Rouen Christmas Market, Normandy


Rouen Christmas market by the Cathedral

Rouen is a firm favourite with visitors to Normandy. Theres just something about those multicoloured half-timbered houses and gothic churches on every street corner as French cities go, the city of 100 bell towers (as Rouen was once called by French writer Victor Hugo) is certainly up there with the prettiest of them!

For that reason, it comes as no surprise that Rouen pulls out all the stops when it comes to Nol. The festive fun, known as Rouen Givr [Frosty Rouen] goes on until the end of December, and is well worth a trip out to Normandy. Were talking thousands of magical lights all over the medieval city centre. In fact, more than eighty streets and squares are lit up for Christmas in Rouen!

Best of all is the traditional Christmas market which takes place in front of Rouen Cathedral. Its faade was immortalised on canvas by none other than Claude Monet in his famous Cathedral Series. The market comprises around 70 chalets selling local produce (cheese, cider, caramel, Calvados, the list goes on) as well as traditional arts and crafts, jewellery and Christmas decorations galore. Have you ever wanted to hang a mini Camembert on your Christmas tree? Now you can.

Mulled cider and the oldest inn in France

Large clock in a tower in the historic centre of Rouen

And mulled wine? Forget mulled wine. At a Norman Christmas market, theres mulled cider in abundance, made with delicious apple juice, cinnamon, cloves and spices. Those feeling brave could even go for a hot Calvados and honey, Normandys answer to a hot Toddy.

After the Christmas market, head to the Place du Vieux March. Dominated by the huge modern church of Saint Joan of Arc, this square is where the Maid of Orlans met her fiery fate. In December it is also home to a big wheel from which you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama over Rouens higgledy-piggledy rooftops, the Gros Horloge (Rouens ornate astronomical clock) and the gothic towers of Rouen Cathedral.

The big wheel also has the added bonus of being on the same square as the oldest inn in France, La Couronne, which dates all the way back to 1345! Hiding behind a traditional half-timbered faade is a medieval world of wooden beamed ceilings, lead framed windows, worn upholstered chairs and heavy red curtains. Oh, and amazing food!

Rouen Christmas Market 2019

The Cathedral of Rouen looming over the Christmas market, trees with twinkling lights

Rouen Christmas market will take place from 27 November to 31 December, 2019

For more information on Rouen at Christmas, visit the Rouen Givr website (French). For more information on food and drink in Normandy, visit the Normandy Tourism website.

By Fran Lambert,

All photos Rouen Normandie Tourisme & Congrs

The post Rouen Christmas Market, Normandy appeared first on The Good Life France.

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