Vitrines de Rouen

The town of Rouen
Rouen and the trading activity
Rouen is a city born thanks to its trading. Its Gaul name, Ratumacos, meant "the market of passage". Since that era, the geographic position of the city acts in favor of commercial activities. This very same activity must have kept going during the Gallo-Roman time as the bronze workshop discovered at the “place de la cathédrale” – where the cathedral is standing today – can prove it.



During the Middle Age, besides the religious function that every town had, trading was the only thing that kept the city going. Its economical activity was tremendous. A monetary making facility was installed during the Merovingian period. It is in these sectors, near the cathedral that businesses and luxurious stores spread the most. The name that these streets have today can testify about this: rue des Bonnetiers (Hosiers street), Rue du Change ("banks street), Rue Ganterie (glove factory street), rue des Vergetiers (wood stick), rue aux Ours (which would mean "bear street" but there were more geese than bears in this area, even in these times!).

Big trading is considered to be the origin of the rise of a social class composed with rich sellers who administrate the cities for a long time. This business and economical role of the city still exists today.


Jacques TANGUY