Rouen or ?

Dec 19th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Rouen or ?

We are looking to take a little day trip from Paris... no more than two or three hours by train. We are considering Rouen. I would really like to go and see a nice medieval type village, I have someplace like Bath, England in mind. Does Rouen compare favorably to Bath or can anyone recommend someplace that may be a little off the beaten path that might be closer to what we are looking for? Thanks for any help!!
lufty13 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Rouen is a wonderful place and a great daytrip from Paris, but I would never characterize it as a "medieval village." It's a city, and though it does have some beautiful medieval and other architecture, it was heavily bombed in WWII, so is not preserved in the same way many other villages and towns were.

It's been years (decades) since I've been in Bath, but fromwhat I recall Rouen is nothing like it.

That's not saying Rouen's not a good destination. It's got loads to see and do and some fabulous restaurants. It's just not a medieval village. If you want a medieval village you'd be better off going to Senlis.
StCirq is online now  
Dec 19th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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Lyon and Dijon are within 2 hours - both lovely cities in the "old" section. Actually, Rouen is one of my favorites. Lots of half-timbered buildings.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Dec 19th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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Rouen isn't a village, that's for sure -- but Bath isn't either, is it? I haven't been there but from what I've read that is definitely a city, also (pop of 50K or more?).

I enjoyed Rouen very much for a day trip, it has a lot of interesting things to see and is full of history. I think you have to be interested in its history perhaps (and Joan of Arc) to get the most enjoyment out of a visit versus other places. I would rather go there than Senlis,myself. I have read that Rouen is considered one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Europe (but not village).
FYI
http://www.rouentourisme.com/
http://www.discover-normandy.info/re...aces_rouen.htm

if you are really interested in Medieval stuff, how about Provins, "the town of Medieval fairs", which is a UNESCO heritage site.
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/873
Christina is online now  
Dec 19th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Christina, thank you for your advice. Perhaps you are being a little too literal with my use of the term "village" or perhaps I was not clear enough with my request? Knowing my track record, I'm sure the fault lies on my end.
I suppose Bath is considered a city, but not like London or New York are considered cities. We were not in Bath much more than a few hours, but everything I saw was medieval in apprearance, at least as far as I can recall. Many half-timbered buildings, stones houses, tiny lanes and alleyways to wander through, things like that. In an attempt to be more clear, I think what I and my TC are searching for is the quaint, postcard type place we can wander around in and marvel at the architecture, the small town square, the town cathedral, little shops, cafes, cobblestones, etc., etc. Thanks to everyone for offering their opinion and insights, every little bit helps. Thanks again and I hope I have been clearer in this post than I was in the first.
lufty13 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 12:14 PM
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lufty, I think you will love Rouen and all the cafe's below the Gros Horloge, a Renaissance clock with only a single arm. There's the famousNotre Dame Cathedral that Monet did a series of paintings. It's a block long.
cigalechanta is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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no, I don't think Rouen is that quaint or postcard perfect, and isn't what you want then. I think you are seeking a place like Perouges near Lyon, but that's too far. I don't know of any place like that around Paris. It would have to be a place where they really depended on and wanted tourism a lot, probably, so that they would do that. Rouen is a regular city with business and industry, so doesn't have to depend totally on tourism.
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Dec 19th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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I know what you want -- Brugges, Belgium. You can do that in a day trip from Paris, but I think it may be more than 3 hrs by train.
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Dec 19th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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There's also St. Ouen in Rouen, which is one of my favorite churches, and St. Maclou, which definitely is not. The old buildings on the square where Joan was burned, as well as throughout the town, are pretty atmospheric, and the exact spot where she was burned (the plaque, in French of course, says "bruleed") is planted with red flowers, maybe poppies.

Oh - good antique stops too.

Sure, Rouen is actually a big city, but the part that you will be most interested in as a daytripper, the section between the train station and the river, is fairly compact and very manageable.
robertino is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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Here's some photos that may help yoou decide. Click on each to enlarge.

Whatever you decide, have wonderful time.

http://community.webshots.com/album/249106974qddCFD
cigalechanta is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 12:59 PM
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I thought of visiting Brugge since it's relatively close to Paris. Depending on the time you want to travel to and from Brugge you can get a direct Thalys train taking about 2.5 hours or so. But it seems a bit rushed for a daytrip. Perhaps an overnight trip would be better.
francophile03 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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Well I'm going to say that I don't think Rouen is what you are looking for. Lot's of half timbered houses in the old center, and a huge cathedral, but not the slightest bit of small town atmosphere. I remember driving through what seemed like endless industrial sprawl (among the ugliest I can recall in France) before we got to the old center. The clock tower is very nice (that's the one you see in all the photos) but the street under it was lots of international chain stores (Gap, etc). While Bath is not a tiny town, it had a much more relaxed, small city atmosphere than Rouen did. I don't know the populations off hand but I would guess Rouen is many times larger.

I think Christinas idea of Provins is a good one. I haven't been there but I've been researching it for my next trip to Paris (next March) and it at least sounds a lot more like Bath (a French version of Bath anyway) than Rouen does.

isabel is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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Peruges is also an even better small village. We have spent several overnights. One of the Three Muscateers was photographed here and it's unlike anything else in Burgundy. I'll look for a site.
cigalechanta is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 03:34 PM
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Here's Perouges:
again click each picture to enlarge. These photo do not do this village justice.

http://www.americansinfrance.net/Att...ges-France.cfm

cigalechanta is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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I'd say that Bath is a large town, while Rouen is definitely a major city.

But if it's a nice small village you want, head to Les Andelys on the banks of the Seine. It's not necessarily medieval--the closest near Paris would probably be the old cathedral precincts in Chartres--but is quite charming. There's also Provins.
Underhill is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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You might also consider a day trip to Senlis.
laverendrye is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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laverendrye, that's a place I have not been how long by train from Paris?
cigalechanta is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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I think that Provins or Senlis are two good choices. Both are an easy 1 hour train ride from Paris. If I had to make a choice I would choose Provins.

Have fun!
zoecat is online now  
Dec 19th, 2005, 06:27 PM
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Cigalechanta,
Perouges looks like just the type of place we are looking for.... sadly, I cannot find any kind of train schedule to there from Paris or Lyon. Any idea how to tackle getting there from Paris? Thanks for your help.

Lufty
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Dec 19th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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You'd have to take a bus or taxi from Lyon. We always drove,
He's a Lyon site to check out.

http://www.did-you-mean.com/travel/Lyon
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