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Le Havre Culture France

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.

Turuk Culture Finland

Turku has something to offer for both urban visitors and those interested in the treasures of history. Today, Turku, a city of high technology, is home to three universities, the University of Turku, the Turku School of Economics and the Åbo Akademi. Turku is a prominent harbour, fair and commercial city. It also serves as an important link between east and west and important stop along the King’s Road. As the provincial capital, Turku is the regional and administrative centre of Southwest Finland. The See of the Evangelical Lutheran Archbishop is located in Turku, and it also has the oldest Court of Appeal in Finland. Turku is a popular venue for congresses and other major events. Turku Hall in Artukainen seats nearly 12,000 spectators. The city has a busy cultural life.
Turku Cathedral is the mother church of the Lutheran Church of Finland, and national shrine. It is regarded as the most highly valued monument in Finnish architectural history. The Cathedral is still regularly used for divine service. The church was consecrated as a cathedral in 1300, when the reliquary of Finland’s first bishop, Bishop Henry, was transferred there. The history of Turku Castle goes back to the 1280`s. In the course of the centuries, a fortified base built for the royal governor of Finland and his troops gradually expanded into a massive grey stone castle.

Enjoy the Archipelago
In summer, a water-bus sails daily from the River Aura to the Naantali and the city recreation areas on the nearby islands. The Archipelago Ring Road, which connects the northern and western archipelago of Turku by means of ferries. You can now travel through the worlds most beautiful area in just one day. Sail to the archipelago on board a genuine, nostalgic steam ship, the last of its kind in Finland. Enjoy the delicacies of the ship’s kitchen on a breakfast, lunch or dinner cruise.

Turku – Finland’s Christmas City
In Turku, Christmas is celebrated from the first Sunday of Advent to the middle of January. During this time, Christmas events are arranged all over the city. In many Finnish families, the real Christmas begins on Christmas Eve at exactly 12 o’clock. This is when the inhabitants of Turku gather in front of Brinkkala House – and hundreds of thousands of Finns at their radio and television sets – to listen how Turku declares Christmas Peace to the whole of Finland. Turku is the only town in the Nordic Countries, where the tradition of Christmas Peace declaration has survived almost uninterrupted from the Middle Ages to the present day. More attractions in Turku: Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum, Sibelius Museum, Sailing ship Suomen Joutsen, Museum ship Sigyn, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum, Turku Art Museum and The Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum.

Liege History

Liege lies at the border of the river Meuse.

However, the city thanks its creation to a smaller river, called the Legia. This river created a lot of sedimentation at the site where it ended in the Meuse river. The new settlement, protected by a double hill, the Publιmont, on the North-western side, was already inhabited in the Palaeolithic era. In the early Middle-Ages a small village grew on the site of a Gallo-roman villa. At the spot is now the main square of Liege, the ‘Place Saint Lambert’.

Three events marked the development of the village: the murder of Saint Lambert, the decision of Saint Hubert to make Liege the capital of a new bishopric and, finally, the fact that bishop Notger received from Emperor Otto II  worldly power in addition to his religious power. This changed the status of bishop Notger and of his successors into ‘Prince-bishop’, which meant that he could rule over Liege both as a bishop and a prince. Because of this, Liege quickly developed a national identity which set the entire area apart from the mighty neighbours Germany and France. The inhabitants of Liege always accentuated their neutrality towards the German Empire, to which the city actually belonged, and at the same time Liege always made clear that it belonged to the Romance language part of Europe. Frequently Liege had to defend its independence against its neighbours, such as the Duke of Brabant and the Duke of Burgundy : the destruction of the city and the mass-slaughter of its population in 1468 by Charles the bold of Burgundy is still engraved in today’s national memory.

On the 30th of May 1506 a new bishop, Everhard van der Marck, took power over the city and Liege started to blossom again. Through financial donations this bishop ensured that the industry around the city started to develop. Hence, the creation of a weapon industry that profited from the introduction of new inventions such as gun-powder and new methods to work metal. Because of this economic uprising, the arts started to flourish and in the 18th century Liege accepted the new Age of Enlightenment to its full extent.

At the end of the 18th century, however, high taxes and the abusive privileges of the clergy ensured that Liege was more than ready for the new ideas, created by the French Revolution. This was also due to the fact that Liege, at heart, always had felt itself part of France, or at least part of the French identity. After the Battle of Waterloo, Belgium had been joined again with Holland. However, in 1830 a revolution broke out in Brussels against the Dutch king. The revolutionists wanted to return to France. Especially in Liege this feeling was very strong and a lot of citizens from the city went off to Brussels to fight the Dutch army. The revolution turned out much different than planned : the European super-powers, England, Austria, Russia, Prussia, opposed the idea of a bigger France. The revolutionists of Brussels and Liege had to accept the creation of a new independent state : Belgium  with Liege becoming a part of this new state!

After the creation of the Belgian state, Liege, with its metallurgic industry and coal-mines, became all through the 19th century the economic backbone of Belgium. At the moment, the economic situation of Liege has suffered from the closing of the coal-mines and the international economic competition. However, it is still now the third largest city in Belgium, with about 400.000 inhabitants, and an economic attraction pole in the area of Maastricht – Aachen – Liege.