Joan of Arc locked in Rouen castle

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The tower - ©Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / CC-BY-SA The tower - ©Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / CC-BY-SA
Joan of Arc tower in Rouen Tower Imprisonment Joan of Arc Hundred Years War

This tower was part of the castle raised by king Philip Augustus in 1204: in fact, it was the keep! We used to find, in the heart of the wall flanked by 7 big towers, a chapel and a vast dwelling house. The keep was surrounded by a deep moat. Through centuries, the castle was many times besieged: John the Good besieged it in 1356, to foil Charles the Bad's conspiracy.

Besieged by Protestants in 1562, demolished by the chevalier d'Aumale in 1590, the tower was restored in 1868 by Viollet-le-Duc (he added a pepper box roof). The 35 metres high keep had a ground floor and 3 floors, and inside, we found the jail of a famous warrior... Who? Joan of Arc!! Let's go back in time...

Here we are in the middle of the Hundred Years War. Joan triumphed in Patay and Orléans' sieges, in 1429. She brought the dauphin, the future Charles VII, to his coronation in Reims. And here she was, with her army, who wanted to kick the English out of the Kingdom...

But on May 23th 1430, the Burgundians took her prisoner in Compiègne: the English bought her 10 000 livres and handed her over to judges, in Rouen... Her trial began in 1431 and lasted 3 months: it took place in our keep. Most of time, Joan was locked up in one of the surrounding wall's tower, called "Maid's tower": it was razed, but you can see vestiges under a house in the rue Jeanne-d'Arc.