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Le Havre

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Seine-Maritime

Le Havre - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Seine-Maritime
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When you hear the name of Le Havre, its port is the first thing that springs to mind. Yet this city in Seine-Maritime has many tales to tell. Much of the city was destroyed by bombing in 1944, and was rebuilt after the war by Auguste Perret. Many of its monuments are symbols of this rebirth today. The city centre's resolutely modern and surprising architecture earned Le Havre UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2005!

Charged with putting the city back on its feet, the architect created bright and functional homes, as evidenced by the Perret Show Flat: a visit there will take you right back to the 50s. Built in memory of the bombing victims, the majestic Church of St. Joseph, which has a New York skyscraper feel to it, overlooks the entire city. An architectural masterpiece of the 20th century, the building is one of France's listed Historic Monuments (Monuments Historiques), and is distinguished by its impressive 107-metre-high octagonal lantern tower! Inside, the innumerable multi-coloured stained glass windows are truly admirable...

Another exceptional place to discover is the Hanging Gardens, which are certified Remarkable Gardens (Jardins Remarquables) and Botanical Gardens of France and French-speaking Countries (Jardins botaniques de France et des pays francophones). Located in a former fort in Sainte-Adresse overlooking the Bay of Seine, its themed landscaped gardens offer a splendid view of the sea and Le Havre!

Consisting of two buildings in the shape of a volcano, the Oscar Niemeyer Centre, built in the late 1970s by the famous Brazilian architect, and the André Malraux Museum of Modern Art, with its remarkable Impressionist and Fauvist collections from the 19th and 20th centuries, will delight lovers of art and culture. Interested in finding out how the Le Havre bourgeoisie lived in the 18th century? Head to the Ship-owner's House (Maison de l'Armateur), a five-storey museum house where rooms with exotic wood floors unfold around an octagonal skylight.

Your visit to Le Havre would not be complete without a trip to the port, which stretches for some thirty kilometres. Founded at the beginning of the 16th century at the behest of Francis I, it is one of France's largest commercial ports today. You will be able to see huge cargo ships and liners that have come for a stopover. Board the Ville du Havre II and enjoy an outing exploring the port and the Bay of Seine.

Additional information
Le Havre

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.

Things to see and do

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.

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Natural sites
Performance halls
Transport

Events and festivities

The city of Le Havre, which has inspired many painters and artists of all kinds, has retained an important cultural tradition.

Le Havre markets are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays in the morning. A Christmas market also takes place in December.

Literary Festival, the Taste of Others is held in January. Through lectures, lectures and other cultural events, it highlights the literatures of the world.

Original, the Fest Yves is an event in Breton colors that takes 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 at the Beach, a literary festival dedicated to detective novels, is organized every year in July. Like the world music festival, Moz'aïques, it takes place in the Z'Estivales, street entertainment taking place throughout the summer.

In September, the feast of the sea unveils the start of a race linking Le Havre in Bahia, Brazil.

Thursdays Aperitif Shopping
Exhibit at Tetris / Summer 2020 at Le Havre
Guided Tour of the Abbey Graville
Louise She's Crazy
Fresh wind in the Territory!
GUIDED TOUR: "Policy and Commitment" / Cemetery Ste Marie
CONCERT: "Les Heures Musicales summer"
Guided tour of the exhibition "Electric Nights" / Muma
Guided tour Exhibition "Electric Nights" / Muma
Japanese garden

Detailed information

Normandy Impressionist Festival
Since 2010, Impressionism has had its own festival! From 3 april to 6 september 2020

Photos

Leverage light
Leverage light
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The beach seen from the dike
The beach seen from the dike
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Memorial
Memorial
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Sunset in front of Nice Le Havre
Sunset in front of Nice Le Havre
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Memorial
Memorial
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The small harbor and the ocean towers
The small harbor and the ocean towers
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The Town Hall and the garden
The Town Hall and the garden
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The marina and the bell tower of Saint-Joseph church
The marina and the bell tower of Saint-Joseph church
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The Docks
The Docks
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Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History
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St. Joseph's Church
St. Joseph's Church
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St. Joseph's Church
St. Joseph's Church
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The sea
The sea
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The city
The city
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The city
The city
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The city
The city
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Notre-Dame cathedral
Notre-Dame cathedral
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Interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral
Interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral
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Interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral
Interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral
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Interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral
Interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral
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Interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral
Interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral
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Resistance and Deportation Memorial
Resistance and Deportation Memorial
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Memorial
Memorial
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Memorial
Memorial
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby

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