The Gros-Horloge, a 14th century astronomical clock, is one of the best known monuments in the French city of Rouen, in Normandy.
The clock, one of the oldest in Europe, was made in 1389 by Jourdain Delestre and Jean de Felains and installed, first on the belfry, the same year. The two faces of the astronomical clock complex, with a diameter of 2.50 meters, are centered on the golden sun with 24 rays where a single hand moves, marking the hours. Under the radial pattern, set in the decorative festoon, is a quadrangular opening that houses the Semainier, or Weekly, finely decorated with allegorical subjects: “Diana with the Moon” for Monday, Mars for Tuesday, Mercury for Wednesday, Jupiter for on Thursday, Venus for Friday, Saturn for Saturday and Apollo for Sunday.
At the top of the dial is an oculus that houses a sphere of 30 cm in diameter, indicating the phases of the moon by completing a complete rotation in 29 days.
This popular tourist landmark in the old town of Rouen was declared a Historic Monument by the French government in 1862.
Access : Coordinates: 49.441667, 1.091111 / Rue du Gros-Horloge is a paved pedestrian street in the center of Rouen, on the right bank of the Seine. It leads from the Place du Vieux-Marché to Notre-Dame Cathedral and crosses Rue Jeanne-d’Arc, near the Gros-Horloge.
- The Arch : Straddling the main street of the ancient city is a pavilion resting on a precious lowered arch. It was built between 1527 and 1529 in the Renaissance style, a time when Rouen was equipped with numerous buildings in this style, to replace the old ruined Porte Massacre.
- The Belfry : To the south of the Gros-Horloge is a belfry dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, which explains the bays with radiating Gothic tracery on the penultimate level and Flamboyant Gothic on the last.
- Fountain : At the base of the Beffroi, on the western side, there is an admirable fountain from 1733-43 commissioned by King Louis XV of France as a sign of benevolence for the city.
- The Gros Watch was the subject of paintings by William Turner and the French impressionist Léon-Jules Lemaître.
- The street is one of the busiest thoroughfares in Rouen, both for its historic atmosphere and the presence of numerous shops, including the first single-price store to open in France.
Go next : The Other Districts of the Old Town / Church of Saint Maclou / Saint-Patrice district.