Church Saint Maclou, Rouen of course!

Moving right along on this pretty tour of my belle France we arrive at a wonderful town always in my heart. This is one of the first towns I ever visited in France going back to 1990 and it has been a favorite ever since. On a still cold day but bit cloudy and no rain I will bring you back to Rouen, in Seine-Maritime dept 76 of Normandy!

And of course as the title says , I like to tell you a bit more on one of its jewels, the Church of Saint Maclou. The Church of Saint-Maclou  is in city center/ downtown Rouen, and is a marvel of Gothic architecture which we like a lot and always not only visit but walked by there each time in Rouen.

A bit of history and construction I like

The Church of St Maclou is a jewel of flamboyant Gothic art built between 1437 and 1517. It has a west façade in which opens to a rose window.  In front of this façade is a five-bay porch arranged in an arc , surmounted by gables. . The three central bays are home to three gates, two of which are adorned with carved wooden doors, the work of the cabinetmakers of the Renaissance. The main portal is adorned with scenes of the Resurrection of the dead in his covings and a Last Judgement on his eardrum. The porch serves as a support, at the corner of rue Martainville and rue  Damietta, at a fountain (where we always walked by). The plan of the Church has a non-salient transept in relation to the lateral chapels. The Church of Saint-Maclou preserves the Norman tradition of the lantern tower it acts as a steeple. The 83 meters spire that raises up  dates back to the 19C; The ambulatory does not have an axis chapel and the choir has a four-part apse, the characteristic of which is to present a pillar in the axis of the building. The sacristy to the east of the building is a pastiche neo-renaissance, whose marble columns are authentic and come from Italy.


The Interior of the sanctuary is designed to collect the maximum light and is therefore very clear. This is one of the reasons why we note the absence of capitals on the pillars of the nave and the Choir, we also notice the large size of bays that occupy all the space between the spans. The Choir, very renovated, did not recover its beautiful pre-war Baroque woodwork and only a chapel preserved it. The 18C beam of glory separating the choir from the nave has been preserved. One of the chapels south of the ambulatory was not rebuilt after WWII.

Few old stained glass windows have survived and those that can be observed are often mixed with modern elements. Note, however, the 15C Jesse Tree above the north gate, with a Jesse seated according to a habit born in Flanders, and above the south portal, a Crucifixion. On the reverse side of the western façade, there is a renaissance organ, whose qualities both plastic and sound are recognized.

In June 1944, the bombs dropped damaged the arches of the ambulatory and chorus. The steeple or tower-lantern threatens to collapse. Work continued and the Church was partially restored to worship in 1965. The Choir was restored in  2000 and the Lantern Tower inaugurated again in  2007.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Rouen on St Maclou Church

Tourist office of Rouen on St Maclou Church

Tourist office of Seine Maritime dept 76 on St Maclou Church

Tourist office of Normandy region on St Maclou Church

There you have it , all layout for you to have great fun visiting this jewel of the Seine Maritime and Normandy.

As a side mention, and just next to it, I like to tell you a bit extra for the Aître de Maclou.

The Aître Saint-Maclou is a former cemetery dating from the 16C, located 186 Rue Martainville. It is one of the few examples of such ossuary surviving in Europe, the Saint-Maclou  cemetery dates back to the black Plague of 1348. As a result of a new plague epidemic in the 16C, it becomes necessary to increase its capacity. The parish then decided to develop galleries surmounted by attics, designed to contain the bones. The construction of the ossuary begins in 1526 by the West Gallery the North and East galleries are built in the following years, they are completed in 1529 and 1533 respectively. It was finally the school of fine Arts which settled there in 1940 after the fire of the Hall of the cloths and welcomed 180 students at its premises, before moving to the summer 2014. Rehabilitation work is on the verge of being hired for a reopening scheduled for 2019.


And now you are set on this area of Rouen, plenty to keep you for half a day and on Rue Martainville there are plenty of quant old shops and restos to add to the fun.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




Tags: ,

One Comment to “Church Saint Maclou, Rouen of course!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: