A jewel on the Seine estuary, the Town of Art and History of Honfleur is a must for anyone visiting Calvados. Its half-timbered and timber-framed houses, picturesque cobbled streets lined with art galleries, slate roofs, restaurants and shops... In this town of painters and Impressionism, everything combines and mingles to compose a harmonious picture that artists have always celebrated. Courbet, Monet and so many others were not mistaken!
Its well-preserved architectural heritage, a reminder of its rich past as a fishing and trading port, is its main attraction. The authentic charm of its beautiful typical houses and charming hotels has earned it an international reputation. A stroll along the quays of the Old Basin (Vieux Bassin), as its charming Norman harbour is known, is an experience not to be missed. The ensemble formed by the beautiful narrow houses by the harbour, which are listed historic monuments, and the old trawlers moored there is always a welcome sight! At the end of the Basin is the Lieutenancy where the King's Lieutenant resided in the 17th century. This is one of the few remnants of the town's fortifications.
The Church of St. Catherine, dating from the 15th and 16th centuries and built entirely from timber from the neighbouring forest, is the largest wooden church in France! It is remarkable for its original shape, like an upturned double boat hull. Its separate bell tower, facing the church, contains religious objects. Overlooking Honfleur, the 17th-century Chapel of Our Lady of Grace watches over the town and contains paintings, models of boats and an antique organ. From the nearby lookout, you can admire panoramic views of the Normandy Bridge (Pont de Normandie), the city of Le Havre and the Seine. As for the Church of St. Leonard, its portal is a fine example of Flamboyant Gothic architecture.
Among the other local sights, you can admire the majestic 2,141-metre-long Normandy Bridge linking Honfleur to Le Havre, or discover the Satie Houses, a museum dedicated to the musician born there; the Eugène Boudin Museum, in honour of the painter born in Honfleur, which exhibits collections of paintings and drawings from the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Marine Museum. Nature-lovers will enjoy the Naturospace, which recreates the ecosystem of a tropical forest, or the Garden of Personalities, an idyllic and cultural attraction.