From a social point of view, the nearness of the sea helps create open-mindedness and friendship. In fact, the warmth and hospitality of Le Havre’s inhabitants is a well-known phenomenon. Le Havre is also home to a variety of different communities and cultural traditions.
The sea front, beach and docks are an integral part of the city: in fact, the estuary and harbour give Le Havre its identity. Nearly 2 000 feet of the mile-long beach belong to the Le Havre commune. The yachting harbour is situated in the town centre and offers all the assets of a tourist stop, or for replenishments after sailing in La Manche. It is freely accessible 24 hours a day and has a total of 1 300 mooring spaces. Le Havre is the nearest deep water yachting harbour to Paris.
Whether you are in town, in the forest or at the countryside, there is always something to discover in Le Havre and the region! There is no way you can get bored: go sea bathing, yachting, visit old buildings, venture sightseeing trips; you are bound to find what you’re looking for, regardless of your age and tastes, whatever the season.
Several fine examples of Le Havre architecture are standing today. With its old stones, museums, music, theatre, dancing and reading, Le Havre has something to suit every taste.
Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in the centre is one of the most spacious public squares in Europe. The 16th–17th-century Church of Notre-Dame is one of the few surviving old buildings; although damaged during World War II, it was restored in the 1970’s. The Church of Saint-Joseph is an unusual reinforced-concrete edifice.
Set in the heart of the historical quarter of St. François, the Ancient
Le Havre Museum occupies the former home of Michel Dubocage de Bléville, navigator, Ship owner and Naturalist of the 17th Century. You can discover the adventure of Le Havre and through it, the history of shipbuilding, nautical activities and architecture.
Fine Arts gallery André Malraux is a glass and metal building from the Sixties. The Musée des Beaux Arts presents the visitors with a unique occasion of contemplating Monet and other Impressionist masters in the very light that attracted them to Normandy coast. The largest collection in the world of sketches by Eugène Boudin are on view as well as many works by Raoul Dufy, who was born in Le Havre.
The Graville Priory is a Romanesque abbey with interesting capitals. It was built over the tomb of Sainte Honorine, patron saint of bargemen, and became a place of pilgrimage. Today the building houses the museum of Religious Art and Old dwellings. In the garden you can admire the statue of the black Virgin.
Opened in 1959, Tancarville Bridge, 17 miles away, links Le Havre with the European road network. The Normandy cable stayed Bridge opened in 1995, established a new world record for its class.