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From: Uniworld River Baroness cruise review

Day 4: Rouen (2)

Irina Larouge at Aître Saint-Maclou, Rouen

One of the more interesting stops during our walking tour was the Aître Saint-Maclou, a half-timbered charnel house around a plague cemetery that was built in the early 1500s.

(In the photo above, Irina Larouge--an excellent local tour guide--recounts the aître's history.)

Plague cemetery of Aître Saint-Maclou

Today, the courtyard looks like a small park, but from 1348 until the late 1700s, it was a mass grave for victims of the plague or "Black Death."

Close-up of Aître Saint-Maclou charnel house

Carvings at Aître Saint-Maclou

When the plague hit Rouen for the second time in the 16th Century, the mass grave from 1348 was dug up, and the bones were moved to a new charnel house that had been built around the plague cemetery.

In these two close-up photos, you can see skulls, bones, and other death-related symbols carved into the timbers of the charnel house. (The windows were added later, after the remains of plague victims were moved elsewhere.)

L'Aître Saint-Maclou, Rouen, France

Photo of L'Aître Saint-Maclou

Despite the Halloween-like decorations, l'Aître Saint-Maclou's days as a cemetery and charnel house are over. The buildings now house the regional école des Beaux-Arts, or School of Fine Arts.

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Day-by-day River Baroness cruise photos:
Day 1: Embarkation in Paris
Day 2: Les Andelys
Day 3: D-Day Sites
Day 4: Rouen
Day 5: Honfleur, Caudebec-en-Caux
Day 6: Giverny
Day 7: A Day in Paris
Day 8: Disembarkation

Also see:
Uniworld River Baroness cruise review
Paris for Visitors
Uniworld River Countess cruise review (Venice and Venetian Lagoon)