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Must-See

Le Havre

Le Havre combines the attractions of a modern, vibrant and busy city, the dynamism of a major European port and the charm of a seaside resort.


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Le Havre is as important a commercial port as it is a popular yachting destination.
Its 2km of beach open onto the Seine estuary, once the backdrop for many Impressionist artists who loved the effect of the light, including Monet as seen in his "Sunrise at Le Havre". Completely destroyed during the 1944 bombardments, the city was rebuilt in modernist style by famous architect Auguste Perret, and has now been recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.
The Malraux Museum is worth a visit as it houses an impressive collection of Modernist works together with art from preceding centuries and contemporary art. The Notre Dame cathedral, Natural History Museum and the Graville Priory also deserve a mention.
Like many European ports, le Havre offers a lively, buzzing atmosphere in the evening, a great nightlife.
And you'll love the old docks refurbished into a shopping centre!

 

Virtual tour of Le Havre

Find out more about the Impressionist movement





Worth a visit

 

 

 

  • The Saint-Joseph church and its remarkable 350ft high octagonal lantern tower. Designed by Auguste Perret and completed after his death by the architects of his studio, it is the symbol of the rebirth of the town, one of the architectural masterpieces of the 20th century, and an emblem of the reconstruction of Europe.

  • The town centre, rebuilt by Auguste Perret : Discover the town centre in pictures (website in French)

  • The Perret model apartment : The furniture has been selected from the model appartments presented during the reconstruction (between 1945 and 1955).

  • Le Volcan (Volcano): this cultural centre for Le Havre and nationally-important theatre, dating from 1982, is the work of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The building includes two separate volumes : above, a theatre and a cinema; below there is a concert hall for modern music. The architectural volumes are developed in white-painted concrete, whose curved forms seek to achieve a poetical expression derived from the modern movement.

  • The Malraux museum is the largest French impressionist collection after the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

  • Vauban Docks (website in French) : Docks built from 1840 onwards along the same lines as the London docks refurbished in to stores and leisure areas.

  • Les Bains des Docks: highly modern water park designed by the architect Jean Nouvel.

  • The Maison de l‘Armateur (Shipowner's House), with its XVIIIth century architecture and its interior built around a light well, is a museum which symbolises the history of Le Havre.

  • Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum) : housed in the former XVIIIth century courtroom, it displays fine collections of palaeontology and zoology, together with the unique collection of 8000 drawings and manuscripts of the naturalist Charles Alexandre Lesueur.

  • The Marina
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  • The beach and its promenade with its large cycle track and sea front bars and restaurants.

  • The skatepark facing the sea is the largest in France.

  • le Prieuré de Graville (Graville Priory)

  • The Impressionist itinerary (website in French) : 9 panels reproduce the works painted at Le Havre and Sainte-Adresse, on the actual site where they were painted. The itinerary begins at the Bassin du Commerce and continues to the beach at Sainte-Adresse. A leaflet is available at the Le Havre Tourist Office.

 

 

Discover the Normandy Far from Ordinary experiences about Le Havre's architecture !

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