.. an exceptionally rich and diverse region in the heart of Normandy!
Located in the North West of France at two hours from Paris, Normandy is famous for its charming ports and sandy beaches including the glamorous seaside resorts of Cabourg, Trouville and Deauville, and the famous white cliffs of Etretat. It is an area loaded in history, the Normandy Beaches, Omaha, Juno and the others having been the scene of the Allied landings in the Second World War.
But Normandy is also famous for its idyllic countryside with charming farms, apple orchards, ancient beech forests, meandering valleys and wooded hillsides. It should thus not surprise you that the local dishes not only have seafood as ingredient, but also cheese, cream, apples, duck and veal.
The area, crossed by one of the most beautiful and famous rivers in the world - the Seine - has the historic towns of Rouen and Le Havre at its center. With its elegant spires, its beautifully restored medieval quarter and impressive cathedral, the ancient city of Rouen is one of Normandy's highlights.
Rouen, also called “the Town with a Hundred Spires” has had a turbulent history. It was devastated several times during the Middle Ages by fire and plague, and was occupied by the English during the Hundred Years War. The young French heroine Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) was tried for heresy and burned alive at the stake in the central square in 1431. During World War II, Allied bombing raids laid waste to large parts of the city, especially the area south of the cathedral, but over the last six decades the city has been meticulously rebuilt.
For the visitor of today, a walk through the streets of Rouen is thus a walk through the history of centuries of architectural development: Notre-Dame Cathedral, St Maclou, the Abbey church of St Ouen, the Gros Horloge, the Palais de Justice or Law Courts, the Tourist Office building and the Aître Saint-Maclou. The 20th century added the fabulous Church of St Joan of Arc, while the 21st century has seen the latest addition to the city’s landmarks in the Pont Flaubert.
The pride of Rouen is the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral, which inspired Claude Monet to paint his famous Cathedral series. The painter was fascinated by the subtle change of light and color on the cathedral’s facade, a spectacle which also the visitor of today can admire. Summer nights in Rouen are dominated by the “Son et Lumière”-show, transforming the cathedral porch into a living canvass inspired by the works of Claude Monet.
Rouen, with its fine half-timbered houses, its paved streets and its gothic churches, leaves no visitor indifferent and the organisers of the RICT 2014 Symposium warmly invite you to come and discover this historic city in Normandy - be it before, during or after the conference.
Travelling to Rouen in 2014, when Normandy and the entire world will commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, will give you the opportunity to take part in the commemorations and festivities of this historic event.
We look forward to welcoming you next summer in the Town of Hundred Spires!