The Armada is one of the largest maritime gatherings in the world, an event that attracts crowds! Some 50 majestic sailboats, moored in Rouen from June 6 to 16, 2019, are open to visitors, forming as many invitations to dream and travel. It is by the Seine that they arrive and leave. In addition to going to admire them, do not miss to survey the superb historic heart of Rouen and to stroll along the side of the loops formed by the river nearby, in the valley of the Seine.
The Armada enters the Seine
event Armada has been taking place in Rouen every five years since 1989, with some exceptions. Thus, the 2019 edition takes place with a one-year lag in order to integrate the calendar of the Sail Training International association which organizes tall ship races.
The success of this event is due to the show offered by the more than 50 sailboats guests, who are moored along the quays of Rouen, over 7 km. Better, the public is invited to climb on board of these ships for a little visit and dream of distant adventures!
But before that, the banks of the Seine from Le Havre will have been invaded by a crowd of people who came to admire these sailboats during their upstream of the river.
And the public also flocked on the last day for the big parade by which the sailboats descend this time the Seine towards the sea and which begins with a morning flight over the Patrouille de France.
To allow these boats with high masts to enter Rouen - or to leave -, we proceed to the lifting of the Flaubert bridge decks, an operation which in itself is spectacular.
Among the star ships is Hermione, frigate on which La Fayette left to help the American insurgents in 1780. Note that this one stops at Rives-en-Seine before joining Rouen. There is also El Galeón, a replica of a 16th century Spanish galleon, the Russian training ship Sedov - the largest in the world ...
Access to the quays and visits, as well as the many activities offered during the event (concerts, fireworks ...): all this is for free.
Visit Rouen, the city of the Armada!
If you come to see the Armada ships, note that the historical heritage of Rouen is also not to be missed, especially since the downtown is directly accessible from the quays.
Stroll through its ancient streets, particularly lined with half-timbered houses, is a real pleasure, as is admiring monuments such as the Wholesale-Clock, the splendid Notre-Dame cathedral and churches no less remarkable, such as that of Saint-Maclou ...
Interesting museums are to be explored, such as the one dedicated to the fine arts. Armada obliges, go for a walk Maritime, river and port museum. Installed in a former hangar in the port of Rouen, it tells you, among other things, how the Vikings sailed, who are among the ancestors of the Normans, or the history of the sailing navy ...
To see also on the banks of the Seine: the XXL Panorama which, during the Armada 2019, presents a new and immense 360 ° work by Yadegar Asisi entitled “Titanic, the promises of modernity”, which allows you to explore in a surprising way the wreck of the famous boat.
Walk in the Seine valley
From Rouen, do not hesitate to take the direction ofwest to venture into the Seine valley.
Having left Île-de-France to enter Normandy, the Seine passed by Giverny (house of Claude Monet), Les Andelys (Château-Gaillard), before reaching Rouen, then going to throw itself into the Manche at Le Havre and Honfleur.
On leaving Rouen, in the Seine-Maritime department - and also in the Eure - the valley offers peaceful landscapes punctuated by villages, green meadows, forests, marshes, or small cliffs bordering the banks of the meanders of the river. The impressionist painters greatly appreciated them before you!
Here, the contours of the valley merge with those of the Regional Natural Park of the Loops of the Seine Normande, which is crossed by tourist routes on the themes of Fruits and Chaumières, as well as 1 km of marked hiking trails.
The Seine is crossed by three very high bridges between Rouen and Le Havre: Brotonne (1 m), Tancarville (278 m), Normandie (1 m) ... or one of the eight BACS which you can borrow for free in various places.
Passing on both sides of the river, you discover castles and mansions. You have for example the remains of the castle of Robert Le Diable (10th century) above La Bouille, that of Ételan (15th century), or the manor of Villers in Saint-Pierre-de-Manneville (16th-19th centuries ), which is surrounded by a beautiful park. Inside: collection of decorative art pieces and other works, as well as guest rooms.
Trois abbeys remarkable awaits you too. Saint-Wandrille de Fontenelle (in Saint-Wandrille-Rançon), Saint-Georges de Boscherville (in Saint-Martin-de-Boscherville) and, described as “the most beautiful ruin in France” by Victor Hugo, Jumièges Abbey, a magnificent site, very romantic.
Finally, to know almost everything about the river, visit the Museum de Rives-en-Seine which will no doubt teach you and among other things that, coming from the Channel, the tide goes up to Rouen.
Find all the tips, addresses and practical information in Routard Normandie in bookstores.
Consult our Normandy online guide
Read also our Rouen weekend idea
All the information on the Armada website