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 Festival

The Medieval and Joan of Arc Festivals will take place from May 18 to 20, 2023. It will be 3 days of festivities concocted by the city of Rouen and its commercial and tourist partners. Parade, medieval market, workshops: let’s jump back in time to the era of troubadours, falconers, to meet the crafts among the many vestiges of the Middle Ages in the city center.

What to expect from May 18 to 20, 2023

Rouen is at the time of the Middle Ages
  • On the Place du Chêne rouge: exhibitions and raptor demonstrations
  • In the gardens of the Hôtel de Ville: animations 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 a medieval knights’ camp in Verdrel Square
  • In Eugène Delacroix Alley: entertainment areas for children
  • In the Notre-Dame Cathedral: regional artisans, fun activities and a large medieval and craft market in the surrounding streets
  • In the Vieux-Marché and Place de la Pucelle: demonstrations of medieval skills with proposed workshops open to the public
  • In Rue Saint-Sever, May 19 and 20: dance strolls, shows and musical and children’s animations

The medieval animations proposed during this highlight of the Joan of Arc Festivals will be open and accessible to all.


From May 17 to 21, Rouen Tourism is spoiling you!
Try to win a Rouen stay for two. To enter, visit our Instagram page.

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

Eager to get more into the medieval spirit? Concerts in atypical venues are being organized:

On May 18 and 19, The Vagarem Ensemble, enjoy sacred notes and polyphonic a cappella singing within the Saint-Godard Church.

On May 18, at 3 p.m…. Solve Joan’s secrets during a Urban Escape Game.
When the city becomes your investigative playground… Equipped with mysterious boxes, follow the scenario and join the different enigma poles, between the Cathedral and the Place du Vieux-Marché. Joan of Arc remains in many ways a mystery, a legend. Today, a great discovery has turned everything upside down: we have found the trace and fragments of her diary. Cryptic texts, enigmas, messages with double meanings, the mystery remains! 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 tribute to Joan of Arc in the abbey church of Saint-Ouen.

Hurry up and grab your tickets!

On Saturday, May 20, a whole program

9:30am: Want to tread the cobblestones in short strides and enjoy the morning calm of the city of Rouen? Sign up for the Cultural Footing!
Give your general culture a new lease of life, between myth and reality, dive into this fabulous medieval epic mixing historical events and anecdotes… Set off 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.

3:00 pm: In the footsteps of Joan of Arc, rediscover the memory of the Maid of Arc in the streets of Rouen.
Take the path traveled by Joan of Arc from the dungeon where she was interrogated, to the archiepiscopal palace where her trial took place to the Place du Vieux Marché, the place of her torture in 1431, and feel the presence of this heroine who became a myth.

5:30 pm: Vikings, beers and legends
Accompanied by a guide, set off in the footsteps of the Vikings from the banks of the Seine to the city center. Then taste Norman beers of Viking inspiration in the sumptuous setting of the Saint-Nicaise Church-Brewery.

From 8:30 pm: the Grand Parade of the Troops
Starting from the Rue Jeanne d’Arc and going to the Gardens of the City Hall, enjoy a semi-natural parade. In costumes, with family or friends, follow the troubadours, the musical troops in a festive and medieval spirit.

Who is Joan of Arc?

A prominent figure in French history, a symbol of feminism for some, a popular saint for others, Joan is a universal character who arouses international interest.

It was in a tower of the Castle of Philippe Auguste in Rouen, long called Tour de la Pucelle, that the young girl was imprisoned. The remains of this tower are still visible at 102 rue Jeanne d’Arc. The prisoner went only once in the only tower of the castle still remaining today, the Dungeon of Rouen, transformed into an escape game. The trial for heresy led by the Bishop of Beauvais, Abbot Cauchon began on February 9, 1431 within the castle. The sentence is it proclaimed in the room of the Officiality of the archbishopric, currentJohn of Arc Memorial. Judged relapsed, Joan was condemned and led to the stake on the Place du Vieux-Marché.

On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc was burned alive and her ashes thrown into the Seine from the Mathilde Bridge. A commemorative plaque recalls this moment on the right bank at the entrance to the current Boieldieu Bridge. At the request of her mother Isabelle Romée and with the agreement of the Pope, the rehabilitation trial of Jeanne will be held again at the Archbishopric of Rouen, near the Notre Dame Cathedral, twenty-five years after her death in 1431 with the hearing of one hundred fourteen witnesses.

Thus, the installation of a cross on the very site of the torture of the Maidens place du Vieux-Marché near the current Church of St. Joan of Arc is imposed.


For many years, Jeanne d’Arc has been celebrated in Rouen every last weekend of May, on the dates closest to May 30, the anniversary of her death. A sentence taking up the beginning of André Malraux’s speech on the occasion of the Joan of Arc Festivals of 1964 is still legible on the Place du Vieux Marché: “O Joan without a sepulchre and without a portrait, you who knew that the tomb of the heroes is the heart of the living…“. On May 16, 1920, Pope Benedict XV canonized Joan of Arc and the law of July 10, 1920 instituted a National Day of Joan of Arc and patriotism by the Chamber of Deputies.

Exhibitions, shows and guided tours will revolve around the icon, assuming the traditional and historical profile of Joan of Arc, but also questioning her myth and the echo that it resonates in our societies today. Thus, one will be able to immerse oneself in the judicial trials that made history or contemplate the manuscripts, statues and stained glass windows from the time of La Pucelle to today without forgetting the numerous performances or concerts proposed in a complete calendar elaborated by the City of Rouen, the Metropole Rouen Normandie, the Amistorial and numerous partners.

The aim is to make these celebrations a large-scale event, beyond the official ceremonies, associating the Rouen heritage linked to the Pucelle with modern and expanded events with a festive and historical procession through the streets of its city.

Medieval market, strolling through the streets with timber-framed houses of Rouen, residents and visitors are invited to share these costumed moments. Families are welcomed by the many fools and troubadours juggling and singing around the streets.