Visit Le Havre (Normandy, France)
Le Havre is a major port town and entry point for ferries arriving in France from the UK, situated on the coast in Upper Normandy on the mouth of the River Seine.
Le Havre was very badly damaged during World War II, and much of the city that we see today was as designed by the architect Auguste Perret in the post-war period.
Le Havre architecture
The modernist architecture in Le Havre is unlike any other town in France - and can appear rather 'brutal' to those who aren't enthusiasts of post-war architect. Nonetheless there are some fascinating and noteworthy buildings to admire and a visit is recommended. Note that the redevelopment of the city is so noteworthy that the city has now been designated a UNESCO World heritage site.
The visit to Le Havre has some particular buildings that are important in understanding the work of Auguste Perret. The route can therefore start from the Church of St. Joseph, a centrally-plan building in which the octagonal tower, over 100 metres high, stands out in particular. The stained glass windows, an outstanding work of Marguerite Huré, make the church bright and airy, limiting the impact of its massive concrete structure. The work was begun by Auguste Perret, but it was completed after his death by students linked to his school.
Another symbol of the modernization of the city is a building of a great visual impact, the so-called Volcan, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in 1982. It has rightly been noted that the Volcano building is inspired by the School of Le Corbusier, for its forms and sinuous curves, and is striking for the whiteness of the painted cement. It is also now among the most prestigious cultural centres in France and Europe - initially planned by André Malraux as the 'House of Culture', today the 'Volcan' is a place for theatre, film and musical performances.
Le Havre art museum
Undoubtedly the central point for art in Le Havre is the famous Musée Malraux. Known throughout Europe for its collection of Impressionist painters, there is actually much else to enjoy in the museum, including some artefacts in ivory and precious ceramics from Rouen and Normandy. But the Museum highlight is undoubtedly the collection of Impressionist painters, enriched by donations over the course of time and including outstanding works of Monet (1840-1926), undisputed master of the movement (living from 1883 at Giverny, where you can visit his house). At the Museum you can admire the beautiful 'Water Lilies'.
The Museum contains other collections of Impressionist landscape art, in particular many works of Eugene Bodin (1824-1898), for example the 'Deux chevaux à l'écurie', 'Dame en blanc sur la plage de Trouville', 'Paysage au bord de l'eau', 'Environs de Plougaste' and many others. Also very nice is the painting by L.A. Dubourg, 'La Jetée d'Honfleur' (1825-1891).
Other places to visit in Le Havre
Despite the devastation caused by World War II, something traditional and intact remained at Le Havre - the tourist vocation of its beach, which was firmly established in the early 20th century with the establishment of baths and a broad promenade frequented by Parisian tourists. Also linked to the sea is the typical cuisine of Le Havre, where you can enjoy delicious fish dishes such as sole, turbot and scallops. Other regional specialties are the 'creperies', in the Breton district of Saint-François.
Photos taken within 10 km
Tourist classifications for Le Havre
Le Havre has received the following tourist classifications: listed town of Art and History ;
Address: Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, Normandy, 76600 || GPS: latitude 49.49, longitude 0.1
Map of Le Havre & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Le Havre, France
- Honfleur - recommended detour (12km)
- Touques - ville fleurie 4* (16km)
- Falaises d'Etretat - site of natural beauty (25km)
- Cabourg - ville fleurie 4* (28km)
- Pont-Audemer - recommended detour (34km)
- Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon - ville fleurie 4* (34km)
- Beuvron - most beautiful village (35km)
- Boutemont - remarkable garden (35km)
- Fecamp - town of art and history (36km)
- Cote d'Alabatre - site of natural beauty (36km)
Market days in Le Havre: Regular market(s) are held in Le Havre each Tuesday & Thursday & Saturday all day & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Le Havre (Francais)