Saint Romain and his legend
The former church was founded by saint Victrice, bishop of Rouen, at the end of the 4th century. Normans invaded the area and destroyed it in 481. Archbishop Robert rebuilt it, transformed the small church into a cathedral.
Building work were finished in the middle of the 11th century. It was dedicated in 1063, in great pomp: William the Conqueror, bishops of Lisieux, Bayeux, Sées and Coutances were here...
In 1140, archbishop of Rouen, Hugues III, decided to rebuild the choir.
But unfortunately, in 1200, a fire demolished the cathedral. King John Lackland, who buried here member of his family, allowed a collection for the reconstruction. The current cathedral was put up very quickly, in the beginning of the 13th century.
Did you notice? The façade is flanked by two towers: the left one is Saint-Romain's tower, the right one is "Butter's tower". The first one (12th century) houses 4 bells. The second one (1485) was called Butter because when inhabitants gave money for its construction, they were allowed to eat butter during Lent!
By the way, do you know who's saint Romain? In fact, he was the patron saint of Rouen, who released the city from a horrible monster, the Gargoyle. He succeeded in taming the beast with the help of a prisoner who had nothing to lose!
Inside the cathedral, you will also see several graves: the one of Rollo! first duke of Normandy, his son's grave, the one of Richard Lionheart... we used to see the grave of the duke of Bedford, John of Lancaster, the man who handed over Joan of Arc to Pierre Cauchon, her judge...