Joan of Arc Festival, Verdrel Square - RouenJoan of Arc Festival, Verdrel Square - Rouen
©Joan of Arc Festival, Verdrel Square - Rouen|Sarah Flipeau

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. Parades, medieval market, workshops: let’s take a leap back in time to the age of the troubadours, and discover arts and crafts among the many medieval relics in the city center.

What to expect from May 9 to 11, 2024

Rouen in medieval times
  • In the gardens of the Hôtel de Ville: medieval encampments with activities for young audiences and families.
  • Quartier des Beaux-Arts: a medieval market, a food court and plenty of entertainment in the Square Verdrel.
  • Espace du Palais and rue Jeanne d’ Arc: a medieval market, entertainment for children and families
  • In the allée Eugène Delacroix: entertainment for children
  • In the Cathédrale Notre-Dame district: regional artisans, fun activities and a large medieval and craft market.
  • In the Vieux-Marché and Place de la Pucelle districts: demonstrations of medieval skills, with workshops open to the public.
  • In rue Saint-Sever: demonstrations of medieval arts and crafts, with numerous workshops open to the public.

The medieval activities on offer during this highlight of the Joan of Arc Festivities will be open and accessible to all.

Jeanne d'Arc festival shows and walkabouts

Want to immerse yourself in the medieval spirit? Don’t miss the shows and walkabouts:

Street theater
  • Déambulation foubonnesques by Le Foubon, from May 9 to 10, departing fromAître Saint-Maclou at 2:30 p.m.
  • Les Mourants d’air by Théâtre du Laid Cru, May 9-10, 11:15am, 3pm and 5pm, and Saturday May 11, 11:15am.
  • Le crieur et bailli, by Atome théâtre, from May 9 to 10, strolling around the Place de la Cathédrale at 10:30 am, 2 pm and 5:45 pm, and Saturday May 11 at 10:30 am and 5:45 pm.
  • Cie Smedelyn, from May 9 to 11 on the right bank from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Saltabraz, May 9 to 11, right bank tour, 10:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Ensemble l’Oisel, Thursday, May 9 and Saturday, May 11, on the right bank from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday, May 10, around Place Saint-Sever, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and on the right bank from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Waraok, Thursday, May 10, right bank strolling from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, Friday, May 10, place Saint-Sever strolling from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and right bank strolling from 3 pm to 6:30 pm.
Music and dance
  • Arcadia from May 10 to 11, departing from place Saint-Sever at 11:15 am, and Friday May 10, departing from place Saint-Sever at 4:30 pm.
  • Cie La Volte Gaillarde, Thursday May 9 and Saturday May 11 on the right bank, and on Friday May 10 from Saint-Sever from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm.
  • Danceries Mundia, from May 9 to 10 on the right bank from 10:30 am to 6:3 pm, and on Saturday May 11 from the Saint-Sever pace from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm.
Fantastic or unusual
  • Déambulations dahutanes, from May 9 to 10 at 11am, 2pm and 4pm, and Saturday May 11 at 11am.
  • Cernunnos, from May 9 to 10, at 12, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 11 at 12 p.m.
  • Mestre Dragonnier, from May 9 to 10, strolling around the Espace du Palais courtyard at 12:15pm, 3:15pm and 6pm, and Saturday May 11 at 12:15pm and 6pm.

This edition promises to be full of surprises!

Every day, a big event

From May 9 to 11, immerse yourself in amedieval atmosphere with a series of not-to-be-missed events. On Thursday, don your finest costumes for a medieval ball in front of the Musée des Beaux-Arts. On Friday, marvel at the Dragon Time light show and pyrotechnics in the Prairie Saint-Sever. Finally, on Saturday, don’t miss the parade of troops to bring the festivities to a fitting close.

Immerse yourself in the world of Joan of Arc

In addition to the medieval activities, you’ll be able to enjoy a range of original experiences over the three days.

Joan of Arc: the secret of the manuscript

Urban Escape Game Dive into a captivating adventure in which a famous archaeologist specializing in Joan of Arc mysteriously disappears, leaving behind a strange briefcase. Cooperate to discover whether she has found traces of treasure or is in danger. Explore the streets of Rouen, from its most emblematic landmarks to its best-kept secrets. With your case in hand, solve riddles and puzzles to unravel the mystery in just 1h30! Prices: from €11 to €19 – From age 7 – Meet at 25 place de la Cathédrale, Rouen – Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10 at 2pm and 4:30pm Info and booking

In the footsteps of Joan of Arc

Guided tour Take a guided tour through the streets of Rouen and follow in the footsteps of La Pucelle. Follow her path from the dungeon where she was interrogated to the Place du Vieux-Marché, where she was tortured in 1431. Feel the presence of this mythical heroine as you explore. Prices: €8 to €10 – free for children under 12 – Meet at 25 place de la Cathédrale – Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10 at 3pm Info and booking

At Jeanne’s pace

Cultural jogging Discover Rouen through a cultural jog where each stride brings you a little closer to its history. Cover ten kilometers by running or brisk walking, stopping regularly to discover the city’s secrets. Two options are available: running for the more athletic, and brisk walking for those who prefer a steady pace without running. Price: €9 – Meet in front of Planète Bien-être, 13 rue Racine, Rouen – Thursday, May 9 at 9.15 a.m. (running) – Friday, May 10 at 9.15 a.m. (brisk walking) Information and booking Book now for an unforgettable experience!

Public transport is free!

In 2023, this flagship event attracted over 150,000 participants. Encouraged by this turnout and the enthusiasm of local residents for this major event, Métropole Rouen Normandie has decided to offer free public transport across the entire Astuce network on Thursday May 9 and Friday May 10, 2024 (Saturdays have already been free since 2020). In addition, extra service will be provided on the Metro, TEOR and FAST lines to meet expected demand and ensure smooth travel for all participants.

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.