Rouen was founded by the Veliocasses, Gauls living in the lower Seine Valley, as the town of Ratumacos; under the Romans it came to be known as Rotomagus. Rome made the town a provincial capital and by the fifth century it became a bishopric and later a Merovingian capital as well. In the ninth century the city was sacked then later colonized by Vikings; a Viking, Rollo, would be named count of Rouen by the Merovingians and his descendants would become the dukes of Normandy and, later, the kings of England. The city’s great cathedral was begun during the thirteenth century, after the original sructure was partially destroyed by fire. Rouen and Normandy were annexed to France by King Philippe II Auguste in 1204, but the city’s connection to England would remain, as Rouennais continued to trade French wine and wheat for English tin and wool.

In the fifteenth century the English returned to Rouen, capturing the city from the French; the city remained under English control for three decades. It was during this period of occupation that Jeanne d’Arc was tried and then burned at the stake in Rouen.

Home to a substantial Huguenot population, Rouen was the scene of sharp conflicts throughout the Wars of Religion. Under the leadership of Samuel Champlain, Rouennais and Malouins investors formed the Compagnie des Marchands de Rouen et de Saint-Malo for trade with New France. Rouen remains the primary port of embarkation for New France.


Municipal Buildings

Public Places

Taverns, Restaurants, and Inns


Le Ballet de l'Acier Black_Vulmea