Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen

#2 in Best Things To Do in Normandy
Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen picture1 of 2
Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen2 of 2
Apexphotos/Getty Images

Key Info

Place de la Cathedrale

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

This gothic cathedral was the world’s tallest building for about five years -- 1876 to 1880. But its beauty in changing light is what drew the Impressionist artist, Claude Monet, whose work can be viewed at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, to paint it several times. Today, the cathedral is one of the defining pieces of architecture in this part of Normandy.

One Virtual Tourist user says, “If you've seen Monet's paintings of the Cathedral in Rouen at the Musée d'Orsay, a visit to the cathedral will be a very special experience for you.” Others recommend coming inside to view the many parts of this working Roman Catholic cathedral, including the lovely stained glass in the Lady Chapel, the transepts and the ambulatory monuments.

The cathedral is open daily, between various hours depending on the day. It’s also closed for tours during mass. You can visit for free, though a tour of the underground crypt will cost you a couple of euro. Visit the website for more information. 

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D-Day Beaches1 of 7
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial2 of 7
Type
Time to Spend
#1 D-Day Beaches

World War II’s successful Operation Overlord took place on the coast of France. Although there were heavy Allied casualties, this invasion turned the tide in the war and helped lead to the fall of Nazi Germany. Today this piece of coastline, which includes Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah beaches, is collectively known as the D-Day Beaches.

Visitors can tour the about 50-mile stretch of beach and pop by a number of museums, memorials and cemeteries that have spread out alongside the sand. The American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer and the Pointe-du-Hoc bomb craters are especially moving. Many recent travelers recommend exploring the beaches with a tour guide.

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