Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its post-war city center, the city of Le Havre takes its place in Normandy, in the department of Seine-Maritime. Limitrophe of Honfleur, the second port of France after Marseille, it is also not far from Rouen, one of the regional capitals.
The most populous commune in Normandy, Le Havre was created on the orders of Francis I in 1517. Important economic pole during the eighteenth and nineteenth century, especially thanks to its commercial port, the city suffered heavy damage during the Second World War. It reappeared from its ashes a few years later thanks to the work of the famous architect, Auguste Perret, who unveiled a new center partially inaugurated by André Malraux in the 1960s.
Dynamic from an economic and cultural point of view, La Havre still unveils an important historical heritage that attracts many visitors each year. Its pebble beach, located in the city, also makes it a rare site in France. The City of Art and History, the Norman city is full of riches to discover during a stay in the region.
Known around the world for its downtown reconstructed by Auguste Perret, the city of Le Havre unveils to its tourists an important architectural and cultural heritage.
Rebuilt after the Second World War, downtown Le Havre is the work of Auguste Perret, a French architect specializing in reinforced concrete. Main historical attraction of the Norman commune, it extends on nearly 150 hectares, mixing housing and civil buildings. A true masterpiece of 20th-century art, it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Last monument created by Auguste Perret, the church of Saint Joseph stands proudly in the middle of the reconstructed center of Le Havre. A true sanctuary dedicated to the victims of the Second World War, the concrete building reveals a tower-tower of 110 meters in height, as well as impressive stained glass windows. It has been listed in Historical Monuments.
Inaugurated in the late 1950s, the town hall impresses with its façade and dimensions. Built by Auguste Perret and Jacques Tournant, it features a large 18-storey tower and a garden designed by Auguste Perret himself. The large esplanade now hosts part of the tramway route of the city.
Le Havre has, however, preserved some more ancient monuments, like the cathedral Notre-Dame, classified as Historic Monuments. Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, it dates from the end of the sixteenth century. Small originality, one can admire inside the old way of the cross of the ship, Normandy.
Other medieval religious buildings are also visible, such as the Graville Abbey, the oldest building in Le Havre. Classified as a Historic Monument, it blends Romanesque and Gothic styles. The chapel of Ingouville, of the fifteenth century, also deserves the detour with its flamboyant Gothic style.
There are also many monuments testifying to the maritime vocation of the Norman town, such as the Vauban docks, the Tourneville fort, or the famous hanging gardens. The latter are a botanical garden located inside the old fort of Sainte-Adresse and pays tribute to the city's botanists who have traveled the world to discover new plant species. One finds in particular greenhouses and thematic spaces on America or Asia.
The city of Le Havre also has five museums labeled Museum of France, following the example of the André Malraux Museum. Dedicated to art, it unveils collections from the end of the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Monet, Renoir, Dufy and Boudin are appreciated here. Eighteenth century residence, the house of the Shipowner has been classified Historic Monuments and now houses a museum unveiling the life of the high dignitaries of the city under the Ancien Régime. Located in the old private mansion Dubocage de Bléville, the Museum of Ancien Havre allows to discover the history of the city through time. Do not miss the museum of natural history whose building is classified to the Historic Monuments. It is still home to interesting specimens of palaeontology and zoology.
Rarely in the country, Le Havre houses within its downtown a pebble beach. It has a number of recreational and entertainment facilities, such as children's playgrounds and sports fields, and enjoys the benefits of the Channel Sea.
The city of Le Havre, which has inspired many painters and other artists of all kinds, has maintained an important cultural tradition.
The markets of Le Havre are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays morning. A Christmas market is also taking place in December.
Literary Festival, The Taste of Others is held in January. Through lectures, conferences and other cultural events, he highlights the literatures of the world.
Original, the Fest Yves is a Breton-colored event taking place in the Saint-François district every May.
Dixie Days is a jazz festival that takes place in June on the beaches of Le Havre and Sainte-Adresse.
Polar à la Plage, a literary festival devoted to detective novels, is organized every year in July. Like the World Music Festival, Moz'aïques, it takes place in the framework of the Z'Estivales, street animations taking place all summer.
In September, the festival of the sea unveils the start of a race linking Le Havre to Bahia in Brazil.