Rue is a town in the Somme department in the Hauts-de-France region, 25 km north-west of Abbeville.
Located just a few kilometers from the Picardy coast, the town borders the Somme Bay reserve and the Marquenterre park, renowned for their biodiversity, especially from an ornithological point of view.
The city developed in the Middle Ages thanks to its seaport, and was fortified.
But in the seventeenth century, the silting up of the port stopped the economic boom of Rue, which nevertheless remained a seigneury deriving its revenues from the products of canals, ponds and crops linked to its particular environment (mills).
Former capital of Marquenterre, between beaches, dunes and forests, Rue, around 3,200 inhabitants, has preserved a rich architectural heritage and will delight lovers of green tourism in search of true ecological treasures.
Before setting out to discover the rich natural environment of its territory and its surroundings, a visit to the historic buildings of the heart of the city is essential.
Formerly located on one of the roads to Santiago de Compostela, Rue possesses the remarkable chapel of the Holy Spirit, built between 1440 and 1514, and which specialists consider as the most representative building of flamboyant Gothic art In Picardy. Its vocation was first of all to welcome the pilgrims who came to venerate a crucifix stranded on the strike of the port of the city at the beginning of the twelfth century. The pilgrimage lasted until the 17th and was one of the vectors of the rise of the city. The ornate vaults of the chapel, and the stone lace on the walls, will be noticed. Since the end of the nineteenth century, three canvases installed in the nave retrace the legend of the crucifix of the twelfth century. Free visit of the holidays of February to the holidays of Toussaint. Guided tours in July and August on request.
The route continues through the chapel of the old hospice where the pilgrims were lodged in the Middle Ages. Dedicated to Saint Nicholas and Santiago de Compostela, it was rebuilt in the 16th century. One will observe its vault in the form of an overturned boat and sandpits, where are engraved scenes of hunting. The statues are remarkable. In addition, the chapel houses a painting attributed to Philippe de Champaigne representing Saint Augustine. Guided tour only by appointment. For further information, please call +33 3 22 25 69 94.
But it is the belfry of the small city of Rue which is the jewel of its historical heritage. Registered as a UNESCO heritage site, the present building was built following the destruction of a first belfry erected in the thirteenth century after the granting of a charter of municipal freedoms.
The belfry has a lower part that dates from the 15th century. On the first floor is the hall of the aldermen, where the bourgeois were "governing" the city, and on the second floor a guard-room, from which the watchmen could actuate the bells in case of attack or fire. From this level there is access to a turret which served as a prison. On the walls, there are graffiti from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. During the transformation of the belfry into a town hall in the 19th century, two neo-gothic wings were built. Also to be seen, in a room, paintings of the early twentieth century representing everyday life. During the guided visits, via a staircase, you can reach the round walkway which offers a superb panorama of the city and even the Bay of Somme. For visits, information on +33 3 22 25 69 94.
Finally, one can linger at the Saint-Wulphy church (12th century, rebuilt in the 18th and then the 19th in a neo-classical style). The old bell-tower was a landmark for sailors during storms. Inside, furniture of style including elements of the primitive church.
A historical route intended for visitors allows to go back in time through the streets of the city including all historical buildings. Brochure or reservation for a guided tour on +33 3 22 25 69 94.
Another dive in the past, but less distant this time, with the visit of the museum of the aviation, based on the history of brothers René and Gaston Caudron. These pioneers took off a plane in 1909 in the courtyard of the family farm, set up a flight school and later founded a factory whose aircraft were exported to China (more than 10,000 aircraft were produced at Rue). The G3 was one of the mythical aircraft of the French Air Force during the First World War. Museum open on Monday from 14h to 18h, from Tuesday to Saturday from 9h30 to 12h30 and from 14h to 18h and, in July and August, on Sundays and public holidays, from 9h30 to 12h30. Free entry.
One can then turn to the remarkable natural environment of Rue and its region.
On the territory of the municipality, the Larronville marsh, classified and protected, is appreciated for its rich flora and the diversity of its biotopes. Visit by reservation only on +33 3 22 25 69 94. Rate 2 to 4 euros.
Many other hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding possibilities are possible from Rue to the coast and its nature reserves. For further information, please call +33 3 22 25 69 94.
To join the equestrian circle and consider a horse ride, contact the +33 3 22 25 98 58.
In another register, for a tennis game, reserve a court at +33 3 22 25 76 35.
In mid-July, the Ars Terra festival will be held over three days in classical music concerts in churches in and around Rue.
The third weekend of July, equestrian festival (parade, feria, fun activities).
In addition to two annual fairs on 1 May and 1 October, which have earned the commercial reputation of Rue for decades, each Saturday morning, a market offers regional products from the region.