Categories Menu
Follow Us

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 in Family and friends, France, Travel | 0 comments

Normandy — Vikings, Writers, Impressionism and More

Normandy — Vikings, Writers, Impressionism and More

Many years ago before we had kids, my husband and I decided to somehow plant part our roots in Normandy.   Neither of us is actually from the region.  He is from Brittany, the next region over, and I am from the Philippines via the East Coast of the United States.  We both like how close Normandy is from Paris yet it definitely feels country-like and rural in many ways.  We also like the richness of the region’s history and culture.  Normandy is the birthplace of Impressionism with a great deal of French painters who came to local resorts to paint, most famously Claude Monet, Jean-Francois Millet and Eugene Boudin.  A great number of writers also hail from the area including Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust and Guy de Maupassant.  The area has an interesting history from its early Roman and Viking roots to its latter role during World War II.  So like many others who came before us, we decided about 10 years ago to buy a simple cottage in Normandy  where we have spent basically every summer thereafter.

The first area we visited in Normandy once we have recovered from the jetlag of our Philippine trip is the city of Rouen.  It is about forty minutes away from the house and it is probably the biggest city near us (next one heading eastward would be Paris). Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy, is also an ancient city where Joan of Arc was tried and eventually killed.  The picture below is the Gros-Horloge, probably the most popular monument in Rouen.  The single clock hand gives the hours while the central sections tells the phases of the moon.

Gros Horloge

Gros Horloge

There is also the Cathedrale Notre-Dame, a beautiful Gothic church.  Early construction started in the 12th century.  The grandiose exterior was used in a series of paintings by Monet to study the effect of lighting at different times of the day.

Gothic Rouen Cathedral Gothic Rouen Cathedral

Inside Rouen Cathedral

Inside Rouen Cathedral

Some more images around town…Normandy has a lot of half-timbered homes and thatched roofs.

Half-timbered buildings typical of Norman architecture

Half-timbered buildings typical of Norman architecture

DSC_5580.1

DSC_5581.1 DSC_5574.1

DSC_5586_2

DSC_5587_2

DSC_5592_2

DSC_5590.1 Adorable Tea House Adorable Tea House

Lastly, there is the exquisite Palais de Justice (or Law Courts), which was built in the 15th century in Gothic style and was the seat of Normandy’s parliament.

DSC_5608.1

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *