Friday, June 21, 2013

Philatelic Photograph: Joan of Arc Memorial Cross - Rouen, France

Interesting Places I've Visited
Joan of Arc Memorial Cross
Normandy, France
Topic: Philatelic Photographs
Memorial Cross on the Church Grounds
Joan of Arc Memorial Cross
GPS: N49° 26.593; E 001° 05.282

Quick Description: 

The Joan of Arc Memorial Cross is located next to L'église Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc at the west end of the Rue du Gros Horloge in Rouen.

Long Description:

Joan of Arc was born into a peasant family in Domrémy, France about 1412. Beginning at about age 12 she claimed to experience visions directing her to drive the English out of France and pave the way for the coronation of a French king. Claiming to be guided by God, she led the French army to important victories in the Hundred Years' War, which led to Charles VII assuming the throne of France.

She was captured by the Burgundians, and purchased by the English from Duke Philip of Burgundy and put on trial before the Bishop Pierre Cauchon on charges of heresy. At age 19, she was found guilty and burned at the stake in Rouen on May 30, 1431 . Twenty-five years later Pope Callixtus III pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is now the one of patron saint of France.

The national monument to Joan of Arc is located at the site of her death in Rouen. During World War II, Rouen was completely devastated. The church of St. Vincent, which stood near the market place was completely destroyed. A new church was build in the market place using the preserved stained glass windows of the destroyed church. L'église Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc (The Church of Saint Joan of Arc) was designed by architect Louis Arretche and completed in 1979.

The church has a modern design with a curved roof line that is based on an overturned Viking ship and also represent the flames that killed Joan of Arc. On the grounds on the west side of the church is the Joan of Arc Memorial Cross, a 65' high iron Cross of Lorraine that is visible from all directions as it soars above the roof line of the church. The cross was placed on the exact site where archaeological evidence indicates that Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The cross is the National monument to Joan of Arc.

The stamp was issued by France on May 24, 1979 to correspond with the completion of the church and the dedication of the Joan of Arc Memorial Cross.

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