Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Statue of Religious Figure: Saint Joan of Arc - Rouen, France

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Saint Joan of Arc
Rouen, France

Topic: Statue of Religious Figure

GPS: N49° 26.593; E001° 05.279

Quick Description: 

A statue of Saint Joan of Arc is located on the outside of the L'église Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc (The Church of Saint Joan of Arc) in Rouen, France

Long Description:

A 6' tall marble statue of nineteen year old Joan of Arc by Maxime Real del Sarte is located outside the Church of Saint Joan of Arc near the execution site of Joan of Arc which is marked by the Joan of Arc Memorial Cross. The statue was created in 1928 and places it its current location when the Church was completed in 1979. The statue was registered as a french historic monument on October 30, 2002.

The Joan of Arc statue is located in a niche outside the west end of the church. The saint is shown wearing long flowing robes. She has her hands clasped in front of her as she looks to up to the heavens with her head tilted towards her left shoulder. She is standing in front of a 2' wide by 1' deep decorated marble slab that represents the stake at which she was burned.

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.

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