The Story of Rouen

The Story of Rouen

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The Story of Rouen

The Story of Rouen

Read FREE!

Excerpt

"Est enim benignum et plenum ingenui pudoris fateri per quos profeceris."

THE story of a town must differ from the history of a nation in that it is concerned not with large issues but with familiar and domestic details. A nation has no individuality. No single phrase can fairly sum up the characteristics of a people. But a town is like one face picked out of a crowd, a face that shows not merely the experience of our human span, but the traces of centuries that go backward into unrecorded time. In all this slow development a character that is individual and inseparable is gradually formed. That character never fades. It is to be found first in the geographical laws of permanent or slowly changed surroundings, and secondly in the outward aspect of the dwellings built by man, for his personal comfort or for the good of the material community, or for his spiritual needs.

To these three kinds of architecture I have attached this story of Rouen, because even in its remotest syllables there are some traces left that are still visible; and these traces increase as the story approaches modern times. While moats and ramparts still sever a city from its surrounding territory, the space within the walls preserves many of those sharply defined characteristics which grow fainter when town and country merge one into the other; the modern suburb gradually destroys the personality both of what it sprang from and of what it meets. Up to the beginning of the sixteenth century I have been more . . .

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