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Le Havre is a port city at the mouth of the Seine, on the English Channel (French: Manche) in the region of Upper Normandy in France. Le Havre is French for "the harbour". Historically, Le Havre has always been the harbour for Paris, with goods transferring there between ocean-going vessels and barges which go to Paris via the Seine. Le Havre was heavily bombed during the Battle of Normandy. The reconstruction of the town was undertaken by August Perret using reinforced concrete. This project has led to the city being added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. (less...) (more...)
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Points of Interest
- Business object
- Civic property
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- Green space
- Historic site
- Interesting place
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Points of Interest in Le Havre
- St Joseph's Church was a key project designed by August Perret in the rebuilding of the city. Its tall tower is lined with coloured glass lending the interior a unique tranquility.
- Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) is situated on one of the largest squares in France. The interior has information on the city. It is possible to climb the tower for view of the lay out of the city.
- Showflat, designed by city designer August Perret, is now open for public viewing.
- Malraux Museum, houses the largest Impressionist collection in France outside of Paris.
- Cultural Centre (the Volcano) designed by leading architect Oscar Neimeyer is located in the centre of town.
- Maison de l'Armateur (opposite the ferries) One of the few old houses which were not destroyed during World War II. A magnificent house of 5 floors, nicely decorated and furnished in the style of its construction (18th century), when it belonged to rich families. A very interesting visit especially if you also visit Auguste Perret's showflat in City Hall Square showing what was life was like in the '50s ... You will understand the complex history of the city ...
- Museum d'histoire naturelle ... in an old building which miraculously survived the terrible bombings on September 5, 1944. Interesting museum (free) a lot of activities for children.
- Nearby, Cathedrale Notre Dame. Visit it and walk around it. You'll get a striking contrast between the 15th century cathedral and the buildings constructed in the '50s and '60s around it. The foundations of the cathedral are lower than the other buildings because they were built on the ruins of the old town.
- The view of the port (bassin du commerce) with its lovely bridge and both the Volcano and steeple of St Joseph's church in the background. Nice both in the day or at night. On the north quay ... the Casino (gambling, fine restaurants, hotel, spa).
- St Vincent district is an old district near the beach which didn't suffer too much from the terrible bombings that flattened the city in 1944 and in which 5,000 people died in the ruins in a few hours. The little church and the square around it evoke a village atmosphere in southern France. During the season, painters gather on the square and give an impression of "Montmartre".
- Every year on the first Sunday after August 15 a traditional parade is organized in the city. Flowered carriages, people in costumes, floral floats, music, etc.
- Every second year (the first one took place in 2006), Le Havre is home to a Contemporary Art Exhibition in the casino and everywhere in the streets of the city centre.
- Every year on the first weekend of September Le Havre holds a "Fishermen's Festival"
- In May is "Fest Yves" a traditional festival from Brittany in quartier St François.
- Every July 14, traditional fireworks on the beach (at 11pm).
- Take the funiculaire (cable car) for an easy climb to Le Havre's upper plateau. From the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), it’s a 7 minute walk (600 metres) along avenue René Coty to the lower terminal is located on rue Gustave-Flaubert (corner rue du Docteur-Vigné). A one-way ticket costs 0.40 €. Once at the top, turn right from the upper terminal (heading east), along rue Félix-Faure, another 7 minute walk (500 metres) brings you to a superbly panoramic view of the beautiful city and its harbour. You can return down the Escalier Olivier-Senn, then stroll through narrow historic streets, zig-zagging back to the city center. Returning to the lower terminal takes about 12 minutes, all downhill.
About Le Havre
- Climb the tower of Hotel de Ville for an overview of August Perret's planned city. Beautiful!
- Enjoy the beach in good weather (restaurants, bars, night life)
- Relax in the glow of the unique St Joseph's Church
- Drive over the River Seine on the gorgeous bridge "Pont de Normandie" Then you will be in Honfleur, one of Normandy's prettiest places.
- Enjoy a walk in the posh residential area of Ste Adresse overlooking the Le Havre bay and enjoy nice views of the bay and the city
- Visit the port (whether on a boat or by bike: more information in many languages from the tourist office situated along the beach)
- Rent a bike at the tourist office for a couple of euros and enjoy the seafront and the city centre at its best. You can also ride to Harfleur (eastern suburb) which is a lovely medieval town! Montivilliers, a few miles away is also worth a visit. Nice abbey and town center.
- After the beach, enjoy a forest in the middle of the city "forêt de Montgeon"
- Les jardins suspendus (fort de Sainte Adresse). Lovely walled garden and greenhouse in an old fort overlooking the city and the sea. Nice views! A nice walk on the walls!
- Quartier St-François offers a great selections of different restaurants (style, nationality and prices). A lot of "crêperies" (French pancakes).
- A selection of fine restaurants is to be found everywhere in the city (the casino is one of the best "Le Havre des sens"). More information at the tourist office
- Big typical market every Thursday morning in Montivilliers and in Harfleur every Sunday morning
- Chocolate Passion (Near the Hotel de Ville). Amazing Chocolate store and tea salon where one can go to drink the best hot chocolate in the world.
- Quartier St-François is also home to several bars
- In the city centre ... and the beach.
- Normandy is famous for its cider and its cheese. Go to "Les Halles" (south of the city centre near pedestrian aerea and Volcano) A covered market where you will find a selection of little shops selling excellent products (vegetables, cheese, meat, bakeries, wine, cider ... and a small supermarket)
- You can buy local products in one of the seasonal sheds along the beach and at the tourist office
- Chocolates "la tour" (the tower) Chocolaterie Auzou (near Espace Coty - Coty Mall)
- Fresh fish from the fishermen (fish market) Opposite the ferry, in front of "maison de l'armateur" on "quai de l'ile" (island quay)
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Le Havre on Wikivoyage.