Cathedral, twenty-five years after her death in 1431, with the hearing of one hundred and fourteen witnesses. This led to the installation of a cross on the very site of La Pucelle’s torture at Place du Vieux-Marché, near the present-day church of Sainte Jeanne d’Arc.

For many years, Joan of Arc has been celebrated in Rouen every last weekend in May, on the dates closest to May 30, the anniversary of her death. A phrase from André Malraux’s speech at the Fêtes Jeanne d’Arc in 1964 can still be read on the Place du Vieux Marché:“O Joan of Arc without sepulchre or portrait, you who knew that the tomb of heroes is the heart of the living…”. On May 16, 1920, Pope Benedict XV canonized Joan of Arc, and on July 10, 1920, the French Chamber of Deputies instituted a National Day of Joan of Arc and Patriotism. Exhibitions, shows and guided tours will revolve around the icon, taking on the traditional and historical profile of Joan of Arc, but also questioning her myth and the echoes it echoes in today’s society. Visitors can immerse themselves in the court cases that made history, or contemplate the manuscripts, statues and stained-glass windows from La Pucelle’s time to the present day.not forgetting the many performances and concerts on offer in a comprehensive calendar put together by the City of Rouen, the Rouen Normandy Metropolis, the Amistorial and numerous partners.

The aim is to make these festivities a large-scale event, going beyond the official ceremonies, combining Rouen’s heritage linked to La Pucelle with modern, extended events, with a festive, historic procession through the streets of the city. From medieval markets to strolls through the streets of Rouen’s timber-framed houses, locals and visitors alike are invited to share in these costumed moments. Families are welcomed by a host of troubadours and madmen, juggling and singing their way through the streets.