Church Saint Maclou of Rouen!!

Let me continue in wonderful Rouen and end this triology of nice church monuments there. The city is worth a detour for its history,architecture ,and beautiful monuments. We love it and look forward to stop by when possible again. Let me tell you about a nice area and its Church Saint Maclou of Rouen!!

Moving right along on this pretty tour of my belle France we arrive at a wonderful town always in my heart. On a still cold day but bit cloudy and no rain I will bring you back to Rouen, in Seine-Maritime dept 76 of Normandie!  And of course as the title says , I like to tell you a bit more on one of its gems, 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.

rouen-ch-st-maclou-front feb09

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 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 church. The sacristy to the east of the church is a pastiche neo-renaissance, whose marble columns are authentic and come from Italy.

rouen-ch-st-maclou-tower feb09

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 Saint Maclou was partially restored to worship in 1965. The Choir was restored in  2000 and the Lantern Tower inaugurated again in  2007.

As a side mention, and just next to it, I like to tell you a bit extra for the Aître Saint 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 out in the summer 2014. Today, the Aître Saint-Maclou host the Galerie des Arts du Feu which serve to discover the arts , the galerie d’art contemporain Telmah and a restaurant le Café Hamlet.

rouen-aitre-saint-maclou feb09

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Rouen on the church:

The Rouen tourist office on the church:

The official Aître Saint Maclou

There you have it folks, all layout for you to have great fun visiting this jewel of the Seine Maritime and Normandie. And now you are set on this area of Rouen, the Church Saint Maclou and the Aître Saint Maclou offers 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!!!

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