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Title: Rouen, Its History and Monuments

Author: Théodore Licquet

Release date: July 2, 2006 [eBook #18740]

Language: English

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Price: 2 Francs.





With a Map of the Town and Five Views.



Near the suspension Bridge.

Price: 2 Francs.


Histoire du Parlemant de Normandie, précédée d'un Essai historique sur l'échiquier; par A. Floquet. 6 vols. 8vo. Price, 36 fr.

Chronique des Abbés de Saint-Ouen, publiée d'après un MS. de la Bibliothèque du Roi, par Francisque Michel, 4to, with a view of the abbey. Price, 10 fr.

Printed by I.-S. LEFEVRE, successor to F. BAUDRY, 20, rue des Carmes, Rouen.

[Pg 1]



Cæsar, in his Commentaries does not speak of Rouen; Pomponius Mela, does not mention it in his Geography; Ptolemy is the first author who has noticed it. This observation alone will shew the absurdity of the numerous etymologies assigned to its name of Rothomagus, of which we have made Rouen. The least unlikely are those which have been taken from the primitive language of the country; but, even then we can only form conjectures more or less[Pg 2] vague, as, in deriving Rothomagus from two celtic words, some have considered that this name signifies a great town; others, a town on the bank of a river; while others again a town where duties were paid.

Ptolemy then gives us a commencement to the history of Rouen. In his lifetime, that is to say, during the first part of the second-century, Rouen bore the name of Rothomagus; it was the capital of the country of the Velocasses.

If Rouen, as a town of Gaul, is little known to us, Rouen as a Roman town is more so. Its existence is no longer doubtful; its importance even is proved. All suppositions join to make one think that the Romans were the first who erected external fortifications round the town. Remains of walls evidently built by that people, were discovered in 1789 in the cellars of a house which had been built on the edge of the first ditch[1]. These buildings extended westward even under the[Pg 3] church of Saint-Lo, and it is very probable that they joined towards the east with other remains of roman architecture, found in digging the foundations of another house, no 2, rue de la Chaîne.

Here then, is the first boundary of Rouen under the Romans, and drawn-out by them: on the south the Seine, the waters of which at this time, came as high as the line occupied at present by the rue des Bonnetiers, the place de la Calende, that of Notre-Dame on its southern portion, and thus along to the extremity of the rue aux Ours. On the north, the ditch which existed the whole length of the streets de l'Aumône, and Fossés-Louis-VIII, that is to say, from the river Robec at the east, to the rue de la Poterne at the west. From the latter point draw a line in[Pg 4] a southern direction passing across the Mew-Market, the rue Massacre and the rue des Vergetiers, to the rue aux Ours and you will have the western limit. The eastern limit is naturally marked out by the course of the Robec. The town maintained this boundary till the Xth century, the period of the establishment of Rollon, in this portion of Neustria to which the Normans gave their name.

I have already said, that Rouen, was an important town under the Romans, and this truth is proved, by the fact. It does not figures, it is true, in the notice of the dignities of the Empire, as the seat of a superior magistrate, but, nevertheless it is spoken of, as a town having a garrison; and, it was there that the præfectus militum Ursariensium or, as we should say in English, the colonel of the regiment of the Ursarians, resided.

The ecclesiastical annals also, prove the importance of Rouen at this period. We find, in fact, during the first ages of christia[Pg 5]nity, the apostles coming into Gaul, going to Rouen, and fixing their abode in a principal town that the sacred word might be more easily spread thro' the surrounding country.

As Saint-Nicaise did not come to Rouen, we must consider Saint-Mellon, as its most ancient bishop. The erection, or the consecration of a first chapel in Rouen, under the patronage of the virgin, is the only important event which the life of this prelate contains. As to the destruction of a temple dedicated to the pretended idol Roth, I think I have proved in an other work[2], first, that there never existed an idol of that name, neither was the temple situated on the ground occupied by the church of Saint-Lo; secondly, that this temple was demolished by Saint-Romain, nearly four hundred years later.[Pg 6]

Nothing very remarkable happened at Rouen, under the successors of Saint-Mellon, until Saint-Victrice. But, here commences a new era for the town. Its population increases, its reputation extends, the temples of the true god are multiplied; even Saint-Victrice himself works in their erection: «He rolls the stones with his own hands, he carries them on his shoulders.»

This town continued its career peaceably during nearly a century, until Saint-Godard succeeded to the episcopate. Then we come to a great historical transition.

Roman power had been long struggling against the encroachments of the Francs in Gaul. Clovis, conquers the provinces situated between the Somme, the Seine and the Aisne; the monarchy commences, and Rouen becomes a French town.

To Saint-Godard who died in 529, Flavius succeeded the same year. The first foundation by Clotaire I, of the abbey of[Pg 7] Saint-Peter, now Saint-Ouen, about the year 540, is attributed to him.

After Flavius, came Pretextat, whose name alone reminds us of those of two women, unfortunately too celebrated, Fredégonde and Brunehaut. The latter had been exiled to Rouen, by Chilperic, king of Soissons. Merovee, son of Chilperic, loved Brunehaut and was loved by her. He came to Rouen, and married his mistress; Pretextat blessed their union. Chilperic arrives and the two lovers take refuge in the church of Saint-Martin-sur-Renelle, a wooden building, on the wall of the town. It is to Gregory of Tours that we owe this information which is valuable, in as much, as it makes us acquainted with the limits of Rouen on the north-west side at this period.

Fredegonde did not pardon Pretextat; she caused him to be murdered, during mass, in the Cathedral.

The episcopate of Melance and of Hidulfe,[Pg 8] the successors to Pretextat, offers no very particular circumstances. That of Saint-Romain, is much more remarkable, for the destruction of heathen temples, and the famous miracle of the Gargouille, which, gave birth to the privilege not less famous, which the chapter possessed of setting at liberty a prisoner every year. It is thought generally, however, that Saint-Romain, constructed one of the churches, which succeeded each other on the site of the Cathedral, but, they were deceived who have said that this bishop extirpated paganism from Rouen, and from the province. Saint-Ouen, who came after Saint-Romain, found the people clownish, superstitious, and idolatrous, in consequence of the negligence of some bishops, his predecessors. The inhabitants of the neighbouring country, were coarse, cruel and dishonest; morals and the sciences were cultivated only among the higher classes of society. We find in the[Pg 9] preface to the life of Saint-Eloi by Saint-Ouen, that, even in the VIIth century, they read authors of whose works nothing now remains.

Saint-Ouen, founded or enriched a great many religious establishments in Rouen and its environs. It was under his episcopate, that a monument was first raised to Saint-Nicaise within the walls of Rouen. He also caused to be built the celebrated abbeys of Fontenelle (since Saint-Wandrille), Jumiéges, and Saint-Austreberthe.

In the time of this archbishop, there was a state prison near the end of the rue de la Poterne. It was in this prison that Saint-Ouen, having been deceived by the mayor of the palace Ebroin, caused Philibert the first Abbot of Jumieges to be confined on a false accusation of the crime of high-treason.

To Saint-Ouen, Ansbert succeeded in 683; at this time doubtless the mechanical[Pg 10] arts were not very far advanced in Rouen, since the new bishop, wishing to erect a rich mausoleum to his predecessor, sent for workmen from different provinces.

According to the monk Aigrad, a great famine took place in Rouen and its neighbourhood, during the episcopate of Ansbert, who caused the treasures of the church to be given, for the relief of the poor.

Here, the history of Rouen is lost in obscurity; our materials are reduced, we may almost say, to the mere list of bishops, until the time when the north-men shewed themselves in this country. From the year 841, when they appeared for the first time at the mouth of the Seine, until the year 912, the period of the treaty of Saint-Claire-sur-Epte, Rouen, and its environs presented nothing but a scene of carnage, fire, and, slaughter. Strangers devouring the country; the villages deserted; the population massacred; the towns half des[Pg 11]troyed, every where discord, hatred, avarice, and rapacity; all excesses united: such is the picture of the country at that period. At last Rollo, is created duke of Normandy; the proud Norwegian, becomes the benefactor of the country, to which he had so long proved a scourge. The population reappears; an active police is established, robberies are put a stop to; no more plunderers exist on the highways, or thieves in the towns. Rouen, rises from amidst its ruins, its monuments are repaired, its size increases, its political influence is becoming immense.

The second boundary is due to Rollo, the first duke, and to his son Guillaume Longue-Epée. They confined the waters of the Seine in a narrower bed. Several churches, such as Saint-Martin-de-la-Roquette, Saint-Clement, Saint-Stephen and Saint-Eloi, which had till then been situated on small islands, were united to[Pg 12] the main land, the portion which had been gained from the river, received the name of Terres-Neuves. The limits of the town remained the same on the north, east and west.

Under the first succeeding dukes, the town extended westward, as far as the Old-Market place. The porte Cauchoise was erected about the beginning of the XIth century, that is to say, under Richard II.

The fourth boundary was effected under the last dukes. The town extended on the north to the height of the rue Pincedos: on the east, to the rue de la Chèvre. These two streets occupy the ground on which the ditches were situated at that time.

A very short time after, Philip-Augustus, who had just taken Rouen, and all Normandy from Jean-Sans-Terre, caused the old castle to be built, which was included within the interior of the town, in the middle of the XIIIth century; the fifth boundary was[Pg 13] made in the reign of Saint-Louis. Rouen was then enlarged by the greater portion of the ground which forms the parishes of Saint-Patrice, Saint-Nicaise, Saint-Vivien, and Saint-Maclou. The gates of Martainville, Saint-Hilaire and Bouvreuil were then built.

A sixth enlargement took place about the middle of the XIVth century. The monastery of the Jacobins, which now forms a portion of the prefecture, was enclosed within the walls of the town, as also the Church of Saint-Peter-le-Portier, so that it obliged them to put the porte Cauchoise farther out. On the east, the town was enlarged by the quarter of the Marequerie.

It is not probably to Rollo, the first duke that we owe the institution of the exchequer. The first trace of it, is only found under William-the-Conqueror. Perhaps even, it was only known under his son Henry Ist «the King Duke.» Ancient writers have thought[Pg 14] that an exchequer existed in England before the conquest. The learned Madox, on the contrary, (vol. 1st page 177 and following) declares, that he has not found in any document prior to William's expedition, the word scaccarium (or exchequer). But he finds it shortly after that time, from which it would appear natural to conclude that, that institution had been carried over by that prince. The exchequer was removed sometimes to Rouen, at other times to Caen, and sometimes to Falaise. Louis XIIth fixed this sovereign court at Rouen, in 1449, and opened it on the 1st october of the same year. Francis Ist raised the exchequer into a parliament in the year 1515. It was interdicted in the month of August 1540, but the 7th January 1541, was reinstated.

Thick walls, deep ditches, and formidable towers, a great many turrets, bastions, casemates, and fortified gates, made Rouen an important place, before the revolution:[Pg 15] omitting the different sieges, which it had to sustain from the Normans, we must notice in 949 those by Otho, emperor of Germany, Louis IVth, king of France, and Arnould count of Flanders; that in 1204 by Philip-Augustus, 1418, by Henry Vth king of England; that in 1449, after which, Charles VIIth retook the town from the English; lastly, that of 1591, by Henry IVth. In all these sieges, and many more which I have not mentioned, the inhabitants of Rouen always gave proofs of great valour and sometimes of a resignation without example.

All the fortifications of the town have disappeared since the revolution; its ancient appearance, is now only found in the interior, in its religious monuments and a few houses, which time or the hand of man appears to have forgotten.

Before 1790, Rouen contained thirty seven parochial churches and about as many religious communities of both sexes. It now[Pg 16] only contains six parochial churches, and eight chapels of ease, with a church for the use of protestants.

Rouen is situated on a gentle slope, on the right bank of the Seine, which forms the southern boundary; the suburb of Saint-Sever, is situated on the left bank. The geographical position of the town is the 49° 26' 27'' of north latitude and 1° 14' 16'' longitude, from the meridian of Paris. The sun rises and sets about five minutes later at Rouen, than at Paris. The length of Rouen without the suburbs, is one kilometre and three hundred metres, or about the third part of a league, from the south extremity of the rue Grand-Pont, to the north extremity of the rue Beauvoisine. Its length from east to west is a quarter of a league, from one extremity to the other of the places Cauchoise and Saint-Hilaire. The circumference of the town by the quays does not exceed six kilometres or one league and a half.[Pg 17]

Rouen, by its home and foreign trade, is one of the most important towns of the kingdom; the numerous manufactories which it contains, have caused it to be surnamed the Manchester of France[3]. Rouen, is the see of an archbishopric, whose metropolitan church has for suffragans the bishoprics of Bayeux, Evreux, Seez and Coutances. It is the chief place of the fourteenth military division; the principal town of the departement of the Seine-Inferieure.

There is besides at Rouen, a cour royale, a tribunal de première instance, six courts of justices of the peace; a chamber and tri[Pg 18]bunal of commerce, a counsel of prudent men for the arbitration of small differences, principally between the manufacturers and their workmen; boards of direction for the direct and indirect taxes, for the customs and for the registry of domains, and a mint. Amongst the principal public buildings are two large hospitals, a handsome custom-house, the exchange, a magnificent lunatic asylum (in Saint-Sever), a large and small seminary, a royal college, nineteen public schools, a great many elementary schools for children of both sexes, and two principal prisons.

Lastly, this town has thirty three barriers, three covered markets, eight open markets, twenty one public places, about seventeen thousand houses, and more than four hundred and seventy streets, and contains a population of about ninety thousand inhabitants.


[Pg 19]




All historians attribute the erection, or at least the consecration of the first christian chapel in Rouen to Saint-Mellon. They agree also in placing that chapel on a portion of the ground occupied at present by the Cathedral. To point out exactly the place, would be next to impossible; but we must necessarily suppose it to the north end of the present edifice. The tower of Saint-Romain, the foundation of which is probably the remains of one of the churches[Pg 20] which succeeded each other on this spot, and which, is assuredly the most ancient part of the whole edifice, would of itself, prove what I say. It will not be doubted, when we remember that the waters of the Seine, during the time of Saint-Mellon (260 to 311), and even seven centuries afterwards, reached as high as the place, which is known at present by the name of la Calende, that is to say almost at the base of the present Cathedral on its southern side.

The Cathedral, which was pillaged in the year 841, was not, according to all probability, destroyed then; or, we must suppose (that which is hardly possible), that it had been rebuilt in the interval before the year 912, the period of the baptism of Rollo in this church. Being exposed to continual acts of devastation from pirates, the inhabitants fled in all directions, and did not think of building temples; and as Rollo, having been baptized in this Cathedral, in the year 912,[Pg 21] made most magnificent presents immediately after the ceremony, it is clear, that the edifice had been only plundered and not destroyed.

About the end of the Xth century, Richard Ist caused the Cathedral to be enlarged. The archbishop Robert continued the improvements.

Guillaume-le-Bâtard placed Maurille in the archiepiscopal see, in the year 1055. Maurille finished the Cathedral, and caused to be erected the stone pyramid which bears his name, and in the year 1063, he dedicated the temple in the presence of William, and the bishops of Bayeux, Avranches, Lisieux, Evreux, Seez and Coutances.

In 1117, this Cathedral was struck by the electric fluid.

In 1200, the metropolitan church was destroyed by fire. Jean-Sans-Terre, duke of Normandy and king of England, assigned funds for the reconstruction of the edifice.[Pg 22]

It is then from that period that the actual Cathedral dates.

I need not add that this immense edifice, such as we see it at present, is the work of several centuries, beginning in the XIIIth and finishing in the XVIth, excepting that portion which forms the base of the tower of Saint-Romain, and which is much more ancient.

The length of the Cathedral, in the inside, from the great portal to the extremity of the chapel of the Virgin, is four hundred and eight feet (about four hundred and fifty english); the chapel of the virgin is eighty eight feet in length; the choir is one hundred and ten, and the nave two hundred and ten. The entire breadth of the edifice from one wall to the other is ninety seven feet two inches; namely, the nave twenty seven feet; thickness of each pillar, seven feet eight inches, each aisle fourteen feet, the chapels thirteen feet five inches.[Pg 23] The height of the nave is eighty four feet; that of the aisles is forty two feet, the transept is one hundred and sixty four feet in length, by twenty six in breadth. In the centre is a lantern, at the height of one hundred and sixty feet under the key-stone, and it is supported by four large pillars, each being thirty eight feet in circumference, and composed of thirty one columns, which are grouped together; above the arcades of the nave, there is a very narrow gallery. The edifice is lighted by one hundred and thirty windows.

There are amongst the stained glass windows, several which deserve to be, particularly noticed. I will here point out their places, after the work of E.H. Langlois, on stained glass, and that of Gilbert on the Cathedral[4].[Pg 24]

«Left aisle, in going up, opposite the fourth arcade of the nave: upper panes occupied by several subjects taken from the life of saint John the baptist, saint Nicolas, etc. We may remark curriers or tanners, and, near a sort of gallery supported by columns, a stone cutter and a sculptor making the capital of a column. A little farther up, we perceive a church supported by arches, in the construction of which, several masons are busily employed. Near it, is a woman kneeling, and holding up with both her hands the plan of a gothic window.

Same aisle, in going up, and opposite the fourth arcade of the nave: a window occupied with subjects relative to the life of saint Sever.[Pg 25]

Left aisle of the choir, opposite the fourth arcade: a window entirely occupied with the life of saint Julian-the-hospitaller.

Same aisle, between the semi-circular lateral chapel and the chapel of the Virgin: two windows, representing the life of Joseph, the son of Jacob. We may still read, although with difficulty, the name of the painter and glazier. It is inscribed on a phylactery, in the following manner:


On the other side of the choir, between the chapel of the Virgin and the semi-circular lateral chapel: two windows, one representing the Passion; the other the life of a saint. He is almost entirely represented naked from the head to the waist, and on horseback. Semi-circular chapel of the southern transept in the corner of the window, the martyrdom of saint Laurent.»[Pg 26]

All these windows date from the end of the XIIIth century. The most curious is that representing the life of saint Julian-the-hospitaller.

The Cathedral contains likewise several fine specimens of windows of the time of the renaissance. We must remark, especially, those which represent the life of saint Romain, in the chapel dedicated to that bishop and those which decorate the chapel of saint Stephen. We perceive, in the latter, saint Thomas touching the wound of Jesus-Christ; Christ preaching in the desert; Christ appearing to Mary-Magdalen; etc.

The edifice is also lighted by three large roses (circular windows); two at the extremities of the transept and the other above the organ. Of these three windows the western is by far the finest. In the centre of it, the Eternal Father is represented as surrounded by a multitude of angels having each different musical instruments, around it are ten[Pg 27] figures of angels, each holding an instrument of the Passion.

The present organ of the Cathedral is a large sixteen feet one, and is placed beneath the western circular window. It was made by Lefevre, the celebrated organ maker in Rouen, in 1760.

The choir is surrounded by fourteen pillars. Before 1430, its upper part was only lighted by a small number of narrow windows. Since that time, it has been lighted by the fifteen large windows, which we now see. In 1467, under the cardinal d'Estouteville, the chapter caused stalls to be made, which are very curiously sculptured.

A stone screen, of a style which harmonized with the rest of the edifice formerly ornamented the entrance to the choir: In 1777, it was replaced by the present. This screen, notwithstanding its beauty, is unfortunately not in a style correspondent with the rest of the church. The upper gallery is sur[Pg 28]mounted by a gilt figure of Christ, made of lead, by Clodion. Between the pillars, we remark two marble altars, each ornamented with a white marble statue. That to the right is the statue of the Virgin, a much esteemed sculpture by Lecomte. This altar has retained the name autel da væu (or the altar of the vow) since 1637, on account of a grand procession, which took place at that time, to obtain the cessation of the plague. The procession, in reentering the church stopped before this altar, on which the civic authorities placed a silver lamp, weighing forty marks. The statue to the left is that of saint Cecile, the patroness of musicians. This sculpture is also from the chisel of Clodion. Both altars are ornamented with handsome bas-reliefs, the one to the right representing, Jesus-Christ placed in the tomb; that to the left, Saint Cecile, at the moment of her death.

The actual existence of a library in the[Pg 29] Cathedral, may be traced back as far as the year 1424. The canons, caused to be erected, for that purpose, over the cellar of the chapter house, the large building which we see at present. It was about one hundred feet long by twenty five broad. They ascended to it by a handsome gothic staircase, erected by order of the cardinal William d'Estouteville, during the second half of the XVth century, and placed in the corner of the northern transept. This library was plundered and destroyed by the calvinists, in 1562, but, was restored by the archbishop Francis de Harley.

In 1788, the chapter ordered an additional story to be built over the library, destined to receive the records of the church. The higher portion of the staircase which conducts to this story, was erected in 1789, and in the same style as the rest of it.

As far as 1112 the cathedral possessed several manuscripts, which were destroyed in the fire of 1200.[Pg 30]

A great portion of the books of the cathedral are now deposited in the public library at the town-hall.

There are twenty five chapels in the circumference of the Cathedral. The most spacious, and the first to the right on entering, is that of Saint-Stephen, la grande eglise. It was formerly the Parish church of Notre-Dame.

At the extremity of this aisle of the nave in going up, is the chapel of petit Saint-Romain, where the tomb of Rollo, the first duke is situated. This prince had formerly been buried in the sanctuary, near the great altar, which, at the time, was situated at the higher end of the present nave. The altar having been removed farther back, the remains of Rollo were deposited in the corner arcade where they now are. Above the arcade is the following inscription on a table of black marble, of which the following is a translation.[Pg 31]

Here lies Rollo, the first duke, the founder and father of Normandy, of which he was at first the terror and the scourge, but afterwards the restorer. Baptised in 912 by Francon, archbishop of Rouen, and died in 917[5]. His remains had formerly been deposited in the ancient sanctuary, where is at present the upper end of the nave. The altar having been removed to another place, the remains of the prince were deposited here, by the blessed Maurille, archbishop of Rouen, in the year 1063.

On the opposite aisle, and exactly opposite the chapel we hare just left, is that of Saint-Anne. The remains of Guillaume-Longue-Epée, the son and successor of Rollo, who was assassinated in an island of the Somme, by order of Arnould, count of Flanders, are deposited in this chapel. His remains are placed like those of his father, in an arched corner, above which, is the following inscription, which we translate thus.[Pg 32]

Here lies Guillaume-Longue-Epée, son of Rollo, duke de Normandy, killed by treason in the year 944. His remains had formerly been deposited in the ancient sanctuary, where is at present the upper end of the nave. The altar having been removed to an other place, the remains of the prince were deposited in this place by the blessed Maurille, in the year 1063.

What has become, of those funeral monuments, erected, formerly in the choir of the Cathedral, in honour of kings, princes or warriors? Who will assure us that the inscriptions placed at present in the sanctuary, point out to us, the illustrious dead whose tombs we seek? Where is the heart of Charles Vth, which was deposited in the middle of the sanctuary? That of Richard-Cœur-de-Lion, to the right of the high altar? The remains of Bedford, the son, the brother and the uncle of kings, of that Bedford, who, according to Pommeraye, was interred to the left of the high altar, and whose tomb stone they now shew us,[Pg 33] behind the altar, which tells us that he was interred on the right side of it? Of all the tombs which existed formerly in the choir of the Cathedral, there remains but three modern inscriptions on marble slabs, which have been placed by chance. These three inscriptions are those of Richard-Cœur-de-Lion, Henry the Younger one of his brothers and the duke of Bedford. On the 30th of july 1838, being guided by historical traditions, they had the idea to dig at the spot marked by the inscription to Richard, and discovered the statue which formerly decorated his tomb. This statue, which is hewn out of a single block of very fine free stone, has been deposited provisionally in the chapel of the Virgin. It is six feet and a half long, and represents king Richard in a recumbent posture, his head supported by a square cushion, wearing a crown enriched with precious stones; his feet are supported by a crouching lion.[Pg 34] On his left hand was a sceptre of which we only see the remains; the right hand has disappeared. The princes, mantle descends nearly to his ancles, in wide folds. It is over a tunic which reaches up to the neck, and which is bound round the body, by an embroidered belt of which the end hangs in front below the knee. These searches were continued on the 31st of july, and the heart of Richard was found; it was enclosed in a double box of lead, and what must leave no doubt of this precious discovery; the following inscription in letters of the time was engraved on the lid of the box:


The heart has been provisionally deposited in a private press in the sacristy. These researches were skilfully directed by Mr Deville.[Pg 35]

Let us now enter the chapel of the Virgin, and admire the treasure which it contains.

To the left on entering, is a monument of stone, without inscription or statue. It is that of Peter de Brezé, count of Maulevrier, grand senechal of Anjou, Poitou and Normandy. He was killed at the battle of Montlhery, the 16th july 1465. This monument is remarkable by its graceful proportions, its elegance and the delicacy of its architecture. It is composed of two pilasters of the arabesque style, supporting a pointed arcade, surmounted by a pediment; the whole of it is in open work and decorated on all sides with the initials PB, in gothic letters. The niche of the tomb is about five feet wide by about four deep. Its height is six feet four inches to the key of the vault, and decorated with a shield bearing the arms of the deceased. Before the revolution, the same shield, decorated the three pannels of the base of the monument.[Pg 36] We may still perceive the trace of the destroyers chisel. The entire height of the mausoleum is seventeen feet. The points of the two pilasters rise two feet and a half or three feet above the rest; which would make the total height of the monument of about twenty feet.

The name of Peter de Brezé, is honourably mentioned in our annals at the time of the conquest of Normandy. It was he who received the capitulation of the castles of Harcourt, Gisors, Chateau-Gaillard. It was he, who first entered Rouen, when that town opened its gates to Charles VIIth[6]. The statue of Peter de Brezé and that of his wife, Jeanne du Bec-Crespin, were formerly on the monument; but they do not now exist and no one knows when they have been taken away.[Pg 37]

Next to it, is the monument of Louis de Brézé, grand-son of the latter, who died in july 1531. The celebrated Diana of Poitiers caused this mausoleum to be raised to his memory. The body of the monument is supported by four columns of black marble, with capitals and bases of white alabaster. Between these columns is a coffin, on which the white marble statue of the grand senechal, is laid. The deceased is stretched on his back, his features are convulsed: one may see that he has just expired. The body is quite naked, the left hand is laid on his breast. The cenotaph is of black marble. The perfection of this sculpture causes it to be attributed to the celebrated Jean Goujon. Behind this statue, there was formerly another of the same personage, he was represented in the dress of a count, with the collar of Saint-Michael, and a crown on his head. We now only find the marks of the fixtures which fastened[Pg 38] it to the monument. At each end of the recumbent figure, are two statues of women in alabaster. Diana of Poitiers in the dress of a widow, with her arms crossed, is kneeling at the head. At the feet, is that of the virgin holding the infant Jesus: it was according to general opinion, of the time of Pommeraye, who speaks of paintings, figures, tapers and chaplets suspended round the latter statue. There were two inscriptions, one in prose, the other in verse. Both were erased at the revolution, but they have been replaced since; the following is a copy of the prose one:

Loys de Breszé, en son vivant cheualier de l'ordre, premier Chambellan du Roy, grand Seneschal, Lieutenant-général et gouverneur pour le dict Sieur, en ses pays et duché de Normendie, Capitaine de cent gentile hommes de la maison du dict sieur et de cent hommes d'armes de ses ordonnances, Capitaine de Rouen et de Caen, Comte de Mauléurier, Baron de Mauny et du Bec-Crespin, Seigneur Chastellain de Nugent-le-Roy, Ennet, Bréval et Monchauvet. Après avoir vescu par le[Pg 39] cours de nature en ce monde en vertu, jusques à l'àge de LXXII ans, la mort l'a faiet mettre en ce tombeau pour retourner viure perpéluellement. Lequel décéda le dymence XXIIIe jour de juillet de mil vre trente ung. 1531.

A third inscription, which probably had not been perceived in 1793, is seen at the upper corner of the left side:

Hoc Lodoice tibi posuit Brezœe sepulchrum,
Pictonis amisso mœsta Diana viro.
Indivulsa libi quondam et fidissima conjux,
Ut fuit in thalamo, sie erit in tumulo[7].

Some witty people have remarked that the duchess of Valentinois spoke truly, and that she was as faithful in one case as in the other.

Above the entablature, the equestrian[Pg 40] statue, of the senechal, in white marble is placed. On each side of the arcade, which contains this statue, are four cariatides crowned with flowers, and representing: the two to the right, prudence and glory; those to the left, victory and faith. On the frieze, under some figures bearing festoons, we find this motto: tant grate chevre que mal giste. The coping is an attic forming a niche, in which is placed an alabaster statue; it holds a sword and represents power, according to some, justice and prudence, according to others.

In the frieze above the figure is the following inscription: In virtute tabernaculum ejus. The cornice is terminated by two goats supporting the armorials of the senechal. The whole of the frieze is of alabaster, while the architrave and cornice are of black marble. This mausoleum, which is one of the most remarkable productions of the arts, under Francis Ist, is attributed to Jean[Pg 41] Cousin, or to a sculptor not less celebrated, Jean Goujon.

The monument of the cardinals of Amboise, which is more splendid, but not of so pure a style, decorates the right side of the chapel: it is placed in the thickness of the wall. After working for seven years without interruption, it was at last completely finished in 1525, under the archbishop d'Amboise, the second of the name: we say archbishop, because at that time the prelate had not been invested with the roman purple. The bodies of these two cardinals are not deposited in this monument; they are interred in a vault at the foot of it and which is only large enough to contain the two leaden coffins, which are supported on iron bars. The sepulchre was violated during the revolution, and the coffins carried off. On the lower part of the monument, are six beautiful little statues, in niches separated by pilasters, representing faith, charity, pru[Pg 42]dence, power, justice and temperance. All these statues are of white marble. On the tomb, which is of black marble, the two cardinals George d'Amboise uncle and nephew are placed. They are kneeling on cushions; their heads uncovered and their hands joined. The expression of prayer and piety is perfect in the two figures, especially in that of George d'Amboise Ist. At their feet and on the front of the cenotaph, we find the following inscription, in a single line, which only concerns the cardinal-minister:

Pastor eram cleri, populi pater, avrea sese
Lilia subdebant quercus[8] et ipsa michi.
Mortoos en iaceo, morte extingovinior honores;
At virtus, morte nescia, morte viret.

On the ground of the monument is a bas-relief representing the patron of the two[Pg 43] prelates (saint George) overcoming the dragon; On the sides, are eight different figures, amongst which we discover the virgin, several saints and more particularly Saint-Romain, archbishop of Rouen during the first half of the VIIth century. A voussure ornamented with sculptures, as remarkable for their good taste as for the richness of their ornaments, supports an attic, where we find the statues of the twelve apostles, two and two, in elegant niches separated by pilasters.

These two monuments are not only remarkable by their magnificence and by the recollections they awaken, they have another attraction, as an history of the art at the time when the gothic style was giving place to that of the renaissance.

These monuments were renewed in 1838, in great perfection by M. Ubaudi, sculptor of Paris.

The remains of cardinal Cambacérès, who[Pg 44] died at Rouen, on the 25th october 1818, are deposited in the little vault at the foot of the monument of the cardinals of Amboise.

The altar of this chapel is decorated with a very fine picture by Philip de Champagne, representing the adoration of the shepherds. This picture is much esteemed by painters and connoisseurs[9]. On the right, in leaving the chapel of the virgin, is a monument concerning which until recently, there were only conjectures. It is the statue of a bishop stretched on his back and under an arcade. On the lower part of the sepulchre, are mu[Pg 45]tilated bas-reliefs, which one might suppose, were intended to represent a synod. At least, we may distinguish several personnages seated, holding books in their hands and a bishop in the midst of them as if presiding. On the upper part we remark angels bearing away the soul of the deceased, represented by the body of a young child.

M.A. Deville, in his work on the monuments of the cathedral of Rouen, has proved that this monument was that of Maurice, archbishop of Rouen, who died in 1235. I must not pass over the popular tradition, however ridiculous it may appear, which is attached to this monument. This tradition says, that the body of the personage laid under this stone, is that of a bishop who, in a fit of a passion, had killed his servant with the blow of a soup-ladle. The people add, that the bishop repenting, wished not to be interred in the church; but at the same time he forbad them to bury him[Pg 46] outside of it, and it was to obey this ambiguous order that they made him a tomb in the thickness of the wall.

Not far from the chapel of the Virgin, in the right aisle, on looking eastward, we find the sacristy. We should stop a moment before its stone partition with its iron door: they are both much esteemed works of the end of the XVth century. The partition wall is from the liberality of Philip de la Rose, chief-archdeacon, and was erected in the year 1473 according to Farin, but 1479 according to Pommeraye[10].

Leaving now the inside of the cathedral let us examine the exterior of this admirable edifice. Here, details are impossible; we must see the whole mass, to[Pg 47] form an idea of it. Who could number so many pieces of sculpture, capitals, sculptured galleries, bas-reliefs, and ornaments, which are multiplied under all forms? Historical explanations are those only which can be offered to the reader. We may add, that they are the most useful, since the rest is an affair of the eyes. The whole of the western facade, comprehended between the two front towers, is from the munificence of cardinal d'Amboise I. The building commenced on the 12th of june 1509, and was finished in 1530. The bas-reliefs, which decorate the doorways under the three entrances from the porch, were more or less mutilated by the calvinists in 1562. That on the right is now scarcely to be recognized: that of the great portal represents the genealogical tree of Jesse, or of the family of the Virgin; that on the left, the beheading of John the Baptist; the latter porch suffered considerably from a frightful storm, which[Pg 48] took place in 1683.[11]

The tower, which terminates the facade to the north, bears the name of Saint-Romain. Its foundation is the most ancient part of the whole edifice; the rest was built later and at different periods. The whole was terminated in 1477, under the cardinal d'Estouteville. Before the revolution the tower of Saint-Romain contained eleven bells, there were four others in the pyramid, and only one in the Butter Tower, but which was heavier than all the others and of which I shall speak.

The tower, which terminates the facade to the south, is named the butter tower (Tour de Beurre), because, it was erected[Pg 49] with the alms of the faithful, who, afterwards obtained leave to eat butter during Lent: Its height is two hundred and thirty feet. The first stone was laid in the month of november 1485, by Robert de Croixmare, archbishop of Rouen. It was nearly twenty two years in building, since the edifice according to Pommeraye, was only terminated in 1507. Before its completion, it was consecrated (in 1496), by Henry Potin, suffragan to cardinal of Amboise Ist.

On the 29th of september 1500, this cardinal gave 4,000 livres, to be used in the casting of a bell; wishing, that it might be the finest in the kingdom. The furnaces were already built at the foot of the tower; and the mould commenced; but, they remembered that the wood work of the tower would not be strong enough to bear such a colossus. The mould was broken, and they made another which was smaller. The operation was[Pg 50] commenced on monday the 2nd of august 1501, at eight o'clock in the evening, after a general procession round the Cathedral and the archbishop's palace. The circumference of this bell was thirty feet, its height ten feet and it weighed 36000 pounds. It is said, that the founder, John le Machon, of Chartres, who cast it, was so satisfied in having succeeded in this enterprise, that he died of joy twenty six days after.

On the visit of Louis XVI to Rouen, in 1786, the bell called George d'Amboise was cracked. In 1793, it was converted into cannons. Some pieces bearing the following inscription were made into medals and are now very rare.



[Pg 51]The door of the librarians, at the northern extremity of the transept, has been named so, from the booksellers shops formerly situated on each side of the court. Commenced in 1280, this portal was only finished in 1478. It was the usual entrance of great personnages, except the king and the princes of the blood, who entered the church by the great western porch. The bas-relief over the door had never been finished: the two lower compartments are the only ones. The court, which is before the porch of the librarians, was formerly a burying ground. They ceased to inter, because a murder had been committed in it and it had not been purified. This entrance to the church is ornamented with an infinite number of bas-reliefs, some representing subjects from the bible, others extremely comical and even licentious; several of these sculptures have of late been cleaned to be moulded. To the left, when facing the door, we perceive a man without[Pg 52] his head, negligently leaning on his elbow: in his right hand a head is seen, which is that of a pig.

If we wish to view the northern side, we must enter the cour de l'Albane.[12] The collateral chapels are lighted by nine windows, which are surmounted by different ornaments. We also perceive, on some of the lower windows of the tower of Saint-Romain, the round arch of the XIth century; from which one may conjecture that this portion of the tower was spared from the conflagration, in the year 1200.

The porch of the Calende, was built at the same period as that of the booksellers, and is nearly disposed in the same manner. Above the door, we distinguish a large bas-relief, which is divided into three com[Pg 53]partments: the lower one, says Mr Gilbert, represents Joseph sold by his brethren; that in the middle; the funeral of Jacob; and the upper one Jesus-Christ on the cross. To the right and left of the porch, are several large statues, which are more or less mutilated, and a profusion of bas-reliefs, most of which represent the history of Joseph.

The facade of this porch, like that of the booksellers, is accompanied by two square towers of handsome proportions, and having large pointed windows.

On the tower which still exists in the centre, there was formerly a handsome pyramid of three hundred and ninety six feet in height, a monument of the talents of Robert Becquet and of the liberality of cardinal d'Amboise, the second of the name. It was commenced in the month of june 1542, and terminated in the month of august 1544.

This beautiful pyramid was destroyed by fire, on the 15th of september 1822; at seven[Pg 54] o'clock in the morning it had already fallen; two hours after, the roof of the choir, that of the transept and the third part of the roof of the nave, had equally fallen in. The melted lead of the roof was bought by M. Firmin Didot and converted into types for printing.

We cannot give too many praises to the zeal of M. de Vansay, prefect of the department at that time: the misfortune happened on the 15th september, and already on the 26th of the same month, the government having been informed and solicited by that magistrate, ordered M. Alavoine, one of the best architects, to go to Rouen, and confer with the prefect on the means of remedying the havoc caused by the fire. Early in the year 1823, the roofs of a aisles had already been repaired; and a portion of the nave had been covered with lead, by the 15th march of the same year. The roofs of the choir and of the whole transept, were also soon repaired; but,[Pg 55] for these parts, a copper covering was preferred as being more solid and less liable to be destroyed. The raising and renewing the lantern was terminated in 1829.

From this new platform, the pyramid will rise majestically in the air, and of it we already discover thirteen floors (the pyramid will be completed with one more), each of four metres fifty centimetres, that is to say a height of fifty eight metres, or about one hundred and eighty feet. The spire of the church was first erected of stone but was overthrown by the electric fluid, after that, it was twice built of wood, and both times it became the prey of the flames; to rebuild it with wood would have been gathering materials for a third fire, but now it is made of cast iron and in open work. At the summit of the spire, there will be a small lantern surrounded by a gallery for the purpose of meteorological observations. The total weight of the[Pg 56] spire when completed, will be 600,000 kilogrammes, or about 1,200,000 pounds. It is composed of 2,540 pieces, not including 12,879 iron pins[13]. Lastly, this magnificent pyramid will reach an elevation of 436 feet; that is to say 40 feet higher than the former, and will only be 13 feet less than the highest pyramid of Egypt[14].


The abbey of Saint-Ouen, is the most ancient, in Rouen and in the whole province of Normandy.


Founded in 533, during the reign of Clothaire Ist and the episcopate of Flavius, the sixteenth archbishop of Rouen, (compre[Pg 57]hending Saint-Nienise), this abbey flourished particularly under the illustrious prelate, whose name it bears and who enriched it with his patrimony.

The 14th of may, in the year 841, the Normans landed at Rouen; the following day they burned the abbey of Saint-Ouen.

Rollo, having become a Christian, and a peaceable possessor of Normandy, ordered the abbey to be repaired, and had the relics restored which the monks had carried off to secure them from the profanation of the Normans.

The monastery soon took the name of Saint-Ouen; instead of that of Saint-Peter, by which it was previously known.

The dukes Richard I and Richard II followed the example of Rollo, and continued the restoration of the abbey.

Such was the reputation of this monastery, that the emperor Otho, who had laid siege to the town during the reign of Richard Ist,[Pg 58] surnamed Sans-Peur, demanded a safe conduct to come and perform his devotions at Saint-Ouen.

Nicolas, son of Richard IIIrd, and the fourth abbot under William the conqueror, caused the edifice, which had subsisted until then, to be demolished, and laid the first stone of a new church in 1046. Nicolas died too soon to complete the work; it was not finished until the year 1226, by William Ballot, the sixth abbot, who caused it to be dedicated in the same year, on the 17th of october, by Geoffroy, archbishop of Rouen.

The cloister and other buildings necessary for the use of the monks were finished under Rainfroid, the seventh abbot; but, in 1236, only ten years after the completion of this church, the work of eighty years was destroyed by fire in one day.

Through the liberality of the empress Matilda and Henry IInd, her son, the monks of Saint-Ouen succeeded in rebuilding their[Pg 59] monastery; but it was again completely destroyed by fire in 1248.

At last, the celebrated Jean (John) or Roussel Marc d'argent, the twenty-fourth abbot, was elected in 1303. Fifteen years later, he laid the first stone of the present magnificent church, which is so generally admired. In one and twenty years, during which the works of this edifice proceeded, the choir, the chapels, the pillars which support the tower, and the greater part of the transept were finished. These buildings cost 63,036 livres five sous tournois, or about 2,600,000 francs of the present money.

The edifice was not entirely completed until the beginning of the XVIth century; but, the tower existed before the end of the XVth. An english tourist[15] has expressed the following sentiments on this magnificent church:[Pg 60]

«You gaze, and are first-struck with its matchless window: call it rose, or marygold, as you please. I think, for delicacy and richness of ornament, this window is perfectly unrivalled. There is a play of line in the mullions, which, considering their size and strength, may be pronounced quite a master-piece of art. You approach, regretting the neglected state of the lateral towers, and enter, through the large and completely-opened centre doors, the nave of the abbey. It was towards sun-set when we made our first entrance. The evening was beautiful; and the variegated tints of sunbeam, admitted through the stained glass of the window, just noticed, were perfectly enchanting. The window itself, as you look upwards, or rather as you fix your eye upon[Pg 61] the centre of it, from the remote end of the abbey, or the Lady's chapel, was a perfect blaze of dazzling light: and nave, choir, and side aisles, seemed magically illumined. We declared instinctively that the abbey of Saint-Ouen could hardly have a rival; certainly no superior.»

«The grand western entrance presents you with the most perfect view of the choir, a magical circle, or rather oval, flanked by lofty and clustered pillars, and free from the surrounding obstruction of screens, etc. Nothing more airy and more captivating of the kind can be imagined. The finish and delicacy of these pillars are quite surprising. Above, below, around, every thing is in the purest style of the XIVth and XVth centuries. On the whole, it is the absence of all obtrusive and unappropriate ornament which gives to the interior of this building that light, unencumbered, and faery-like effect which so peculiarly belongs to it, and which creates[Pg 62] a sensation that I never remember to have felt within any other similar edifice.»

The length, within the walls, is four hundred and sixteen feet eight inches (about four hundred and fifty feet english measure), which may be divided in the following manner: The nave, two hundred and forty four feet; the choir, one hundred and two feet; the remaining portion, to the extremity of the chapel of the Virgin, seventy feet eight inches; in the whole, eight feet eight inches more than the Cathedral. The height under the keystone is one hundred feet. The breadth, including the aisles, is seventy eight feet; viz: thirty four feet for the nave, and twenty two feet for each aisle. The transept is one hundred and thirty feet in length, by thirty four in width.

The church is lighted by one hundred and twenty five windows placed in three rows not including the three rosaces. The second row lights a circular inner gallery,[Pg 63] which is above the aisles, and several of them offer paintings of great beauty. Amongst others Saint-Romain is represented making himself master of the Gargouille, and forcing the Seine to return to its bed.

Against the first pillar to the right, on entering by the Western porch, is placed a large marble vessel containing holy water. By a very curious optical effect, we can see the roof of the church in its entire length.

The choir was formerly separated by a magnificent screen, of which we find an engraving in the History of the Abbey, by Pommeraye. This screen, was erected in 1462 by the munificence of the cardinal d'Estouteville; in 1562, it was partly destroyed by the calvinists, and repaired in 1655, by William Cotterel, grand prior of Saint-Ouen. This fine structure entirely disappeared at the revolution.[Pg 64]

Eleven chapels, including the one dedicated to the Virgin, surround the choir of the church. The first, in going towards the eastern extremity, contains the baptismal font, and is dedicated to Saint-Martial. There also, was formerly a very curious clock, which has disappeared within the last forty years. A small figure of Saint-Michael came out and struck the hours on a figure representing satan and then disappeared.

In the second chapel, following the same direction, Alexander de Berneval, one of the architects of the church, was buried in 1440. He is represented, on the sepulchral stone which covers his remains, by the side of his pupil; the following inscription is engraved on this stone in gothic letters:

Ci gist maistre Alexandre de Berneval, maistre des Œuvres de Machonnerie du Roy, notre Sire, du baillage de Rouen et de cette Eglise, qui trespassa l'an de grace[Pg 65] mil CCCCXL le vo jour de janvier. Priez Dieu pour l'ame de lui.

We also remark the statue of Sainte-Cécile, which is placed between two pillars of the corinthian order. The other chapels, except that of the Virgin, do not offer any thing remarkable.

English tourists will find in the latter, the tomb of the youngest son of Talbot; the following is the epitaph:

Ci gist noble homme Jean Tallebot, fils du sieur de Tallebot, Mareschal de France, qui deceda en aunees de puerilite, le IV Banvier MCCCCXXXVIII.

The interior of the church contains several fine paintings, such as: The miracle of the loaves, by Daniel Hallé, and a Visitation, by Deshayes, of Rouen, in the chapel of the Virgin; an opening of the holy gate, by Léger, of Rouen, behind the pulpit on[Pg 66] the wall of the aisle. This painting has been much spoiled by the damp. The different chapels also contain some less worthy of notice.

The great tower is altogether a monument of great beauty. Its height is about one hundred feet above the roof of the church. It is surmounted by a crown wrought in openwork and of a fine effect. The total height of the tower is two hundred and forty four feet, from the pavement of the church. It is supported, in the interior of the edifice, by four pillars, each formed of a group of twenty four columns.

The whole body of the church is supported, to the exterior, by thirty four arches, forming with the buttresses by which they are supported, a most magnificent ensemble.

The western porch from its unfinished state does not offer any thing remarkable except the rosace of which we have already spoken.[Pg 67]

The southern porch, commonly called des Marmquzels, merits much more the attention of the curious, by the astonishing variety of sculptures, which ornament it. We may especially admire two pendants of a very bold execution.

Above the door, is a bas-relief, which is divided into three parts, representing the different circumstances of the sepulture of the Virgin, of her assumption and entrance into heaven. This porch is assuredly one of the most pure, light and perfect samples of gothic architecture. During the revolution, the church, of Saint-Ouen was converted into a smithy. Afterwards they here celebrated the decadary feasts, promulgated laws, pronounced marriages, and even gave a great breakfast to the conscripts of the year VII, the first who went under that denomination. At last it was restored to its primitive use, the only one worthy of it, for we may say of Saint-Ouen: Hic vere est domus Dei.[Pg 68]

The ancient abbey-house of Saint-Ouen was demolished, in 1816. So many historical recollections were attached to the existence of this edifice, that its loss is much regretted by the friends of the arts. This mansion was the ordinary place of abode of the kings of France, on their passage through this town. Henry II, Charles IX, Henri III, Henry IV, Lewis XIII successively inhabited it. Henry IVth, resided there four months; it was from this house that he addressed to the aldermen of his good town of Rouen those words which will never be forgotten: Mes amis, soyez-moi bans sujets, et je vous serai bon roi, el le meilleur roi que vous ayez jamais eu.

In the public garden, formerly that of the monastery, and which lies to the north, east and south sides of the church, is a very curious construction, in the form of a tower, called the Chambre aux Clercs. It is without doubt a fragment of one of the churches,[Pg 69] which succeeded each other on this spot. It is situated at the north-east angle of the northern transept. Its architecture is of the XIth century. People have remarked, that it holds as much resemblance to the remains of a strong castle, as to a fragment of a religious edifice. The interior is divided into two stories, the second contains the works of the clock.

The meridian placed against the wall, to the north of the basin, is that which ornamented the ancient exchange. On the lower extremity of the obelisk, we remark a woman seated, representing Commerce. The figure of Time points to the solar line. In 1815, the medallion of Lewis XVth was replaced, which had been taken away in 1792. This monument is by Paul Slodtz, a statuary of the last century.


In the year 1228, this parish was situated[Pg 70] without the walls of the town. In that year, Geoffroy de Capreville granted a portion of ground belonging to himself, and situated in the parish of Saint-Maclou, without the town. At that time the church of Saint-Maclou was only a chapel, of which the construction was not very remarkable. About the middle of the XVth century, the erection of the present edifice was commenced. In the year 1511, the works were far advanced, the platform which was to support the steeple having been already built.


This church was formerly called the fille aînée de Mgr l'archevêque. The sacred oils were kept in this church, and were distributed to the different parishes of the diocese. This privilege was shown by two vases, supported on two iron bars on each side of the cross, which surmounted the great porch. In the general processions, the cross of Saint-Maclou took precedence of all others, and led the procession.[Pg 71]

The church is one hundred and forty two feet in length, by seventy six feet in breadth, taking in the aisles. Its height, from the pavement of the nave to the extremity of the ancient steeple, was about two hundred and forty feet. This handsome steeple, in the form of a cone, rose to a height of one hundred and fifteen feet above the lantern: one could ascend to the cross, by the exterior of it, without a ladder. In 1705, it was shaken by a hurricane; thirty years later, it became dangerous: and they were obliged to take down the greater part of it. It was almost destroyed during the revolution, when its whole covering of lead was taken off, to make bullets. At present they are repairing the belfry which was erected instead of that steeple.

The interior of the church merits the whole attention of the curious. I will mention particularly the beautifully sculptured staircase, which leads to the organ. The[Pg 72] authors of the picturesque and romantic travels into ancient France, have not forgotten to place this gothic jewel in their work.

The great porch of Saint-Maclou is very remarkable. It had formerly three very commodious entrances; but, they have contrived, at I do not know what time, to build a house before and quite close to the southwest door way; which, in consequence is closed up.

The municipal administration lately decided that this house should be pulled down, that the door which it closes up may be opened; but it will be of no use but for the general appearence of the front of the edifice, as this door does not present, like the others, any very interesting details of architecture. It is more than probable that they existed formerly, but, being hid from view, the door was taken off and replaced by the plain one, which exists at present; this loss must be deeply felt, when we contemplate the sculp[Pg 73]ture, which ornamented the other entrances and which strangers will not fail to admire, either in the western front or the northern porch from the rue Martainville. These sculptures, which are attributed to the celebrated Jean Goujon, consist principally of bas-reliefs representing different subjects from the Bible, such as the death of the Virgin, on the door in the rue Martainville; the baptism of Jesus-Christ, on the door of the great porch, etc. On the small door to the left, are also some very curious bas-reliefs.

Saint-Maclou still preserves almost the whole of its ancient painted glass windows, which are composed in general of isolated figures of saints, covered with canopies and in the style of the Renaissance. The lower portions of these paintings have been very much mutilated.[16][Pg 74]

Almost opposite the northern porch of the church, we find the entrance to what was formerly the burying ground of Saint-Maclou, which answered the same purpose in Rouen, as that of the SAINT-INNOCENTS, in Paris. M.E.-H. Langlois has discovered, on the columns of the buildings which surrounded this ancient churchyard, the fragments, unfortunately almost shapeless, of a macabre dance.


This church was built in 1535, on the ground and in place of a smaller one. The chapel of the passion, which is to the right on entering the choir, dates from 1648, as well as the side of the edifice, which faces the rue Saint-Patrice. Quite near the church, and in buildings belonging to the parish, a community of priests had been founded in 1641, at the expense of the curate; they[Pg 75] had several privileges allowed by the king. They could enter fifteen muids of wine, without paying duty for it, they could take eight bushels of salt in the year, from the kings stores and at the merchant's price, and give the right of committimus to all ecclesiastics, after a year's residence in the town.

The church of Saint-Patrice, has some stained glass windows of the greatest beauty. They are of the XVIth century, which was the most brilliant period of painting on glass in France.

Mr Langlois, in his excellent work, which I have already cited, gives a description of the painted glass windows. The whole interior of the chapel, which is situated at the extremity on the left side, and facing the east, is remarkable for the beauty of its windows. Most of them bear the date of their execution, and the name of the donor. The pulpit of Saint-Patrice was formerly[Pg 76] in the church of Saint-Lô; it is of the style of the Renaissance, and in good taste.


From the avenue of the Mont-Riboudet, we perceive this elegant church at the end of a row of young trees. It is built after the plans of Lebrument and ornamented by the chisel of Jadoulle; this modern building is distinguished by the beauty of its architecture and of its sculptures. It was terminated and consecrated the 7th april 1781.

The front, which faces the south, is composed of a peristyle, supported by four corinthian columns. In the pediment, above the entablature, we perceive a bas-relief, which represents a woman suckling children, the symbol of charity. The representation of this virtue could not have been better placed, than on the front of a church adjoining the Hôtel-Dieu.[Pg 77]

The interior of the edifice is composed of a nave and two aisles, at the upper extremity of the nave rises an arched dome, which is surmounted on the outside by an obelisk supporting a globe.

Several costly pictures decorate the chapels. Those which are perceived at the extremities of the two aisles are more particularly esteemed. They are by Vincent, a distinguished painter of the french school. That on the right represents the cure of the blind man; that on the left, the cure of the paralytic.

The chapel of the religiouses of the Hotel-Dieu, is situated behind the high altar.

(For a description of the hospital, see farther on, the article on civil monuments).


In the commencement of the VIth century, Rouen possessed a bishop of this name. At[Pg 78] first, it might be natural to think that this bishop was the patron of the church of Saint-Sever; but it is not so. The following legend, is the history of this foundation, in a few words.

In the reign of Richard Ist, third duke of Normandy, two ecclesiastics of Rouen made a pilgrimage to the sepulchre of Saint-Sever, bishop of Avranches. The body of the saint was deposited in the neighbourhood of Mont-Saint-Michel, in a church surrounded by forests. A priest lived alone in the neighbourhood. The two ecclesiastics, from an excess of devotion resolved to carry away the remains of the bishop. The priest heard of it and put a stop to their enterprise. They returned to Rouen, and humbly begged Richard, whose consent they easily obtained to authorize the removal of the remains, and in spite of the tears and remonstrances of the inhabitants, they carried off the holy relics, which they forwarded to Rouen. The[Pg 79] procession rested at the hamlet of Emendreville (now the suburb of Saint-Sever). Here the miracle, which had already been shown several times on the road, was renewed again, that is to say, the shrine which contained the remains of the saint became so heavy, that it was impossible to raise it, until they had made a vow to build a chapel on that spot; such is the origin of the church of Saint-Sever. Till then this place had been called Emendreville. It retained that denomination about four centuries afterwards; but at last it took the name of the saint, in whose honour the parochial church had been built. The present church was consecrated on the 27th january 1538. Neither its interior or exterior offer any thing worthy of notice.


This was the chapel of the ancient Carmes déchaussés. Those fathers obtained letters[Pg 80] patent on the 27th july 1624. They purchased a house at the entrance of the suburb Bouvreuil; which was then in the parish of Saint-Godard, and laid the foundations of their monastery. The duke of Longueville, laid the first stone of their church on the 20th november 1643, which they demolished in 1678, to build a new one, of which the first stone was laid in the month of july 1679, by Mr Pierre de Bec-de-Lièvre, first president of the Cour des Aides, who untill the time of his death, which took place in july 1685, paid the whole expenses of the building. After his death, his two sons MM. Pierre and Thomas-Charles de Bec-de-Lièvre, finished the edifice at their own expense. This is the present church: it was consecrated on the 21st of december 1687. In 1791, it was dedicated to Saint-Romain, as one of the chapels of ease of the town of Rouen. After having been shut for a time, it was again placed amongst the chapels[Pg 81] of ease, in 1802. It is now a parochial church. On the front, which faces the east, we find the following inscription in large, letters of gold:



This church contains some extremely curious antiquities. The first, without doubt, is the monument of the archbishop Saint-Romain, which is of granite, and forms, if I may say so, the high altar in the choir, as the top of the high altar covers the monument, which is elsewhere very plainly seen. It was formerly in the crypt of Saint-Godard, where Saint-Romain was buried. It was brought afterwards to this church on the 20th february 1804. The ashes of the illustrious prelate had been dispersed by the calvinists, in 1562.

We may also admire the beautiful painted glass windows, which were brought[Pg 82] partly from Saint-Maur, Saint-Etienne-des-Tonneliers, and Saint-Martin-sur-Renelle. The following is an explanation: In the first chapel, a Transfiguration, to the left on entering. In the next chapel a holy Family. This chapel contains also a beautiful small marble statue of Saint-Louis, and a bas-relief, by Jadoulle, representing Tobit burying the dead. The firsts chapel to the right, contains the font: there is a remarkable painted glass, divided into six partitions, which represents the history of Adam. It is in this chapel that we find a very curious cover of some baptismal-fonts, which was brought from the ancient church of Saint-Etienne. The bas-reliefs, which ornament it, represent the Passion of Jesus-Christ. In the sort of lantern, which surmounts the cover, is a Resurrection. These sculptures on wood, which are of great beauty, are of the beginning of the XVIth century. At the farther end of the chapel, is a fresco[Pg 83] painting by Pécheux representing the baptism of Jesus-Christ.

In the next chapel, which is dedicated to Saint-Theresa, we see Sainte-Geneviève, the patroness of Paris. In her left hand she holds a book, and in her right a lighted taper. Satan tries to blow it out with a pair of bellows, while, behind the saint, an angel is ready to light it again. These different painted glasses were brought from Saint-Maur.

In the chapel of Saint-Joseph, is a painted window representing Saint-Stephen before his judges. In the chapel of the Virgin, which is opposite, we see Saint-Stephen stoned; these two painted windows belonged to the church of Saint-Etienne-des-Tonneliers.

Some glasses of the higher windows, brought from Saint-Martin-sur-Renelle, represent the passion of our Lord.

In the choir, in the chapel to the left,[Pg 84] Tobit burying the dead, above we see the resurrection of Lazarus; in the same window Job on the dunghill; and underneath, the Lord's supper.

In another chapel of the choir, opposite to the former, is Jesus-Christ in the temple, overthrowing the tables of the money-changers; beside it, is the rich man at table; Lazarus is at the outside of the door. The stained glass of these two chapels belonged to Saint-Maur. Most of them, from the richness of their coloring, and the perfection of their execution, are very remarkable.

Under the dome at the lop of the nave, are five different fresco, paintings which represent different acts relative to the life of the patron of the church. One represents the consecration of Saint-Romain as bishop; in another, he overthrows the pagan temples; farther on, is the miracle of the dragon or Gargouille; next to it, is the procession of the shrine to obtain the deliverance of a[Pg 85] prisoner, a ceremony which was instituted after the miracle of which we have already spoken. The apotheosis of Saint-Romain crowns these four paintings.

At the top of the sanctuary, behind the high altar, there is also another fresco by Pêcheux, representing the agony of Jesus-Christ. The painting receives the light from above, by an opening made expressly for that purpose.

The organ, which was made by Mr Lebreton, of Rouen, was received on the 11th july 1830. It is composed of four keys, forty two registers, and one pedal. Although modern, the church of Saint-Romain, merits as we see, to be examined in all its details.


The origin of Saint-Godard is unknown, all that can be affirmed is that there existed anciently on this spot a chapel dedi[Pg 86]cated to the Virgin. This latter circumstance induced the belief for a long time, that the first Cathedral was erected on this place. It will suffice, to establish the contrary, to say that the church of Saint-Godard, was included within the interior of the town only at the commencement of the XIIIth century.

In the year 533, and not 530 as Farin says, whose chronology is often erroneous, the archbishop saint Godard was interred in the subterraneous chapel of this church, which then changed its ancient name for that of the holy prelate, whose remains it had received. Saint-Romain was also interred in the same chapel.

It was only after different additions that the church of Saint-Godard became what we now see it. It is one hundred and fifteen feet long, by seventy eight broad. In 1556, its organ was a very small one; it was afterwards enlarged; but, in 1562, it was destroyed by the calvinists. The present organ, which[Pg 87] was established in 1640, is the work of a scotchman, named George Lesselié.

The church of Saint-Godard, when suppressed at the second circumscription of the churches of Rouen, saw all its ornaments and riches pass to the parishes of Saint-Ouen and Saint-Patrice. Amongst the ornaments, we will mention its admirable painted windows, which were the finest in France, according to Farin and Levieil,[17] whose opinion has become an authority. A great many of these glasses were broken in the chambre aux clercs of Saint-Ouen. When, reopened for religious purposes, in 1806, the church of Saint-Godard became again possessed of two of its finest windows: that of the chapel of the Virgin, to the right facing the choir, and that of the chapel of Saint-Nicolas, on the opposite side. The first represents the[Pg 88] mother of the saviour, and the kings of Judea from whom she was descended. The celestial head of the Virgin is of astonishing beauty of composition.

The window of the chapel dedicated to Saint-Nicolas represents different acts of the life of saint Romain; and the painter, one may imagine, has not forgotten the history of the Gargouille. These two windows are each thirty two feet high by twelve in width. Nothing can be comparable to the beauty of the colour of these two windows; from thence came the proverb, in speaking of wine of a purple colour: It is the colour of the windows of Saint-Godard.


The church, that is to say, the primitive chapel which was built on this spot, was one of those which were founded, about the middle of the VIIth century, by the illustrious archbishop saint Ouen. It was at that time[Pg 89] very far out of the city, since the limits on this side of the town extended only as far as the streets de l'Aumône, and Robec, during the life-time of saint Ouen. It was only six hundred years after, under saint Louis, that the church of Saint-Nicaise was comprehended within the interior of the town. The choir of this church is remarkable for the symmetry of its proportions. Its organ was placed in 1634. The remainder of the architecture of this church does not offer any thing to fix the attention. At the eastern extremities of the aisles, we perceive two mutilated painted glass windows; but which nevertheless call forth the admiration of the connaisseur. The one of them represents the three christian virtues, the other, two figures of the same description, with that of a bishop. The heads are very beautiful, and the draperies quite dazzling, from their brilliant colours.[Pg 90]


This church was formerly called Saint-Vincent-sur-Rive, because it was situated on the bank of the river. The treasurers of Saint-Vincent had the salt measures in their keeping, they were deposited in a small tower at the entrance of the church, for that purpose. When the boats loaded with salt passed by the church, they had to give a certain quantity to the parish, which has been since replaced by an annual sum of 140 livres. Saint-Vincent, like most other catholic temples, was pillaged in 1562 by the calvinists.

Saint-Vincent is a handsome production of the renaissance. The architecture of the interior is light and gracious, if we except the ornaments, which are not in very good taste, and which have been fastened on the pillars of the choir, in the middle of the last century, after the designs of the architect De France.[Pg 91]

The painted glases of this church are very remarkable. At the lower extremity of the right aisle, in looking towards the choir, we perceive a pane of glass, a part of which is done on pasteboard by Albert-Durer, representing the virgin kneeling beside several of the apostles. The draperies of the former are in admirable gothic style; the heads of the others are also very fine.

In the northern aisle, that is to say, to the left on entering by the great porch, opposite the choir, we remark a window representing the history of saint John the baptist. The lower pannel represents the Decapitation of the saint, whose head they are carrying to Herod, who is seated at table with Herodias. In the next window, in going towards the eastern extremity, there is a view of the church of Saint-Ouen, but it is unfortunately broken. We can only now distinguish its tower.

In the chapel to the left of the choir, there[Pg 92] is a window representing the miracle attributed to Ferdinand, better known under the name of saint Anthony of Padua, and taken from the lives of the saints, by the reverend father François Giry.

The interior of Saint-Vincent, and especially the southern aisle, still offers some very fine painted windows which are unfortunately very much injured.


This church has given its name to the street in which it is situated. It was formerly but a chapel in the midst of meadows and marshes. In the year 1209, it was situated, without the town. It was formerly low and dark; in 1636, the roof was raised to a greater height. Before the year 1661, the organ was placed, in the left aisle: at this period, it was placed in its present situation. This church does not offer any[Pg 93] thing very remarkable, unless perhaps its lofty steeple, in the form of a sugar loaf.



Saint-Gervais was perhaps after the virgin, the first person to whom an altar was erected in Rouen. Neither Pommeraye, Farin, Toussaint-Duplessis, nor several other modern writers, have spoken of the origin of this church; the following is a sketch of it.

In 386, saint Victrice, then archbishop of Rouen, received from Saint-Ambroise a box of relics, amongst which were the remains of Saint-Gervais. Saint-Victrice caused a church to be erected in which were to[Pg 94] be deposited those venerable remains. The archbishop tells us that he worked with his own hands, and that he even helped to carry the stones on his shoulders. Should not the temple where the remains of Saint-Gervais had been deposited, have been named after this martyr? Was it natural to give another name? Certainly not; and we may conclude therefore that the present church of Saint-Gervais has been erected on the ground where that formerly stood, which Saint-Victrice had caused to be built; and which afterwards was raised into an abbey, and is at the present time a chapel of ease. The church of Saint-Gervais suffered considerably during the religious contests: in the year 1591, it was almost destroyed. At that time the royal army had taken possession of it and had established a battery near to it, which caused great havoc in the town of Rouen, this army was commanded by the Marquis de Villars, for the league.[Pg 95]

Strangers should not forget to visit an extremely curious ancient monument, the crypt of Saint-Gervais. It is immediately under the choir of the church. The descent is by a stair-case composed of twenty eight stone steps. The length of this subterranean chapel is thirty five feet, by sixteen in breadth and fifteen in height. The two first archbishops of Rouen, saint Mellon and saint Avitien, are buried under the two arcades, which we perceive on the right and left at the foot of the stair-case. These arcades had been walled up at the time of the religions troubles; in 1723, they were opened again. The monument of saint Mellon is that to the left on entering. We here discover the only vestiges of roman architecture, which are to be found in this town. The roman road, which existed sixteen centuries ago, between the ancient Rothomagus and Juliobona, passed close to this church.

William the Conqueror, when mortally[Pg 96] wounded by the pummel of his saddle, on his way to Paris, caused himself to be carried to the priory of Saint-Gervais, where he died on the 9th of september 1087.


In the year 1562, the calvinists entered by force into the town of Rouen, by the suburb of Saint-Hilaire, and destroyed at the same time the church of that name. It was rebuilt twenty eight or thirty years after. Like the church of Saint-Vivien, it has given its name to the quarter in which it is situated; and like it also, offers nothing worthy the attention of the antiquary.


Farin and some other authors have said that this had been an ancient temple of Adonis; nothing however proves, or justifies such an assertion; and we only see in[Pg 97] this, a popular tradition on which we must not rely.

Formerly this little church was very curious in some of its portions. It is the only one in Rouen, which offers the three semi-circular absides, which we find in most of the monuments of the XIth century. The middle is the highest and projects farther out than the other two. There is a row of curious figures on the outside of the edifice in its whole circumference: some of which are represented with great moustaches. According to Mr Cotman, who has remarked figures of a similar description in different parts of Normandy, these great moustaches must at first have been a satire upon the Saxons who wore them, when at the same time the Normans had their heads completely shaved. Robert Wace tells us that at the battle of Hastings the English took the Normans for an army of[Pg 98] priests.

In the interior of the edifice, the triple choir was separated from the nave by a semi-circular arcade, the capital of which was covered with sculptures, which have been unfortunately destroyed. This nave was modern, and dated only from the commencement of the XVIIth century, the most ancient portion is from the commencement of the XIth century.

The modern portion was destroyed some years since. A new church in the form of an ancient basilica has been erected close to it, from the designs of Mr Du Boullay. Antiquaries will learn with pleasure that the administration of the town has taken measures to preserve the three absides of the ancient little edifice, with the intention of using it as a sacristy to the new church.

The walk, at the extremity of which the church of Saint-Paul is situated, was formed in 1692 and 1693; but was only the planted in 1729. The whole space from[Pg 99] watering place to the foot of mount Saint-Catherine was formerly a vast meadow with a few gardens. The road when finished was called the Chemin neuf; it is now called the cours Dauphin, so named in memory of the birth of the dauphin, son of Lewis XVth.

At the extremity of this avenue there are several springs of mineral waters. They are called the waters of Saint-Paul, from the name of the parish. There are also several of similar description in the quarter Martainville, called la Marequerie.



Before the Seine was enclosed in its present bed, the church of Saint-Eloi was situated on an Island. Afterwards, without[Pg 100] changing place, it found itself situated on the terres neuves, like the other churches, Saint-Etienne-des-Tonneliers, Saint-Clément, and Saint-Martin-du-Pont. In 1030, under the duke Robert, those new lands were considered as suburbs of Rouen: In suburbia Rotomagensi ecclesiam sancti Eligii, etc.

The church of Saint-Eloi was formerly considered as one of the best lighted in the town of Rouen. There were, a short time since, but are now walled up, three windows, of which the painted glass was executed in the XVIth century; they have been transferred to Saint-Mary's, to ornament the museum of antiquities. Formerly there was a well in the choir, but which is now filled up, from which the water was drawn up by a chain, from whence the proverb, still used in Rouen, is derived: «It is cold as the chain of the well of Saint-Eloi.»

This church has been granted for pro[Pg 101]testant worship, since 1803. The number of persons who profess this worship in Rouen, is about 2,000. The service commences at eleven o'clock in the morning. English service is also performed in this church at three o'clock in the afternoon.

The place Saint-Eloi does not offer any thing worthy of notice; it was the ancient burying ground of the parish of that name: and has since become the poultry and game market.




At the top of the rue Nationale.

This religious edifice, which is of the[Pg 102] XVth century, did not offer any thing remarkable but its tower, which is entire.


Rue aux Ours, near the rue de la Vicomté, was erected between the years 1526 and 1557.


At the corner of the street of that name, and the rue des Iroquois.

The construction of this edifice, dates from the commencement of the XVIth century.


Rue des Bons-Enfans, at the corner of the rue Ecuyère.


Rue Sainte-Croix-des-Pelletiers, at the top of the street.[Pg 103]


At the corner of the streets Saint-George and de la Vicomté.


In the street of that name. Its tower merits principally the attention of the traveller; it was commenced in 1490 and finished in 1501. The screen of Saint-Laurent was considered a chef-d'œuvre of architecture.

[Pg 104]



The modern building which stands near the northern transept of the church of Saint-Ouen was the dormitory of the monks. It is now the town hall. The offices occupy the ground and first floor, the library and gallery of paintings the second. The great stair-case is remarkable for its elegance and lightness; it has been compared to that at Somerset house. On the first landing we find in a niche, the statue of Lewis XVth in his youth, from the chisel of Lemoine. The great stair-case, next the church, constructed from the designs of Le[Pg 105]brument, the architect of the Madeleine, is distinguished by the boldness of its architecture; it leads to the library and gallery of paintings. The new facade of the town hall is composed of two wings which are parallel at their extremities, and a peristyle between the two former, but which does not so far project. Two columns of the corinthian order support the pediment, on which the armorial bearings of the town are sculptured; they are supported on one side by Mercury and the attributes of Commerce, and on the other by Industry in the likeness of Minerva. On the first floor of the southern wing, there is a very fine room, which is used for the meetings of the municipal body; one of the rooms on the second floor has been devoted to the meetings of the royal academy, their former room having been joined to the public library.

The ancient town-hall, which was built in[Pg 106] the year 1608, was situated at the corner of the rue Thouret and the rue de la Grosse-Horloge, and near the tower of the belfry; the only portion of this building which remains, is that which faces the rue Thouret. This edifice having fallen into ruin, it was decided that a new town-hall should be erected. In 1757, a plan was adopted, and the monument was to be raised at the western extremity of the old market place; but after having laid out one million of francs, on the foundations alone, they became terrified at the enormous sum, which it would require. The municipal administration still possesses the model in relief of the said monument: it was of very curious architecture and may still be seen at the Museum.


This edifice adjoins the Cathedral church. The principal body of the building, which[Pg 107] faces the street, was begun and partly finished in 1461, by the cardinal d'Estouteville; but death overtook this prelate before he had completed the whole. It does not appear that his successor, Robert de Croixmare, continued the works. It was, according to Farin, the cardinal George d'Amboise Ist, who terminated the edifice. The only remarkable portion of the interior of this edifice is that named the gallery of the states. It is decorated with four large paintings by Robert. They represent views of Havre, Dieppe, Rouen and Gaillon, the once celebrated chateau of the archbishops of Rouen, and built by the cardinal d'Amboise Ist, with the savings which he made from his salary, from the profits of his legation, and from the large fines which he levied, with the knowledge of the king, on the rebel towns of Italy.

In 1508, when Lewis XIIth with his queen came to Rouen, he alighted at the ar[Pg 108]chiepiscopal palace. The dauphin Francis of Valois, son of Francis Ist, inhabited it also in 1531.

The modern building which looks on the garden, and which is to the right on entering, was erected at the commencement of the last century. The library, which is appropriated to the chapter of the cathedral, is situated on the first floor.


When we say that the Palais-de-Justice was erected by Lewis XIIth, in 1499, as a court of exchecquer, which that prince had arranged should be held at Rouen, we must not comprehend that part of the building called the salle des Procureurs, or attorneys hall, which dates from 1493, and which was erected (as we have mentioned at the article exchange), as a place of meeting for the merchants of the town. Even at the present time, this hall calls[Pg 109] forth the admiration of the best architects. Its length is one hundred and fifty feet, by fifty in breadth. Its lofty roof is not supported by a single pillar; the ingenuity of the work is here contrasted with its boldness of conception. The only ornaments which decorate the walls of the hall are elegant empty niches, which are detached in relief, and at equal distances. The principal staircase, which leads up to the salle des Procureurs, was erected a few years since, under the superintendence of M. Gregoire. The Conciergerie and prisons are situated under this hall.

Palais de Justice
Palais de Justice

The Palais-de-Justice, properly so called, forms as it were one side of a square, at the northern extremity of the salle des Procureurs. Its facade, which looks towards the south, is two hundred feet in length, and is ornamented with every thing that the architecture of the time possessed of the richest and most delicate. The angular pillars of[Pg 110] the piers are covered with canopied statues and small steeples, which extend from the base to the summit; the numerous ornaments, which surround the windows, those which accompany and surmount the windows of the roof; the leaden balustrade which surrounds the roof, the arcades which form a gallery, and are carried along the whole of the entablature, lastly, the elegant octangular turret which occupies the middle of the facade and separates it into two equal parts, are of the greatest beauty and purity of taste, in spite of a certain mixture in the style, which characterizes the transition from gothic architecture to that of the renaissance, style which already began to be in use. The name of the architect, unknown till recently, is Roger Ango.

At the farther end of the salle des Procureurs is a door, which leads into the ancient Grand Chambre (great Chamber), in[Pg 111] which the court of assizes are now held. This hall may be considered as the finest in the kingdom. The ceiling, which is divided into sculptured compartments, decorated with gilt bronze ornaments, is of oak to which time has given the appearance of ebony. The whole of the flooring was formerly covered with arabesques, according to the custom of the reign of Lewis the XIIth. From this floor, an ancient fire place which existed in the Chambre de Conseil, or Counsel Hall, a curious painting which the antiquarian Millin mentions in his national antiquities and on which witnesses were sworn have all disappeared.

On the exterior, only two parts of this elegant edifice, that which is exposed to the setting sun, and the middle one to the south, have retained their primitive beauty. The latter is now under repair and renovation. At the commencement of the last century, the modern portion of the building which faces the[Pg 112] west, was erected. The front of this building fell to the ground on the 10th of april 1812, and brought down with it the whole ceiling, which was painted by the celebrated Jouvenet, who, having his right hand paralysed, painted with his left, and in a manner worthy of such a painter, the Triumph of Justice.

Considerable embellishments have taken place in the court of the Palais. The massive flight of stone steps, which led to the salle des Procureurs, and which especially hid from view the beautiful angular turret, has been removed. A new staircase has been erected at the middle of the facade, before the door of the prisons, the entrance to which, is at the side. This staircase is composed of a single straight flight, of five metres (fifteen feet) in breadth, and is crowned by a porch in the style of the building. The ancient wall, which closed the court on the side of the rue aux Juifs, has been replaced by a cast iron railing, in the gothic[Pg 113] style. The front of the Palais being thus exposed to view, the aspect of the edifice becomes as imposing as picturesque. Behind the Palais-de-Justice, in the rue Saint-Lô, is a large building, which answers the purpose of a court of appeals, for the cour royale. The offices of the town-hall were established here during the revolution. It was formerly the residence of the first presidents of the parliament of Normandy.


The following inscription, which is engraved on a brass plate, and is perfectly well preserved, is placed above the door at the foot of the staircase.

En lan de lincarnarian nee segour. mil ccc.xx.iiii. et neuf. fu comencé rest berfrop: et Es ans ensuiuas iusques en lan mil. ccc.xx.iiii. et xviii. fu fait et parfait. ou quel temps noble home mess. Guille de Bellen[Pg 114]gues rheunllier chambellen di Roy nostre Sire estoit cappitaine de reste ville. honorable home pourneu et sage Johan de la tuille bailly. et sire Guillaumealorge. Johan mustel. Guille de gaugy. Richart de sommery. Nicolae le roux. Gaultier campion, ronseillers de la Dicteville. et pierres hermes reseueur d'icelle.

Proceeding on, we ascend the tower of the belfry, by a flight of two hundred steps, at the top of which is the bell, with the following inscription:


We perceive by this inscription, that this bell was named Rouvel, and not Rembol, as tradition would have it; but it is better known under the name of the Cloche d'argent (silver bell), although not a grain[Pg 115] of silver entered into the composition of it. It rings every night at nine o'clock. It also rings peals on occasion of any national rejoicings or public calamities. This bell was made in the year 1447; it was then called the horloge du Beffroi. The stone vault, which crosses the street, at the place still called porte Massacre (the murder gate) was erected in 1527. On each side of this arcade, we perceive the dial plates and medallions.

Under the Vault, in the centre, we see sculptures representing a shepherd tending sheep. On each of the sides, are other sheep grazing. To the left, and facing the old market place, we may read the following inscription: Animam suam ponit pro ovibus suis, which indicates sufficiently the allegory of this composition, if we did not also see on the opposite side these other words: Pastor bonus.

Beside the arcade, but nearer to the rue[Pg 116] des Vergetiers, the tower of the Belfry rises. We perceive a platform at the top of the tower, surrounded by an iron railing, from whence is a view of the whole town. Above is a dome, surmounted by a small steeple.


About the middle of the Xth century, Richard Ist, surnamed Sans-Peur, and third duke of Normandy, caused a palace to be erected on the Seine, which consisted of a large tower and served at the same time as a defence to the town. It was also the state prison. Henry Ist added several buildings. Several fortifications had been previously erected, the former being then called the Vielle-Tour (old Tower). This tower was destroyed by Philip-Augustus; it was there, according to the greater number of historians, that in 1204 the cruel John-Sans-[Pg 117]Terre caused his nephew, Arthur of Britanny, to be confined, and murdered him with his own hand. The present halles (covered markets) occupy the greater portion of the site formerly occupied by the palace and the Vieille-Tour, which has left its name to the two markets we are presently going to speak of.

Those vast warehouses for different manufactures, called halles (or marts), were erected in the second half of the XIIIth century, about the time when Lewis IXth fixed the fifth enclosure of the town of Rouen. These marts are considered the most important in France. The most considerable portion, and also the most ancient of the whole building, is set apart for the sale of linen cloths. Its length is two hundred and seventy two feet, by fifty in breadth. The roof is supported by two rows of stone pillars. The two other marts, one for coton stuffs and the other for worsted stuffs and cloth, are each two[Pg 118] hundred feet in length. These marts were open till about the year 1493, at which time they were enclosed, to prevent vagabonds taking shelter in them. The linen mart separates the market which is held on this place in to two unequal portions. The larger occupies the north side, and is called the place de la Haute-Vieille-Tour; it is reserved for the sale of old linen, old utensils and particularly for the sale of crockery and glass ware. The second occupies the south side, and is called the Basse-Vieille-Tour, because it is considerably lower than the other portion. Several kinds of eatables are sold here, especially fish.

There formerly existed a very beautiful fountain in the middle of the higher place, which was composed of a triangular pyramid, surmounted by a statue of Alexander; but not the least vestige of it remains. The present fountain is supplied with water from the Gaalor spring.[Pg 119]

Near the linen-mart, we observe a remarkable edifice, which projects from the rest of the building, called the monument of Saint-Romain. This structure however does not form part of the marts, to which it has not the least resemblance. Neither did it form apart, of the palace of the ancient dukes of Normandy, as some persons still believe. The style of its architecture sufficiently indicates the time of its erection, namely 1542. The corinthian order of architecture appears in the whole height of the building. It was on the first floor that the celebrated old ceremony, called the levée de la Fierte, for the delivrance of a prisoner, took place every year.[18]

In the neighbourhood of the linen and[Pg 120] cotton marts, is the corn mart; it is three hundred feet in length, its breadth being in proportion. It is open three days in the week: mondays, wednesdays and fridays: the two others marts are open only on fridays.


Untill the year 1493, the merchants of Rouen had no place of meeting alloted to transact their commercial affairs. They met however, in the cathedral but, without authorisation. The municipal authorities, wishing to put a stop to this state of things, made an arrangement with the bailiff of Rouen, who issued a decree: «That there should be erected at the lower end of the New-Market place, and at the expense of the town, a large stone building, and on the second floor of this edifice, a large hall was to be reserved for the use of the merchants of the town, those of other nations[Pg 121] also having the same right, to meet and transact their affairs; which hall is to be named, for the future, the common town hall.»

The stone building here spoken of, is that vast wing, which closes the court of the Palais-de-Justice to the west; and the common town hall is that known under the name of Salle des Procureurs or des Pas-Perdus.

About the year 1664, the merchants company obtained a portion of ground on the quay, where they met untill 1827. Since then, that portion of ground has been given up to enlarge the quay. The meridian which ornamented this ancient exchange, is now placed in the garden of the town hall. Since the straightening of the quay, the uncovered exchange has been placed before the Consuls—(or covered exchange) so that the one might communicate with the other: it occupies the portion of ground, which is situated between the rue Nationale and the[Pg 122] rue des Iroquois, and is surrounded by an iron railing.



It is in the gallery on the ground floor, that the merchants meet, when the rainy weather does not permit their meeting in the uncovered exchange: This was formerly the Juridiction consulaire; so its destination has not been changed since the tribunal of commerce is established here. In the middle of the gallery on the ground floor, and to the right on entering from the quay, we remark a handsome staircase, which is formed by a double flight of steps, from the first landing. Before the revolution, the statue of Louis XVth was placed here.

This staircase leads up to the audience hall of the chamber of commerce, which is the most remarkable of the three rooms[Pg 123] which compose the first floor of the building. It is ornamented, with a fine picture of Christ by Van Dyck. In one of the neighbouring rooms are two paintings of large dimensions, by Lemonnier, a native of Rouen. One of these paintings represents the audience given by Louis XVIth to the Chamber of commerce of Rouen, on the 28th june 1786, in the great hall of the archbishop's palace, called the Salle des États. All the figures are of natural size, and are striking likenesses. The subject of the other painting is allegorical.

There are three different entrances to this edifice, one from the rue Nationale, another from the rue des Charrettes and a third from the Quay.


The edifice containing the ancient custom-house being a great deal too small and incon[Pg 124]venient for that purpose, it became indispensable to erect another building. For this object, the municipal administration opened a public competition on the 14th october 1833, for the erection of another edifice. In the month of may 1834, the preference was given to the plan of Mr Ed. Isabelle, a distinguished architect in Paris, who was charged with putting his plan into execution. The excavations were commenced on the 17th february 1835, in the presence of the mayor, the municipal council, etc., and the building was terminated in 1838.

The architectural appearance of this edifice reminds us a little of the severe style of the florentine architecture; the large doorway is ornamented with the attributes of commerce, as likewise the coping of the edifice; two bas-reliefs, of eight and a half feet high, and sculptured on stone by David, representing the symbols of navigation[Pg 125] and commerce, decorate the middle of the facade on the first floor. This building is situated on the Havre quay, a little farther on than the old one. It has three entrances: the principal, on the quay, leads into a large rectangular court, which is covered with a cupola of cast-iron; opposite to the entrance of this court, is placed against the wall the fine bas-relief, which ornamented the front of the old custom-house, a very handsome piece of workmanship by Coustou, a statuary of the XVIIIth century; it represents Mercury with the different attributes of commerce. Two other entrances from the quay lead to the offices and dwellings of some higher persons attached to the customs. The lateral entrances serve as outlets to merchandise after having been searched or examined in the covered court.

The bonded and examining warehouses are on the ground floor, as likewise the offices of the comptroller, sub-comptroller[Pg 126] and searchers; the entresole is destined for other offices; the first floor is occupied with the dwelling and offices of the director; and lastly, the second story contains the dwelling of the principal receiver and the residing comptroller.

The entrepôt réel, is situated, behind the new custom-house; this warehouse is used for warehousing merchandise after the duties, have been paid. The front of this edifice which is situated in the rue des Charrettes, was erected in 1826.


Rue de Sotteville, suburb of Saint-Sever.

For a long time the municipal council had occupied themselves with the idea of endowing the town with an establishment of this description, the want of which was imperiously felt; numerous plans were presented and discussed; at last, after a thorough[Pg 127] examination, the town obtained, by royal ordinance of the 18th august 1833, the authorisation to establish a public and common slaughterhouse, with apparatus for melting the tallow, scalding house and tripe house, on the fine property, which is situated in the rue de Sotteville, at the corner of the avenue de Grammont, bought for that purpose from Mr Burel.

A public competition was opened at the end of the year 1838 for the plans of this establishment, and the prize was decreed, on the 20th march 1834, to Mr Etienne-Théodore Dommey, an architect from Paris.

The first stone of this establishment was laid by Mr Hy Barbet, the mayor of Rouen, on the 28th july 1835, in the presence of the civil and military authorities and a large number of spectators.

This important establishment, which was built within the period of two years, and which is now completed, is one of the finest[Pg 128] of this description. The expences, including the purchase of the ground, amounted to the sum of 970,000 francs, and the annual product is estimated about 80,000 francs.

The principal entrance is from the rue de Sotteville, a handsome gateway between two gate houses gives a view of the whole building. The total superficies of the buildings is of seven thousand three hundred and thirty seven metres, or about the same number of yards.

Spacious streets and avenues planted with trees permit of a free access to all parts of the establishment. It is well supplied with water, and has a canal to carry off the dirty water of the establishment, which allows its being kept very clean.

To visit the slaughterhouse, apply to the secretary general's office at the town hall.[Pg 129]


Rue du Grand-Maulevrier.

The entrance court, is almost square, and surrounded on the four sides by buildings of a regular architecture. This portion formed the ancient college of the Jesuits. At a short distance to the north, and on a raised portion of ground, stands a large building formerly called the Joyeuse seminary, from the name of its founder, the cardinal de Joyeuse. These two establishments have now been united. That part, named Joyeuse, is exclusively reserved for the youngest children: they have their separate play ground, which is formed of the terraces of the garden. The courts, which are alloted to the other classes, are situated lower than the former. The college contains about two hundred boarders and five hundred day scholars.[Pg 130]

The college church particularly deserves to be mentioned. Its porch is situated in the rue Bourg-L'abbé; we remark on the right of the entrance a statue of Charlemagne, which we recognise by the globe he holds in his hand; on the left, is that of Saint-Louis. The erection of this church was commenced in 1614. It was formerly intended to be attached to the college of the Jesuits. Marie de Medicis laid the first stone of this church, which was only finished in 1704, and dedicated on the 21st of december of the same year. Several paintings decorate the interior, which is grand and majestic. The public are admitted into this church during the hours of divine service.

The municipal administration has caused a handsome marble mausoleum to be erected to the memory of the cardinal de Joyeuse, the founder of the seminary, in one of the lateral chapels to the left on entering.

[Pg 131]



Rue de Lecat, at the extremity of the rue de Crosne.

The establishment of vast hospitals is very ancient in Rouen. The one of which I am speaking was formerly situated near the cathedral, between the Calende square and the rue de la Madeleine. The house which is opposite the southern porch of Notre-Dame, is a part of the remains of that hospital. In 1758, it was transferred to the new building, which had been erected in 1749, on the place called the Lieu-de-Santé, other buildings having been afterwards added.

The Hôtel-Dieu is exclusively reser[Pg 132]ved for the reception of the inhabitants of the town, excepting cases of urgency, which after having been treated during six months, are dismissed as incurable, and are admitted into the Hospice-Général, if they have dwelt during ten years in the town. More than four thousand persons are admitted into this hospital annually. About two thirds of the sick are under the care of the physicians, the remainder under that of the surgeons of the establishment. Different rooms are reserved for different maladies. One of these is alloted to soldiers; another, which is known under the name of Gésine, is reserved for lying in women. There is also a separate room for Children under five years of age, and several rooms for boarders.

There are in all fifteen rooms, containing together more than six hundred beds, the half of which are of iron.

The medical practice is divided into two[Pg 133] distincts parts; that of physicians, that of surgeons. Their visits are made regularly twice in the day.

The Hotel-Dieu, is at the western extremity of the rue de Crosne-hors-Ville, which is planted with trees, and offers a fine avenue. The buildings which form the hospital (properly so called), are those which are situated opposite the entrance gate which gives admittance to the vast court of the hospital.

The two hospitals are under the same superintendance which is renewed by one fifth, every year. This commission acquires each day a greater right to public gratitude and especially to that of the poor.


This is situated in the lower part of the town, to the south-east, and occupies a vast portion of ground adjoining[Pg 134] the boulevard Martainville. Gratitude causes us here to mention the name of Claude Groulard, first president of the parliament of Rouen, in 1602. From that date the establishment of an hospital, really took place for the reception of the poor sick inhabitants. Previously, there existed only a subsidy, for the relief of the poor. After Groulard, a counsellor of parliament, named Damiens, wishing to uphold more effectually the existence of the hospital; quitted his house and situation, on purpose to live within and in this way be nearer to watch over the wants of the poor.

The Hospice-Général has been successively enlarged at different periods. Lately, they have made a considerable purchase of land, and erected vast buildings. Its population is of about two thousand individuals. Although under the same administrative commission as the Hôtel-Dieu, it has its particular director, who acts under[Pg 135] the superintendance of the commission, which commission is subject to the public administration.

The care of foundlings is one of the principal attributes of the Hospice-Général. Orphans, who are found without means of existence, are brought up in the same way as those who are abandoned; excepting, that they are maintained at the expence of the communes to which they belong; while at the same time the others are chargeable to the departement; excepting however the assistence of the communes. The establishment provides the baby linen and clothing for the use of the foundlings; it likewise pays all the expenses of feeding and education of these children, as long as they remain in the hospital. When they are sent into the country, the amount of board, and nurses charges, till they attain the age of twelve years, is paid out of the funds of the departement. The Hospice-[Pg 136]Général, receives each year on an average about five or six hundred foundlings. A tour is always ready at one of the entrances to receive them. Once a week, two coaches filled with these unfortunate little creatures, are sent off one into the country called the pays de Bray, the other to that called the Roumois, where they are left with agents who are charged to leave them with the nurses. In each of those communes, doctors are employed by the administrative commission to visit them in case of sickness.

We perceive, the front of the church of the hospital, from the boulevard Martainville. In 1785, the ancient chapel belonging to this hospital being found too small to contain the population, it became necessary to erect the present for that purpose. This church was dedicated on the 25th march 1790. The architecture has been much criticised. Perhaps more harmony on the whole might have been desirable; but[Pg 137] nevertheless, the different parts of it are handsome, and the edifice, such as it is, still does honour to its author, the late Mr Vauquelin.

The principal entrance to this hospital is situated in the rue Bourgerue.


Situated in the rue Saint-Julien, suburb of Saint-Sever.

The fréres de Saint-Yon, having been invited, in 1705, to come and establish themselves in Rouen, by the archbishop Nicolas Colbert and the first president Nicolas Camus de Pont-Carré, they accordingly purchased the portion of ground, which bears their name, in 1708. They erected the church themselves without the assistance of an architect, even acting as masons and workmen. The first stone was laid on the 7th june 1728. This edifice is[Pg 138] of remarkable execution. In the exterior, its elevation is about ninety six feet including a lantern of about thirty, which stands above the transept of the edifice. In the interior, the length is one hundred and twenty five feet and the breadth twenty five feet. On the 16th of july 1734, the Frères de Saint-Yon, carried with great pomp, to their Church, the remains of their founder, the venerable Lasalle, who died in 1719, and was buried in the church of Saint-Sever. Independently of poor children, who were instructed by the monks according to their condition, they likewise received incorrigible children, who were sent by their parents to be taken care of; they also received a limited number of insane persons, thirty were habitually kept here at the expence of their families.

From the time when the Frères de Saint-Yon, as also all other religious communities, were suppressed, untill 1820, the[Pg 139] house of Saint-Yon, became successivly a revolutionary prison, a barrack, a grenier d'abondance, or corn store house, a house of detention for spanish prisoners, an hospital for wounded soldiers in 1814, and a poor house. This last establishment was one of the most considerable of this description; but, it was suppressed in 1820, by royal ordonance.

Already in the preceding year, the Conseil général of the departement of the Seine-Inferieure had taken into consideration the deplorable state, to which the unfortunate insane were reduced, and they resolved to alleviate their wretched condition. It had been represented to them that these unfortunate people could not receive in the hospitals of Rouen, Havre or Dieppe, where there were great numbers of them shut up, the great attention, which their position required, or not even those which humanity demanded.[Pg 140]

The conseil général on a proposition from Mr Malouet, then prefect of the departement, voted the establishment of a special asylum for the insane belonging to the departement. The buildings and dependencies of the ancient monastery of Saint-Yon were designated as being fit for that purpose. The situation of the place at the extremity of the suburb, and in a healthy situation, and the numerous plantations which it would be easy to make in the large gardens which surround the establishment, appeared as many favourable circumstances, to fix the choice of the administration.

Therefore, in 1821, they entered into a contract for the building of five different courts for the treatement of insane persons.

On the 25th August 1822, on the feast of Saint-Louis, the prefect Mr de Vanssay laid the first stone of the establishement.

From that time the works were carried on with activity. Already in July 1825, fifty[Pg 141] seven patients had been admitted. This asylum contains at this time, 390 boarders and 150 poors at the charge of the departement.

It occupies a superficies of nine or ten hectares. The inmates are taken care of by the sisters of Saint-Joseph of Cluny.

The admirable order which reigns in the establishment, the internal management to which the insane are subjected, have already attracted the attention of foreign medical men, who are charged with the treatement of the same malady in the hospitals of their own countries. It may be said that this asylum has, for several years served as a model to all the others.


There are two principal prisons in Rouen: the house of correction, and the maison de[Pg 142] justice, in the court of the Palais-de-Justice. The first, commonly called Bicêtre, contains the debtors, prisoners accused but not tried, and those sentenced to imprisonment under twelve months; in the second those already convicted for crimes are confined. Those sentenced to more than twelve months are sent to the central depôt at Gaillon, ten leagues distant from Rouen.

According to a statement made by Mr Vingtrinier, the principal physician of the prisons, the average of the population of the house of correction is about three hundred; that of the maison de justice about ninety; the mortality about one in fifty nine, in the first, and one in sixty eight, in the second.


There are three different barracks in Rouen: the first is situated near the quai[Pg 143] aux Meules at Saint-Sever, and contains about one thousand men. The second on the Champ-de-Mars, and contains about seven hundred and fifty men. The third is the caserne Bonne-Nouvelle, situated in the suburb of Saint-Sever. Most people pass the ancient priory of Bonne-Nouvelle (so named by Queen Matilda, on receiving the news of the victory of Hastings), and see only a barrack. To the monks who formerly inhabited this ancient priory, cuirassiers, dragoons and foot soldiers have succeeded.

The barracks of Bonne-Nouvelle will contain about three hundred cavalry or about six hundred infantry.[Pg 144]



Place de la Pucelle.

After the cathedral and Saint-Ouen, this town possesses no other monument which excites more the curiosity of french or English antiquarians. The first person who described the famous bas-reliefs of the Camp du Drap-d'Or, which ornament the exterior of the ancient gallery of the edifice, is dom Montfaucon in the 4th volume of his Monuments of the french Monarchy. He only did it, on the indications given by the abbé Noel, who gave the first explanations of these sculptures. After Montfaucon came Dr Ducarel, who has only copied the learned benedictine. Dibdin, the British an[Pg 145]tiquarian, has also paid his tribute of admiration to the hotel du Bourgtheroulde, in his Bibliographical, antiquarian and picturesque tour through France. Cotman and Dawson Turner, his countrymen, have given a place to this edifice in their respective publications. M. de Jolimont, in his most remarquable monuments in the town of Rouen devotes an article and two engravings to this edifice. MM. Nodier, Taylor and de Cailleux have enriched their picturesque and romantic tour, with a collection of lithographic engravings representing the celebrated interview between Francis Ist and Henry VIIIth, that took place in 1520 in a field situated between Guines and Ardres in Picardy. Mr A. Le Prevost has also written learned memoirs on the hotel du Bourgtheroulde. He has fixed the date of the building (about the end of the XVth century), and revealed the name of the founder (Guillaume-le-Roux), and facilitated the numerous des[Pg 146]criptions which have been made of it. The most complete, is that given by M. Delaquérière, in his work entitled: Historical description of the houses of Rouen.

In the short description that we give of this remarkable building, we must notice the bas-reliefs, six in number, which adorn the elegant hexagonal tower, in the inner court and represent pastoral scenes. We must also add that interpreters make a great mistake when they inform strangers that the celebrated maid of Orleans (burnt in 1431) was judged and imprisoned in this building.


Rue Saint-Amand.


The pious monks who caused this simple and touching inscription to be engraven over the gate of their monastery, never supposed that one day it would offer the most strange[Pg 147] of solecisms. Enter this house and you will have great difficulty in believing that you visit one of the most celebrated abbeys in Rouen.

This abbey, which was founded and endowed by the pious lady Aimeline, and enriched by the liberalities of Robert-the-Magnificent, this once famous monastery, which was honoured by the protection of kings, is now a confused sort of inclosure and inhabited by workmen of different kinds. Dirty courts and buildings in ruin have been for a long time the only remains of the interior of Saint-Amand. Some parts nevertheless have escaped destruction. Such is a very curious building, which had been erected about the end of the XVIth century during the life of the abbot Thomasse Daniel. This edifice is extremely remarkable from the sculptures which cover the whole front, and chiefly represent pointed windows. On the first floor, we find a room with two fire[Pg 148] places, on one we may still distinguish in spite of mutilation, the armorial bearings of the Daniel family. The wainscot is even more curious than the sculptures which ornament the front of the house. At one of the corners of this building there is a small turret, of stone, its form is polygonal; its ornaments are rich and in very good taste: it is a fine specimen of the productions of the renaissance.

The building, with a front of the Ionic order, which is separated from the other by the turret of which we have just spoken, contains a room, which a few years ago, excited the curiosity of connoisseurs. The fire place was surmounted by an oaken wainscot, which represented, in niches separated by pilasters, four figures, those of the virgin, the angel Gabriel, Saint-Margaret and Saint-Magdalen.[Pg 149]


Opposite the front of the Cathedral.

This was the ancient Palace of the Court des Aides. The building is principally composed of hewn stone: it was built about the year 1509. Although this edifice has suffered numerous degradations, it still merits the attention of connoisseurs. The building has two separate fronts: the principal one opposite the cathedral, the other in the rue du Petit-Salut. The decorations are the same on both.

In 1705, the Cour des Aides was united to the Cour des Comptes, under the name Cour de Comptes, Aides et Finances de Rouen. The present edifice has nevertheless always retained the name of Bureau des Finances.[Pg 150]


Ancient town hall, rue de la Grosse-Horloge and rue Thouret.

Sculptured wooden houses, Grande-Rue, no 115 and 129.

House, rue aux Juifs, no 47 and 49.

House, rue Percière, no 11.

House, rue Bouvreuil, no 4.

House, rue Etoupée, no 4.

Houses, rue des Carmes, no 69 to 77.

House, rue Caquerel, no 13.

House, rue Damiette, no 29.

Houses, rue Eau-de-Robec, no 186, 221, 223.

Houses, rue Malpalu, no 90 and 92.

Houses, rue du Change, no 2 to 8.

Houses, rue du Bac, no 28 and 30.

House, rue des Cordeliers, no 45.

Houses which are remarkable as having[Pg 151] been those in which the following celebrated men were born.

House in the rue de la Pie, no 4, where in 1606 the great Corneille was born.

House in the rue des Bons-Enfants, no 132-134, where Fontenelle, was born on the 11th february 1657.

House in the rue aux Ours, no 61. An inscription placed on this house reminds us, that it was here, that A. Boieldieu, the celebrated composer, was born.

House rue aux Juifs, no 9. Here Jean Jouvenet, the celebrated painter, was born on the 21st August, 1647.

To these celebrated names we must add the following of men equally natives of Rouen: Thomas Corneille (the brother of Peter), Lémery, Basnage, Samuel Bochart, the fathers Berruyer, Brumoy, Daniel, Sanadon, the painters Restout, Letellier, Sacquepée, Colombel, Lemonnier, Gericault, mademoiselle Champmeslé, madame[Pg 152] Du Boccage, Armand Carrel, Edward Adam, Dulong. Rouen is the birth-place of many other distinguished men.



This bridge was opened to the public, in 1829. It is about one hundred and fifty yards higher up than the bridge of boats, which was formerly almost opposite the rue du Bac[19]. We may almost say that it is formed of two separate bridges, of which the two ends join each other on the western[Pg 153] extremity of the Ile Lacroix. Each part of the bridge is composed of three arches. The span of the middle arch is of thirty one mètres (93 feet french); the lateral arches, are of twenty six mètres (78 feet); the whole length of the bridge is two hundred and sixty six mètres (798 feet). In the centre of the platform on the bridge, is placed the bronze statue of Pierre Corneille, on a pedestal of white Carrara marble, which rests on a base of granite.

This statue is twelve feet high, and weighs 4540 kilogrammes (9274 pounds de marc). It was cast by Mr Honoré Gonon, at Paris, after the model by Mr David. The pedestal is by Mr Grégoire, the civil architect of the Seine-Inférieure. The height of the monument is twenty six feet. The first stone was laid by the king, on the 10th september 1833. The statue was solemnly inaugurated, on the 19 october 1834. On one side of the pedestal, we distinguish the following inscription:[Pg 154]


This statue was erected by means of a subscription, opened by the Society of Emulation of Rouen. It is to this society that we owe the first idea of this national monument.

A medal was struck for the occasion, and represents on one side the head of Pierre Cornellie, with the following inscription:

Pierre Corneille, born at Rouen the 6th june 1606, died at Paris on the 1st october 1684.

And on the reverse, the statue, with this inscription:

Statue of bronze, erected by subscription to Pierre Corneille in his native town, through the exertions of the Society of Emulation of Rouen, in 1834.

[Pg 155]


The numerous commercial trading vessels, which come up the Seine, were formerly obliged to wait several days, before they could get along side the quay to discharge. It became essential to enlarge the port, for which reason the stone bridge, at the entrance to the town, was built; but this arrangement rendered another bridge indispensable; and in 1828, the town council consulted on the possibility of removing the bridge of boats farther down; but the bad state it was in, and the enormous sum it cost to keep it in repair, and the length of time it took to open it for the passage of vessels, at once caused them to give up all idea of this old machine, formerly looked upon us a wonder; but, which did not now answer the purpose.

On the 8th of june 1834, a royal ordinance was issued, approving the under[Pg 156]taking. At last MM. Seguin brothers, civil engineers, and Pierre Colin, undertaker of public works, were, on the 16th october 1834, declared the approved contractors for the erection of the bridge; at the same time granting to them the receipts of the tolls for a period of 99 years, the bridge to be terminated at the latest, by the 1st of january 1837. And it was entirely completed by the 1st september 1836 (the very day the bridge of boats was suppressed). At the expiration of the 99 years, the bridge will become the property of the government. Its breadth is seven metres thirty centimetres, its length 197 metres, and the whole expense has amounted to 750,000 fr. On the left of the bridge is situated a guard house, and on the right Brune's house, erected by the city as a reward for courage and devotedness on many occasions.

[Pg 157]



The source of the Seine is to be found near the hamlet of Envergeraux, and about two leagues and half from the village of Saint-Seine, in Burgundy. After a course of more than 200 leagues from east to west, it falls into the Ocean, between Havre and Honfleur[20].

The depth of the Seine at Rouen allows this town to be classed amongst the principal ports of France. They calculate at from[Pg 158] 2000 to 2500 the number of vessels of all sizes, which annually come this port.


This rivulet has its source near the village of Fontaine-sous-Préaux; about two leagues from Rouen, runs through five communes, and enters Rouen by the suburb Saint-Hilaire; passing through the town, it falls into the Seine, near the stone bridge.


The Aubette has its source at Saint-Aubin, a small village near Rouen. This rivulet runs through Saint-Léger-du-bourg-Denis, Darnétal, enters Rouen by the suburb Martainville, and falls into the Seine, at the entrance to the Cours-Dauphin, near the porte Guillaume-Lion. These two rivers are specially useful for mills and dying establishments.[Pg 159]


If the etymology of the name Renelle is doubtful, the utility of the stream at least is not so. It supplies numerous tanneries, of which there are still a great many in the street which bears its name. This sort of industry is very ancient in Rouen, and has never been established in any other part of the town. On the 22nd of march 1560, the parliament issued an act, ordering all the tanners to remove their establishments to the Eau-de-Robec; but, they said that they required clear water to carry on their trade, and therefore, were allowed, by order of the king, to remain on the Renelle. This rivulet comes from the Gaalor spring, and flows from the fountain of the Bailliage, almost in a straight line to the Seine, into which it falls.

[Pg 160]


The more churches there were in a town, there should be as many public fountains. Under the ancient law, a tub was placed at the entrance of the temples, in which the priests washed their hands and feet; under the new, and in imitation, fountains were placed near the churches, where the christians, before entering, washed their face and hands. This remark was applicable especially, in Rouen, before the revolution, where the number of churches and fountains was quite equal. There are not now thirty seven parochial churches; but we can still count thirty six public fountains, not including those in many private houses.

Of all these fountains, only seven merit[Pg 161] particular attention, from their architectural and historical character. They are the fountains of the Croix-de-Pierre, the Crosse, the Grosse-Horloge, the Vieux-Marché, the Pucelle, Saint-Maclou, and Lisieux.


Carrefour Saint-Vivien.

There formerly existed, not far from the fountain known at present under the name of the Croix-de-Pierre (stone cross), a cross, which had been raised through the piety of the inhabitants; but, we now can find no authentic document of the period of its being erected; all we know is that it had been rebuilt in the year 1628.

This fountain is composed of three partitions in the form of a pyramid, and is ornamented with some statues; its appearance is exceedingly fine. One may still form an idea of the beauty of its architecture, in spite of[Pg 162] its ruinous condition, and even the repairs it has undergone.


At the corner of the streets des Carmes, and de l'Hopital.

This is a small monument in the gothic style of the end of the XVth century. The sculptures which decorate it, are remarkable for their fineness and delicacy. It is surmounted by a royal crown. Its name comes from its being situated at the corner of the house, which had for sign the crozier belonging to the monks of Notre-Dame de l'Ile-Dieu.

Some etymologists see in the word Crosse, an alteration of the english word cross. In the year 1815, this fountain was completely renewed.


At the corner of the streets des Vergetiers, and the Grande-Rue.[Pg 163]


On the old market place.

A modern square building, of the doric order. It was erected by Mr Bouet, an architect of Rouen.


Strangers will be repaid for their trouble in going to see these fountains. The first, is situated at the corner of the church of Saint-Maclou; there remain still two figures of children, an elegant creation of Jean Goujon. We mention the second, the fountain of the Pucelle, on the place of the same name, on account of the historical recollections, which are attached to it. It is a heavy composition of Paul Slodtz. Its want of style causes us to regret the beautiful triangular fountain, which was erected after the execution, in this[Pg 164] square; of the heroine of Vaucouleurs, a monument which instead of destroying, they should have tried to preserve.


Rue de la Savonnerie.

This fountain is by far the most remarkable of the whole. It is thus named on account of its being erected against a house, which belonged to the bishop of Lisieux, who lodged in it when he came to Rouen. At the top of the pyramid, we may remark Apollo, dressed in a most extraordinary manner, and represented playing on the harp. Under the god of the poets, we distinguish the horse Pegasus. Immediately beneath, a figure with three heads is represented, of which the manuscripts make a philosophy[21]. The nine muses are distributed[Pg 165] in the rest of the masonry, under the figure with three heads, which might almost be that of a Hecate. Rocks, trees, turf and sheep, form the accompaniements of this Mount-Parnassus.

The water ran formerly from two brass figures of Salamanders, which indicated the date of the time of Francis the first. Mutilated as it is, this monument is still very curious, and merits to be visited. Its erection dates from the year 1518.


Rouen has also its mineral waters, which, even in the neighbouring towns, have a sort of reputation, I will point out three of the principal sources, after Lepecq de la Clôture: The first, to the east, is known under the name of la Marèquerie, to which we arrive by the rue Martainville; the second,[Pg 166] to the south east, named de Saint-Paul; the third is situated at Déville, in the neighbourhood of Rouen. The learned doctor, on whose authority I speak, assures us that sick people to whom he ordered the water of the last named spring, were cured by the use of it. He also adds, that this spring might become very valuable to the inhabitants of the western quarter of the town. Nevertheless, it has never been much known, and even at the present day very few people are acquainted with its existence.



The name of the first of these two places points out to us that it is the most ancient in[Pg 167] Rouen; it is also the most considerable. It existed in the XIth century, and was at that period, situated in the suburb. Formerly, it covered a much larger space of ground than at present; since, in the XVIth century, it occupied the whole of the ground contained between the rue du Vieux-Palais, the church of Saint-Eloi and Saint-Michael; the last mentioned church has disappeared within the last few-years, and is replaced by a handsome building, which is named the Hôtel Saint-Michel. About the commencement of the XVIth century, the houses in the neighbourhood of the church of Saint-Eloi and the rue du Vieux-Palais, were erected; one of them still remains, it is the Hôtel da Bourgtheroulde, which I have already described. The old market was thus divided, into two unequal parts. The spot where the innocent Joan of Arc was burnt in 1431, retains the name of place de la Pucelle. It is also called place du Marché-aux-Veaux, on account of its[Pg 168] former destination. It is then on the old market place, that the French heroine was sacrificed to the superstition of that age.


Fruit, eggs, cream cheeses, or small Neufchâtel cheeses: such are the supplies to be found in this market. About fifty years ago, a gilt leaden statue, representing Louis XVth in his youth, and covered with the royal mantle, was to be seen. This monument has been replaced by the present obelisk, which furnishes an abundant supply of water to the inhabitants of this quarter.


Before 1429, this place served as a poultry and grass market. In 1537, it was paved and enclosed with a low wall. In 1641, two stone Crosses, still visible in some ancient engravings, were placed at the two corners.[Pg 169] In the time of Pommeraye, the parvis Notre-Dame, was the place on which bonfires were lighted. At present it is the flower and seed market, regularly held on the sundays and fridays.


It was formerly called Port-Morant, port des navires, or port de Notre-Dame, because, before the first dukes enclosed the Seine within certain limits, the vessels discharged their cargoes at this place. The house which is exactly opposite the porch of the church and on which we distinguish a dial, is the remains of the old Hôtel-Dieu.


In the year 949, Otho, emperor of Germany, Louis IVth, king of France, and Arnold, count of Flanders, laid siege to the town of Rouen. The duke Richard Ist, surnamed Sans-Peur, made a sortie by the[Pg 170] porte Beauvoisine, and fell on the enemies of which he made a great slaughter. This action took place partly on the site of the present Rouge-Mare (red-pool), from the blood with which it was covered.

In 1450, the Rouge-Mare became the horse market, which has, since the end of the last century, been transferred to the Boulingrin. The Rouge-Mare is now the butter market.


The English have returned to the French that which they had borrowed of them. Formerly, people did not go to walk on the boulevard, but on the boule-verd, from which the english have made bowling-green, a literal translation. From this word, the french derive their Boulingrin.

This place is situated at the junction of the rampes Beauvoisine and Saint-Hilaire; it is a vast square surrounded by a ma[Pg 171]gnificent double row of horse chestnut trees. Since the horse market has been transferred to it, people commonly call it the new Rouge-Mare.




At the Town Hall.

The opening of this library took place on the 4th july 1809. Since then, the inhabitants and strangers are admited into this establishment every day, (except Sundays, thursdays and during the vacations), from eleven till four, and from 6 till 9 o'clock in the evening. The present collection, consists[Pg 172] of about thirty five thousand volumes. There are above eleven hundred manuscripts. Several of them are very curious and rare, from their date, their illuminations, or their subjects. Amongst the first, although not the most ancient, I will mention the famous Gradual by Daniel d'Aubonne, who died in the year 1714. It measures two feet seven inches in length by one foot ten inches in breadth and weighs seventy three pounds. It is ornamented with brass plates; on each side of the binding, we may observe the armorial bearings of the abbey of Saint-Ouen, which are also of brass. This manuscript contains about two hundred vignettes, initials of all sizes, and also a great number of gilt letters. One cannot admire too much the patience of the author, who passed thirty years, it is said, on this immense undertaking. The library contains also other manuscripts, infinitely more precious, amongst which are several of the XIth, IXth, and even[Pg 173] of the VIIth and VIIIth centuries. The learned will distinguish amongst the most important of the manuscripts, the curious missal of archbishop Robert, which was brought from England about the year 1050, with the benedictionary, which was used at the coronation of the Anglo-Saxon Kings. These two manuscripts are ornamented with magnificent miniatures in the greek style of the empire. The books printed before the year 1500 amount to three hundred and twenty eight, of which two hundred and forty bear dates; the most ancient is of 1468.

The library contains also collections of great value and editions which have become very rare. The government has enriched it with several very valuable works. The most important gift that has yet been made to the library, is that which was sent, by the commission of records in England, of the collection of historical documents, which[Pg 174] they have published. This magnificent gift, which will be followed by several others, is composed of 71 vols. folio, and 168 vols. 8 vo.

The Leber's magnificent collection of books and manuscripts, bought last year by the city, will shortly be added to the public library.

The present keeper is M.A. Pottier.


At the Town Hall.

The opening of the picture gallery took place on the same day (4th july 1809), as that of the library. The greater part of the paintings have been collected in the departement. The government has also assisted in enriching it, by giving several paintings of different schools, the municipal council by voting different acquisitions, and some private persons, by voluntary gifts. This interesting collection is composed of about three hundred paintings, amongst which[Pg 175] we remark a Virgin in the midst of Angels, called the Virgin of Saint-Sixte, by Raphael, an admirable copy, if not a second original of the picture known under the same name in the gallery of Dresden; also three small paintings, placed next to each other, and which are incontestably by that great painter and in his best style; the Van Eyck representing the Virgin in the midst of young girls; a mass during the league, a painting which is curious on account of the subject and great personnages which it represents; a Conversion of saint Matthew, by Valentin; a saint Francis in prayer, by Hannibal Carrache; an Ecce Homo and a copy of the Holy family, by Mignard; a death of saint Francis, by Jouvenet; several marines, by Vernet; a descent from the Cross, by Lahire; the plague of Milan, by Lemonnier, of Rouen; and a great many others, which it would require too much room to mention here. At the ex[Pg 176]tremity of the entrance gallery, we remark a statue of baked clay by Caffiery[22], representing Pierre Corneille. Several marble statues and plaster castes of the finest ancient statues, are placed in the room at the extremity of this gallery. The statues which we observe in the lobby are those of general Bonchamps, by David, and opposite, that of Achilles, by Bougron. The latter belongs to the academy, which possesses also the magnificent painting by Mr Court, representing Corneille complimented in the theatre by the great Condé and the fine portrait of Boieldieu, by Mr Boullenger de Boisfremont. These two paintings are placed in the hall of the academy, adjoining that of the library and picture gallery; strangers are permitted to see them.[Pg 177]

During the month of July, there is an exhibition of paintings, principally by artists of Rouen.

The establishment is open to the public on sundays and thursdays, and every day to painters and strangers, from ten till four o'clock.

The present keeper is M.H. Bellangé.


At Saint-Mary's, rue Poussin.

This museum, which was established in 1833, after a proposition of Mr Dupont-Delporte, prefect, by the general council of the departement, was opened to the public in 1834. It occupies two of the galleries of the cloister of the ancient convent of Saint-Mary. In the first gallery are the gallic, roman and gallo-roman antiquities, as also those of the middle ages; in the second, those of the period, termed the renaissance.[Pg 178] This chronological order has been preserved as much as possible. The searches which have taken place in different parts of the departement, and especially in the roman theatre at Lillebonne, have produced the greater number of antiquities. A great many others are through the generosity of private individuals. This museum contains statues, busts, bas-reliefs, fragments of architecture, sarcophagi, urns of marble and stone; vases of bronze, glass and baked earth; gallic and roman medals, pieces of french coins, seals of the middle ages, stained glass, arms, pieces of furniture, utensils and ornaments of different ages.

This museum is open on sundays and holy days from eleven till four o'clock, and on tuesdays and thursdays for amateurs and strangers, from twelve till three o'clock.

The keeper is Mr A. Deville.[Pg 179]


At Saint-Mary's, rue Poussin.

The municipal administration of Rouen founded the gallery of natural history, in 1827; but, it was only in the year 1832, and after having been enriched by the administration of that time, that it was judged fit to be offered to public curiosity.

The increase of this museum has been rapid; already, within its few years of existence, it may be advantageously compared with most provincial collections; and through the maritime situation of the town, may one day be placed immediately after that at Paris. It is remarkable, for the numerous shells which it possesses, as also for some mammiferi, which are exceedingly rare. This gallery is open to the public, on sundays and holy days; foreigners and students may enter on any day.[Pg 180]

Mr Pouchet is the director of this establishment.













This garden was formerly situated on the Cours-Dauphin, but, the municipal administration wishing to render that portion of the town named Martainville, more healthy, entertained the project of opening a street at the entrance of the town, on the ground occupied by this garden; in consequence they sought another place, more suitable for a botanical garden. The place fixed upon, is the park of Trianon, where people formerly went, to visit the fine hot houses, and rare[Pg 182] collection of dahlias and other plants, which belonged to a distinguished english florist, Mr Calvert.

This new botanical garden, is situated at the extremity of the rue d'Elbeuf, and forms a square of about 45,500 metres (or yards) surface. Mr Lejeune, an architect, gave the plan of this garden.


These lectures take place every year, (beginning the 15th november), on tuesdays and saturdays at one o'clock, in one of the halls of the ancient convent of Saint-Marie. The lectures are principally on the application of chemistry to arts and industry.


These lectures were instituted in 1835; they take place twice a week in the amphitheatre at Saint-Marie.[Pg 183]


This school, founded by Mr Descamps, the author of the lives of flemish painters, is now established at Saint-Marie. The lessons commence in the month of november and finish in the month of august, from one o'clock till three.


They take place in the amphitheatre, which is given for this science, and is situated at Saint-Marie, Poussin street. The lectures take place on tuesdays and saturdays, during the winter, at eight o'clock in the evening.

There are besides, at Saint-Marie, every sunday, lectures on geometry and mechanics applied to arts and manufactures, and lectures also on commercial law and book keeping.[Pg 184]


The different branches are taught in the hospitals, by the physicians who are attached to these establishments.


The Théâtre-des-Arts at the corner of the rues Grand-Pont and des Charrettes, was erected by Francis Gueroult, an architect of Rouen. The first stone was laid on the 18th june 1774, and the opening took place the 29th june 1776, on Saint-Peter's day and the fête of Corneille. This theatre was altered and lighted with gas, in 1835, and will contain about seventeen or eighteen hundred persons. The ceiling was painted[Pg 185] by Lemoine, a native of this city, and represents the apotheosis of Corneille.

The peristyle fronting the rue des Charrettes is in the form of a quarter of a circle and is composed of columns of the ionic order. The medallion of Pierre Corneille is sculptured on the entablature which is supported by these columns, and on each side of the medallion, we perceive Melpomene with a dagger, and Thalia with a mask.

The performers for operas and comedies are generally good.

The second theatre is situated on the old market place and is called the Théâtre-Français; this building formerly used as a tennis court, was opened for theatrical purposes on the 2nd of february 1793. This theatre will contain about twelve hundred persons. Besides these two theatres, there is a third at the entrance of Saint-Sever, which is the circus or Ambigu-Dramatique.

[Pg 186]



These are the fashionable walks. The bronze statue between the two is that of Boieldieu, the celebrated french composer a native of Rouen. It is the work of the sculptor Dantan the younger.


According to Farin, this public walk was formed for a walk for the ladies, and is one of the finest in the kingdom; its length is about 674 fathoms. Four rows of large elms form the whole length on the banks[Pg 187] of the Seine. On holy-thursday, the Cours-de-la-Reine begins to be used as a fashionable promenade, and it may be said that on that day, it has a very gay appearance.


The first is the principal entrance to Rouen from Havre and Dieppe, and the second, at the opposite extremity of the quay, the entrance from Paris, Evreux, etc.


They occupy, for the greater part, the place of the ditches which surrounded the town; they were planted between the years 1770 and 1780 and were paved in 1783, at the expense of the town. They are about 3 miles in length.[Pg 188]


Mount Saint-Catherine first presents itself. We may go to it, either by the Paris high road, or by the petites eaux Martainville. The last mentioned, although the least frequented, is perhaps the preferable route on account of the diversity of the landscape.

It will be useless for the traveller, when he has reached the top of the hill, to look for the ancient abbey of the Sainte-Trinité-du-Mont, the chapel of the priory of Saint-Michel, or the fortifications, in which the marquis of Villars withstood the attacks of Henry IVth; nothing of them remains at the present day, except two remnants of a wall, which threaten to fall on the traveller, who is imprudent enough to approach too near them.

From this elevated position, in turning towards the north-east, we see the valley of Darnetal, which has become so rich[Pg 189] through the industry of those who inhabit it. The eye reposes with pleasure on the gothic tower of the church of Carville; and of which, according to tradition, Henry IVth, made a post of observation when he besieged the fort of the ligue. We must not forget that an English detachment, which served in the army of the king, conducted itself very bravely in the different attacks, with which it was entrusted. On the opposite side of the valley of Darnetal and towards the north, we distinguish the hill named des Sapins, on which the monumental burying ground is situated. This latter hill adjoins the Bois-Guillaume from which also the view is admirable although inferior to that from the mount Saint-Catherine, which advances like a promontory, above the immense valley of the Seine, while that of Bois-Guillaume or Beauvoisine, recedes from the circular line formed by the union of these different hills.[Pg 190]

The Bois-Guillaume joins Saint-Aignan. We cross the latter commune, on our way to Mont-aux-Malades, formerly the Mont-Saint-Jacques. Antiquarians will not fail to go and see a church at this place, which is a venerable remains of norman architecture. There were two, but the other is now almost destroyed. Travellers should also visit the hill of Canteleu from which the view is very fine, and at the same time the country house of M. Élie Lefebure, called the Chateau of Canteleu.


There are at present, five burying grounds for the roman catholics, and two for the protestants. They are the burying grounds of Saint-Gervais, Beauvoisine, Val-de-[Pg 191]la-Jatte, of which a part has been walled off for the protestants; Mont-Gargan, Saint-Sever, and Champ-des-Oiseaux, which latter forms the second protestant burying ground. The great demand of families, to obtain a piece of ground, on which to erect a monument on the tomb of a relation, had caused a great diminution of ground for interments; the municipal administration therefore took measures to prevent the consequences of it. On the proposition of the marquis de Martainville, then mayor of the town they determined, on the 24th april 1823, that a monumental burying should be established on the east of Rouen, on a portion of the hill of Fir-Trees which was barren, and could be disposed of without any loss.

This new burying ground contains about ten acres of ground, enclosed with walls. A chapel is erected on the highest point of the hill; and a vault has been formed under it for the provisional deposit of bodies, which[Pg 192] cannot be interred immediately. A tariff exists, which regulates the sum to be paid by families, who wish to purchase a place in this burying ground.



[Pg 193]


Historical introduction 1.
Parochial churches.
Cathedral 19.
Saint-Ouen 56.
Saint-Maclou 69.
Saint-Patrice 74.
Sainte-Madeleine 76.
Saint-Sever 77.
Saint-Romain 79.
Saint-Godard 85.
Saint-Nicaise 88.
Saint-Vincent 90.
Saint-Vivien 92.
Chapels of ease.
Saint-Gervais 93.
Saint-Hilaire 96.
Saint-Paul 96.
Protestant worship.
Saint-Eloi 99.
Churches closed in 1791 101.
Town hall (Hotel-de-Ville) 104.
Archiepiscopal palace 106.
Palace-of-Justice 103.
Tower of the Grosse-Horloge 113.
Coverted markets 116.
Exchange (la Hourse) 120.
Tribunal of commerce or the Consuls 122.
Custom house (la Douane) 123.
Public slaughterhouse (les Abbatoirs) 126.
Royal college 129.
Hospitals 131.
Prisons 141.
Soldiers-Barracks 142.
Remarkable edifices.
Hotel du Bourgtheroulde 144.
Ancient abbey of Saint-Amand 146.
Ancient bureau des finances 149.
Remarkable houses and celebrated men 150.
Stone bridge and statue of Corneille 152.
Suspension bridge 155.
River and rivulets 157.
Fountains 160.
Mineral waters 165.
[Pg 195]Squares and marketplaces 166.
The maid of Orleans, etc. 167.
Library, picture gallery and museums.
Public library 171.
Picture gallery 174.
Museum of antiquities 177.
Museum of natural history 179.
Learned societies 180.
Botanical garden, etc. 181.
Public and gratuitous courses of instruction 189.
Theatres 184.
Walks in Rouen 186.
Walks without the town 188.
Burying grounds 190.


[1] It is the sugar refinery of Mr Sautelet, rue des Carmes, opposite the place of the same name.

[2] Recherches sur l'histoire religieuse, morale et littéraire de Rouen, depuis les premiers temps jusqu'a Rollon. Rouen, J. Frère, 1826, 8vo.

[3] The principal filatures, manufactories and bleaching establishments, are situated in the suburb of Saint-Sever, and in the valleys of Deville, Bapeaume and Maromme. Amongst the principal stuffs, which are wrought in its manufactories, we must mention its rouenneries, the general name given to all those striped or checked cotton, stuffs which are used for womens dresses.

[4] Historical description of the Cathedral of Rouen, by Gilbert Rouen, Ed. Frère, 1837, 8vo. with 3 plates.—Essay on ancient and modern painting on glass, etc., by E.H. Langlois. Rouen, Ed. Frère, 1832. 8vo, with 7 plates.

[5] It is an error: Rollon did not die till the year 931 or 932.

[6] Monuments of the cathedral of Rouen, by A. Deville. Rouen, N. Periaux, 1837, 8vo, with 12 plates.

[7] O Louis de Brezé, Diana of Poitiers, afflicted by the death of her husband, has raised this monument to your memory, she was your inseparable companion, your very faithful spouse in the conjugal state, and will be equally so in the tomb.

[8] That is to say that the pope Julias IInd was of the house of Rovero (Quercus).

[9] The cathedral possesses also several other remarkable pictures; we distinguish amongst others, an Annunciation, by Letellier of Rouen, nephew of the celebrated Poussin: it is placed in the second chapel of the left aisle, on entering by the great portal. To the right and left of the choir, we find a Samaritan, by Charles Tardieu, and The lying in the Sepulchre, by Poisson.

[10] Mr Deville makes the dates between the years 1480 to 1482, according to the manuscript capitulary registers of the cathedral.

[11] We perceive two counterforts, which have been lately erected on each side of the portal, under the direction of Mr Alavoine, to consolidate the front of the edifice, which had caused some fear, as to its solidity.

[12] So called from the college of the same name founded by Pierre de Colmieu, archbishop of Rouen and cardinal of Albe.

[13] The whole of these pieces of iron were cast at the foundery at Conches, a small town, which is situated at about twelve leagues from Rouen, and the expense is valued at 500,000 francs.

[14] For the description of the archbishop's palace, see the chapter on the civil monuments.

[15] Dibdin's Bibliographical, antiquarian and picturesque tour in France and Germany; London, Payne and co. 1821, royal 8vo, vol. 1.

[16] The model in relief of this church and made in the first hall of the XVth century, may be seen in the Museum of antiquities.

[17] The art of painting on glass. 1774, folio, fig.

[18] To have all accounts of this ceremony, see the work of Mr Floquet, entitled: Histoire du Privilige de Saint-Romain, etc,—Rouen, E. Le Grand, 1833, 2 vol. 8vo.

[19] Erected in 1626, it was demolished in september 1836.

[20] See: Voyage from Havre to Rouen; and Excursion from Rouen to Paris, by the Seine. Rouen, 1839, in-18vo, with maps and plates.

[21] According to these manuscripts, the three heads represent Logic, Philosophy and Metaphysics. They were surmounted by a crown.

[22] Another statue of Corneille, in marble, is placed in the large hall on the ground floor; it is a much esteemed work of Cortot, a french sculptor.