Rouen - Table of Contents  .....................  Architecture Around the World

2012 photos - The Keep of Rouen Castle
Le Château de Rouen or Tour Jeanne d'Arc
Rouen, France
(pron. roo ah)

Photos (below text) taken in Februry 2012

Synonyms for keep":  donjon, dungeon, stronghold.


A keep (from the Middle English kype) is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated the scope of the word keep, but usually consider it to refer to large towers in castles that were fortified residences, used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the castle fall to an adversary.

The first keeps were made of timber and formed a key part of the motte and bailey castles that emerged in Normandy and Anjou during the 10th century; the design spread to England as a result of the Norman invasion of 1066...

The Anglo-Normans and French rulers began to build stone keeps during the 10th and 11th centuries; these included Norman keeps, with a square or rectangular design, and circular shell keeps. Stone keeps carried considerable political as well as military importance and could take up to a decade to build.

...  Philip II of France built a sequence of circular keeps as part of his bid to stamp his royal authority on his new territories...

- Wikipedia (April 2012)
Rouen Castle was the castle of the town in Rouen, capital of the duchy of Normandy, now in France. It was built by Philip II of France from 1204 to 1210 following his capture of the duchy from John, duke of Normandy and king of England.  Formerly known as the castle's donjon or "Grosse Tour."

Located outside the medieval town to its north, in a dominant position, it played a military role in the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of Religion. It was the main seat of power, administration and politics in the duchy of Normandy for nearly 400 years, symbolically replacing the ducal palace of Rouen.

It was here that Joan of Arc was imprisoned in December 1430 and tried from 21 February to 23 May 1431. She was not imprisoned here but in the now-lost Tour de la Pucelle.

Vulnerable to artillery like other medieval fortresses, all but the keep (now known as the Tour Jeanne d'Arc) was dismantled in 1591 by Henry IV of France.

The pointed roof was added in restoration works beginning in the 1870s.

- Wikipedia (April 2012)

Note vertical slits ("loopholes")

Note fleur-de-lis


Trefoil arch in tympanum ..... Leaded glass with saddlebars (fins?)

Fanlight in tympanum ..... Plank door ..... Snow: photos were taken in February 2012

Moat remnant ..... Snow: photos were taken in February 2012

Photos and their arrangement © 2012Chuck LaChiusa
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