Culture in all its forms
The department of Seine Maritime offers six very interesting tours in the footsteps of the Impressionists
Abbeys trail and religious art
Do know the Abbeys trail? no, you’ve heard about it then, have you? Hurry up and discover this glorious past of Normandy, which still echoes today… Beyond the abbeys, you will come across beautiful little Romanesque churches, such as the one in Ry (see picture below on the left), majestic collegiate churches (Blainville, pictured below on the right), and the so beautiful cathedral of Rouen which has been painted over and over again by Monet.
Architecture of the towns and the countryside
Seine-Maritime counts many very beautiful cities, among which we will remember:
Rouen the ‘ville aux cent clochers’ (literally the town that counts a hundred bell towers), and its beautiful city center, full of buildings not to be missed: the cathedral, the well-known gros horloge" and its belfry, the Saint Maclou aster (an ossuary, vestige of the black plague of the 14th century) , the magnificent courthouse or again the ‘place du vieux marché’ (old market square), where Joan of Arc was burnt.
As far as traditional architecture is concerned, you will be impressed by the ‘maisons cauchoises’ style (half-timbered with a thatched roof), by the houses in the city center of Rouen – a foreign friend of mine used to call Rouen ‘the city where the houses lean’ – or again by the market places of our villages. Among the most beautiful and the closest, we recommend Buchy, and Lyons-la-Forêt (lovely village where a great part of Claude Chabrol’s movie ‘Madame Bovary’ was shot). Also, do not miss great pieces of architecture, such as the bridges of Brotonne (see picture), Tancarville, or the more recent ‘Normandy Bridge’.
- Bois-Guilbert , and the sculptures of Jean-Marc de Pas, not to be missed!
- Bois-Héroult , where the gardens had been designed in the 18th Century.
- Clères , and its very pleasant zoo.
- The Botanical Garden de Rouen.
- The full list of the gardens in Seine-Maritime available on the tourism website.
Near Fontaine, you will also find castles, as various as unforgettable.
- The feudal castle of Blainville , where the very popular archéojazz ‘archéojazz festival’ is held every year at the end of June and sponsored by the famous Dee Dee Bridgewater. The castle is located less than 5 minutes from Fontaine.
- The Castle Louis XIII in Cany-Barville , with its 17th Century furniture.
- The Castle of Mesnières en Bray and its horticultural training center ‘Institution Saint Joseph’.
- The Castle of Vascoeuil , or the one in Martainville with its Museum of Traditions and Arts, will interest adults and children.
Numerous museums on various subjects do exist in Seine Maritime. We recommend to visit the tourism website. .
Note however, near Fontaine:
- The Bovary Museum in Ry, which recounts Flaubert’s novel with about 500 robots.
- The Corneille Museum , in the house where the famous tragedian was born, in Rouen.
- The Museum of Ceramics ,a Rouen specialty.
- The Joan of Arc Museum
- The Victor Hugo Museum Museum in Villequier, where his daughter Léopoldine drowned.
- The Mathon-Durand Muséum , in Neufchâtel en Bray, museum about Arts and Popular Traditions in Pays de Bray.
Please visit this website . to find more nice walks and things not to be missed in the immediate vicinity of Fontaine.