Rouen, france is the home of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Rouen and of Gustave Flaubert, the spot where Joan of Arc was burned and where painters Claude Monet and Roy Lichtenstein were inspired. Nell Casey of the New York Times visited the city and writes of its beauty. (photos)
Heading back to my own hotel, I once again found history jutting up against modernity: On my way toward the Gros-Horloge, or the Great Clock — a magnificent astronomical clock constructed in the 14th century and set in a Renaissance archway — I passed the seemingly endless shops that populate the center of Rouen. So, on the way to visit the belfry adjacent to the Gros-Horloge, which contains one of the oldest clock mechanisms in Europe and offers a terrific view of Rouen from the top, you can also pick up a few things at places like H&M, Benetton and Esprit. This high-low pairing might have made the onetime Rouen resident Marcel Duchamp proud; he did, after all, introduce the urinal to the art world.