Inside the Gros horloge

It was an extraordinary experience to go up the Gros horloge. A lot of noises and exciting things to admire and to keep one excited and busy! Once you pay your entrance, you are lended an audio device. You click on the room number and a description comes on. The audio guide then leads you up and around. the narrow passage ways.

I had a much harder challenge photographing here. I tried my best to avoid flash so not to have a “whitish” look. It was much harder than photographing in the cathedral; the windows were few and  and their light highly diffused. There were a few lights.

Here is a brief schema of the clock a belfry as seen from a diagram inside the tower:



The bling clock from behind a window…


The bottom slot tells the day. The symbol for Thursday (Jupiter), is up.


Machinery forms.


The lamb, symbol of the city of Rouen from behind the stained glass window.


An old machine, coupled with a film above it that featured the machine’s sound and movement!


A bird’s-eye view of the clock with another lamb on one of the clock hands.


Dramatic silhouette of the cogs  with the light of a tiny window.


The numbers representing the hours, climbing the old bell chords( all is of course, electric in our day).


Old graffiti in the belfry (we saw two old ones and no modern ones!) This was written by a certain MOULIN in August 1821!

The three following photos were taken from the roof:

Voilà Rouen!




Mind the step as you go back down and do have a wonderful day.


13 thoughts on “Inside the Gros horloge

  1. You were in the Big Clock! I wrote a paper on its history for an Architecture class way back in college. You’re so lucky to get to see it and to take a tour!

    1. Hi Peter,
      It’s nice to see you! I have been on Reader often these past weeks. I’ll swing over your place soon.
      Wow; you wrote a paper on le gros horloge?! When I was in college it was mainly Literature(like Madame Bovary tha was set in the countryside around Rouen).
      I hope that one day, you (and of course your family), will come to Paris and Rouen!


      1. I make it sound more in depth than it was – it was just 3 pages , pretty brief. But I do still feel a connection to it, and any of the other weekly reports I had to do!

      2. Hi Peter,
        This report was still a wonderful window to another world. Almost everyone that I spoke of about Europe (friends,fam or contacts online) often mentions to ANCIENT quality of the architecture or how the dates are much older than in North America. North Americans are also fascinated with castles!
        Forever, you will have a connection to the clock. I am glad if I brought back some wonderful memories! Cheers!

      3. I know! Friends who visit from the Western US will be impressed by the many older buildings in the US. While friends from Europe are not quite as impressed. Especially when they can mention restaurants that are older than the US!

  2. Holy cow….GLORIOUS photos, Barb!

    Each and everyone of these is such a beauty, but for some reason the one of the clock looking through the stained glass window blew me away! I love the distortion the glass gives to the view outside.

    Also, that last image is so spectacular, with the view of the church and mountains in the background.

    Well done, my friend. Well done!

    X to you and D!

    1. Hi Ronnie,
      Sincere Thanks to you. I went over a few times all of my pictures because of the darkness and the mixed results. Well,it is all practice!
      To tell you the truth, when I saw how the clock looked through the window, I took several. I would not mind having that as my daily view. The old fashioned glass is beautiful. I love the distortions in the glass also.
      The roof top view is a treat, even if the day was grey in the morning. That is Rouen Cathedral in all its splendour.

      I am so glad that you enjoyed. Take care and be well.

  3. Holy cow. What a diverse and gorgeous set of photos. I like that we got bot the upclose and personal as well as the whole picture. The shots are just phenomenal. Yes, the clock through the window…but oh my– the inside works and that awesome shot of the cogs and the numbers…what an awesome collection of photos. And wow that they turned out so well with the challenge of the lighting. Truly….WOW. I shall now go for another round and drool some more. 😉

    1. I am sincerely humbled and Thank you so much.
      I felt like I was “tested” in there but that is learning… Too dark here, missed there, re-do… It is forcing me to pay special attention to my exposure meter as I sometimes am a bit fast!
      I wish that I could have the window view of the clock. The stairs, though would become hard on my legs after awhile.
      I was just loosing myself behind those blown glass Renaissance windows. Dreams must dance behind windows like those.

      As always, I am happy to share with you all.
      Happy weekend xox

  4. Amazing. I love the gold numbers hanging there. I vaguely remember learning mythology terms related to days and months of year, such as the Jupiter and Thursday connection. I’m quite taken with colors in picture 8. Gorgeous!

    1. Hi Bijoux,
      Thank you for your kind words. It was a good working challenge…
      That is a very surprising and creative display of numbers! I could look and look but of course, I could not fit all 24 numbers.I am very happy that you enjoyed. It is always my pleasure.
      Happy weekend!

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