As a Renaissance edifice in Rouen, Normandy, the Gros Horloge is a sight to behold. In the center of this building is an astronomical clock from the 14th century. The clock may be seen in the middle of the Rue du Gros-Horloge, which is spanned by a Renaissance arch. The mechanism's 1389-made movement makes it one of the earliest of its kind in France. The hidden gems of this extraordinary clock are revealed to those who take the time to visit the site. The site also provides a breathtaking vista of the city below.
How to explore Gros-Horloge?
- Explore the building's clock face room and climb to the bell tower to view machinery from the 1400s and the earliest town bells.
- Take a look at this Renaissance-era clock where a globe displays the moon's phases above the clock's face. The widespread prevalence of sheep imagery reflects the cultural significance of the wool industry. The Rouen coat of arms features a Paschal Lamb, which is depicted on the arch's base. A fountain in the style of Louis XV serves as the final point of interest. It shows Alpheus, the river god, and Arethusa, a nymph.
- While walking under the arch of Gros-Horloge, you may see some remarkable sculptures. In the heart of the arch is the Rouen coat of arms, which depicts the lamb of God against a crimson backdrop (the color of Normandy). It is supported by a pair of angels, one of whom has his head on backward since building workers were unhappy at the time.
- Christ as the Good Shepherd is shown in bas-relief under the arch. Lambs frolicking in the grass are depicted on both sides.
- The 14th-century Gothic belfry on either side of this Rouen monument adds to its historic appeal.
- A Gothic belfry, added to the Gros Horloge somewhere between the 14th and 15th centuries, houses the bells that are integral to the clock's mechanism. Since 1862, the Gros Horloge and its accompanying belfry have been recognized as a national historic landmark. The clockmaker's studio, the bells, the weights, the machinery, and the bell tower's dome are all on display in the museum. Check out all the exhibits connected to the structure and the city of Rouen itself.
- The rooftops of Rouen and the distant Rouen Cathedral are seen from the upper terrace, which is accessible by climbing some stairs.
Rue du Gros Horloge, 76000, Rouen France