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The primatial Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (Our Lady of the Assumption) cathedral in Rouen, with its very tall lantern tower overlooking the Norman old town, is a monument symbolic of the city.
The cathedral of the impressionists
Considered to be the cathedral with the most “human” traces in the world due to its asymmetrical eastern facade, it is world renowned thanks to the 28 paintings that the impressionist Claude Monet painted of it, which are spread right around the world.
A fascinating monument built on a height, the cathedral casts a large silhouette over the old town and the protected area of Rouen's old town.
At the heart of the old historic centre of the Norman city
Built in the middle of the 12th century in the place of an old Roman cathedral, it took around one hundred years to complete its construction entirely.
This prestigious cathedral is unique in that it has conserved its archiepiscopal palace and the surrounding ancillary buildings dating from the same era, which is rare in France. The cathedral, which also includes the cloister and the chapter buildings, features on the 1862 list composed of listed historical monuments.
A 151 metre-high lantern tower!
Like most large Norman Gothic structures, the cathedral is endowed with a “lantern tower” on its transept, in the place where the two naves meet.
The wooden spire covered with Renaissance-style lead which once crowned the cathedral was destroyed by a fire caused by lightning in 1822. It is now topped with a cast iron spire built between 1825 and 1876, which culminates at a height of 151 metres. The cathedral was re-built and completed during the centuries to follow. The facade thus represents a precious example of the development of Gothic art from the mid-12th century to the beginning of the 16th century.
The Notre-Dame de Rouen cathedral is the highest in France and was once the highest building in the world following the completion of its construction in 1876, remaining so until 1880.
Discover the Seine Valley
Beyond Rouen, many chapels, churches and abbeys line the banks of the Seine, from Elbeuf to Jumièges.
To find out more