The Jewish Monument of the Palais de Justice of Rouen is one of the most interesting Monuments of our city. According to all probability, it was the house of a rich Jewish person enriched by the conquest of England, built after the attenuation of the disorders due to the start of the first crusade. It forms part of a tradition of construction of stone residences which should not astonish us as Rouen, one of the first towns of Western Europe, was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman kingdom. It could have been used for something other than a residential function.
We can imagine that the owner, or one of its descendants would bequeath it to the community a few decades afterwards. It is permissible to imagine an other utilisation : house of prayer, school or even... both at the same time!
Let us leave the polemic. In any event, it is today the oldest Jewish monument preserved in Western Europe. It is a place of memory. It speaks to us about these generations of Jews which were once known to reside in good relations with their Norman contemporaries. They did not test the need for building a building different from the other Norman buildings of Normandy. Beautiful proof of integration and agreement which it is amusing to note in these years when old demons of racism and xenophobia awake!
To know more:
read the book of Jacques TANGUY:
"Le Monument Juif du Palais de Justice de Rouen"
(see on page of introduction)