HISTORIAL JEANNE D'ARC ROUEN
When you think of female historical figures, Joan of Arc quickly pops in your mind.
This story begins in the 15th century, when a 17 year old villager girl emarked the divine mission to strike out the English from France. After leading the French troops to defeat the English near Orléans, giving rise to the coronation of Charles VII at Reims, Joan of Arc was captured, tried for heresy, and then burned at stake in Rouen. Twenty-five years after her execution, Pope Callixtus III declared her a martyr. Joan has been commemorated by France ever since as a symbolic figure and patron saint.
L’Historial Jeanne d’Arc is a museum housed in the Palais de l’Archevêche in the city of Rouen. This is the very place where she was trialed, then killed, and ultimately exonerated. The museum's ambition is to shed light on every aspect of Joan of Arc: her life, the political and religious context of her legend, the historiography, and the idea of storytelling itself.
The museum's cutting-edge technology, lighting, and films examining Joan’s life and myth come together as a profoundly well carried scenography that left us dramatically immersed in the Joan of Arc story during our visit.
Besides, we learned that the city of Rouen itself is a fabulous day-trip from Paris. This is where Claude Monet obsessively painted canvas after canvas of the gothic cathedral, and where France's oldest Inn was established. What delighted us was that it’s still possible to eat at the restaurant, La Couronne, located directly on the Place du Vieux Marché, a perfect spot to sink in the vibrant culture of Normandy.