The Peterhof in Russia and the Alhambra in Spain, the D-Day cemetery in France and Goree Island in Senegal, El Mina Castle in Ghana and El Moro Castle in Cuba, the Bronze Horseman of St. Petersburg and Christ the Redeemer in Rio: these are among the most important artistic and architectural monuments in the world. Through visual and contextual analyses, we will gain a better understanding of the iconic sites encountered on our itinerary, and their roles in history, culture, and memory.
Field WorkCountry: France
Day: 3 - Le Havre - Friday, 19 September
After an hour ride from Le Havre, we will arrive in Rouen, famous as a city of art and history, and dubbed “the city of a hundred steeples” by Victor Hugo. As the capital of Normandy, Rouen is home to some fifty historic monuments and countless medieval streets and houses. Its Museum of Fine Arts is among the richest in France, and the city is linked to such great historical, artistic and literary figures as Joan of Arc, Claude Monet, and Pierre Corneille, to name but a few. We will begin our tour of Rouen with its 12th-13th century Gothic cathedral, made famous by the Impressionist painter Claude Monet. We will then walk past the Church of St. Maclou, one of the most beautiful examples of “flamboyant” Gothic (mid 15th century). Nearby is one of the last medieval cemeteries in Europe to be found in a city center, with its origins dating to the Great Plague (Black Death) of 1348. The buildings around the cemetery date to the early 16th century. We will then walk by the Gothic Abbey of St. Ouen, one of the most powerful Benedictine monasteries in Normandy between the 14th and 16th centuries. After lunch, we will visit the Museum of Fine Arts, founded by Napoleon in 1801 and renowned for its rich collections of art from the Renaissance to the 21st century. It’s especially famous for its Russian icons, European Baroque and Romantic art, as well as Impressionist paintings. Afterwards, we will walk by the Parliament of Normandy and the Palace of Justice (Court House,) the largest civic Gothic building in France, built at the end of the 15th century. Visible shell holes on its walls testify to the Allied bombings of Rouen in 1944 during WWII. Next we will visit the Gros Horloge (Great Clock), a unique architectural ensemble comprising of a Gothic belfry, a Renaissance archway and clock face, and an 18th century fountain. The astronomical clock is one of the oldest in Europe, dating to 1389. Our tour will conclude with a visit of the strikingly modern St. Joan of Arc Church, built in 1979, near the spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431. Academic Objectives: 1. to gain an understanding of the various types of great monuments (religious, commemorative, urban, funerary). 2. to see how monuments are interpreted and integrated within a modern urban context. 3. to witness the changing nature and definition of a monument through history.