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Visit France - Rouen, Normandy, Brittany
Rouen: This medieval town is associated with Joan of Arc, and later with the painter Monet. See Rouen Cathedral, which was consecrated in 1063 and was painted at every hour of the day in all types of light by Monet in one of his great series of works. The church has a famous carillon of 56 bells. Place du Vieux Marche is the square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. A modern church stands on the spot. Tower of Joan of Arc is the tower where she was imprisoned. Musee des Beaux Arts is an outstanding small museum... Ingres, Delacroix, Renoir, and of course Monet. The Gros-Horloge is the famous belfry and clock tower, which spans the street. Notice also, the half-timbered houses everywhere.

Caen: Caen is the capital of lower Normandy and the region's agricultural and industrial center. It was practically destroyed during WW2 and has been rebuilt in the traditional way. The original surviving monuments are the twin Abbaye aux Hommes and Abbaye aux Dames which are reparation offerings of William the Conqueror and his wife Queen Matilda. (The gourmet specialty of Caen is "tripes a la mode de Caen").

Normandy landing beaches: A visit here will include the Normandy American Cemetery and the Ranger's Memorial at Point du Hoc.

Bayeux: This is the first town liberated after D-Day in WW2. The Gothic Cathedral is from the 12th century. But one comes here mainly to see the extraordinary Bayeux Tapestry, which represents a blow-by-blow account of the decisive Battle of Hastings... Williams conquering of England.

Brittany Coast: The vast, jagged coastline of Brittany resembles no other in France. There are numerous excellent natural harbors and several stretches of treacherous rocks,

Mount St. Michel: Atop soaring cliffs that rise from a flat, sandy marsh, behind massive walls, lies one of the greatest attractions in Europe. The Abbey of Mont St. Michel dates back to the 8th century, when it is said that the Archangel Michael appeared and commanded that a church be built on the spot. Don't miss the Lacework Staircase, the superb Gothic Merveille building, and the Cloister, which seems suspended between the sky and the sea. A causeway links Mont St. Michel to the mainland. The tides here are the highest on the continent, rising upward to 50 feet.
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Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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