Jeanne d’Arc


Jeanne d’Arc, a statue in the main square of Rouen, the place where she was burned at stake as a punishment for her engagement in fights against the English in the 100 years Franco-English war.

Jeanne d’Arc (1412-1431) called the Maid of Orléans was a hero of the so-called 100 years war, a period when France struggled to recover from the English domination. The war started as the descendants of William the Conqueror (of the English-Norman dynasty) claimed through years the right to the French throne.

As a teenager, Jeanne d’Arc had a vision of saints, who told her to fight against the English and help the French Dauphin (heir to the French throne) to regain the rule over the French territory. Following her visions, she engaged in politics and military actions. Ultimately, she managed to attract the interest of the French Dauphin himself. Although she was wearing armor, according to historians she never engaged in a fight. But on battlefields, she carried a banner. She was serving as a military advisor as well.

As the fate of the campaign against the English changed with her appearance (including the ending of the siege of Orleans), she gained a symbolic status.

After she was captured by a group of French nobles allied with the English, she stood trial and was burned at stake on 30 May 1431. Ages later, she was declared a national symbol of France by the decision of Napoleon Bonaparte.