10 November 2021

La Tour Jeanne-d'Arc et le Musée Jeanne-d'Arc à Rouen


The last time I went to Rouen in Normandy was in 2010 — eleven year ago already. CHM and I had been on a road trip from the Loire Valley up into the Picardie region in northern France. We stopped in Rouen for lunch and for an appointment CHM had made there. The appointment was with a city official who took us for a tour of a famous tour, the Tour Jeanne-d'Arc. That's it on the left above.

We also stopped in at the old Musée Jeanne-d'Arc, which was housed in the ground floor of the building next door to the restaurant La Couronne, of Julia Child fame, on Rouen's place du Vieux-Marché. You can see it in the photo on the right above, on the right edge of the photo. I just learned that it was closed down in 2012 and replaced in 2015 by a new museum dedicated to Joan.

The Tour Jeanne-dArc is popularly thought to be the tower where Joan of Arc was held captive in the days and weeks before she was burned at the stake in Rouen, in the year 1431. The tower itself was the grosse tour or donjon (the main tower) of the old Château de Rouen, which was built by the French king Philippe-Auguste in the early 1200s and then torn down in the last years of the 1500s. Only this tower remains, and one of CHM's grandfather's paintings hangs on the wall there. We went to see it (just above).


The photo on the left here shows how the painting of Joan of Arc by CHM's grandfather is displayed in the tower. It's a painting on a very big canvas. CHM's grandfather was born in 1817 in Picardie and died in 1905 in Paris, about 20 years before CHM was born. The print of another of the grandfather's paintings is in the photo on the right just above. I'm not sure why I took a photo of it at the Musée Jeanne-d'Arc. Maybe CHM will be able to refresh my memory. With him, I had seen the original of that second painting a year earlier. It hangs in the chapel at the Château de Blois, just 40 kilometers north of Saint-Aignan. Below is a photo I took there in 2009. It's also a very large canvas.


  1. I must thank you, Ken, for this post that is mostly about my grandfather and I have to give some lengthy information.
    First, La Dernière Communion de Jeanne d’Arc was moved from the Tour to hang on a wall of the main stairwell of the Historial Jeanne d’Arc near the cathedral where it can be seen by many more people.
    Now, about what the Wikipedia page says:
    Le père de l'artiste, Joseph-Constant Michel, agriculteur, quitta Sorel-le-Grand, en 1753 avec son épouse pour s'installer à Fins ou naquirent leurs trois enfants au 19 chaussée Brunehaut.
    Here is my translation:
    The artist’s father, Joseph-Comstant Michel, farmer, left Sorel-le-Grand in 1753 with his wife to settle down in Fins [about one mile away] where their three sons were born.
    Now I think Constant-Joseph was at least 20 years old in 1753, when he left Sorel, so he was born in 1733. So he was 84 years old in 1817 when his second son, my granfather, was born, (beating my father by twenty years). His wife was about the same age. Quelle famille!!!
    This shows you what kind of mistakes you can find in Wikipedia and I cannot correct it.
    It was my grandfather’s grandfather who moved to Fins and not his father!
    There are other mistakes too!

    1. I think you took a photo of that postcard because you had seen the original painting. And, besides, there wasn’t much else to take photos of.

    2. Did you have an appointment at the Musée Jeanne-d'Arc, or did we walk in just for fun?

    3. No! I didn’t even know there was a so-called Musée Jeanne d’Arc. As I recall, there was really nothing to see or just like “crâne de Voltaire enfant”.

    4. Ou bien les cendres de Jeanne d'Arc vieille dame...

  2. chm and Ken, I have a wikipedia editing account. If you email me the corrections that need to be made, and the links to the Wikipedia articles, I would be happy to make those corrections for you :)

    1. Thank you Judy. Let me think about it. The man who wrote this page just picked up what others had written amplifying the mistakes. An uneducated woman in Fins, for her web page about Fins, stole what my brother had written one year for Les Journées du patrimoine and read it all wrong, introducing mistakes, some funny, like Conversation de saint Augustin, instead of Conversion!! So, that man copied that without correcting it, and on and on.
      As you know, I am bed ridden in a nursing home and working with a tablet is not the easiest! Give me time, but I really appreciate your help. Thank you.
      The faulty page is Wikipedia, Charles-Henri Michel

  3. Judith to the rescue- wonderful idea!

  4. Kudos to you, Judy. I hope the two of you can get that important information corrected! Thank you for sharing these photos and history, Ken!

  5. The painting is amazing, so glad to see it in situ!


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