Stroll along the Robec riverStroll along the Robec river
©Stroll along the Robec river

We tested for you...

The walk along the Robec

The Aubette and the Robec, which made the wealth of Rouen, today deserted by the textile industry have become places of high quality walks only a few minutes from the center of the Capital of Normandy. Between nature, heritage and history, each step here is an invitation to discover unsuspected riches.

From Robec to Aubette,

the mills at the rhythm of the water

Meet in front of the Maison des Sciences et des Techniques, commonly known as Expotec 103. Accessible by car or public transport (Line T3 – Station “École d’Architecture”), we are welcomed by a member of the Expotec 103 association. The departure is made smoothly along the Robec, river crossing Rouen to the charming street Eau de Robec.

A little history...

After a first stop near the ruins of the monastic Priory of the Rose, our guide gives us several geo-morphological details on the Seine valley and the formation of water sources. We learn moreover that the Seine valley hosts many springs that man had to channel in particular for its industrial use.

Near the Mill of Pannevert, hosting today a bread oven, our guide takes us on a journey through time, from the English camp of Henry V to the last lands of market gardening, through the description of the hunting parties of William the Conqueror.

This stop also allows us to understand the operation of a mill, its design and its particularities: materials, use of millstones, management of the speed of water … Amusing anecdote, the east of Rouen had many mills (more than 65 mills) for industrial purposes, the distribution of the river current had to be organized and monitored by river guards.

After a passage along a small river called the Clairette, we continue our way to discover new mills.

The favorite of

Rouen Tourism

The guide suggests we take a river guard path. We leave in the footsteps of the former Rouen water police, previously in charge of monitoring the water level and the activity of the mills.

In a few minutes, we are immersed in a green environment, skirting the course of the river on a maintained but wild-looking path. We are then cut off from the surrounding urban life and set off to discover new things.

Our guide then introduces us to the mill, now private, of the former Lucien Fromage factory: a superb building, a witness to a flourishing industrial era in Rouen. This building, made of brick, currently houses the School of Architecture of Normandy and Departmental Archives of Seine-Maritime.

The minutes pass and it is time for us to return to the starting point. We take the opportunity to discover the House of Science and Technology and exchange with the volunteers in activity.