Le Havre is an urban French commune and city in the Seine-Maritime department in the Upper Normandy region.
Its port is the second largest in France for total traffic, and the largest French container port. The name Le Havre means “the harbour” or “the port”. Its inhabitants are known as Havrais or Havraises.
Administratively the commune is located in the Upper Normandy region and, with Dieppe, is one of the two sub-prefectures of the Seine-Maritime department. Le Havre is the capital of the canton and since 1974 has been the see of the diocese of Le Havre.
Le Havre is the most populous commune of Upper Normandy.
(source : wikipedia)
Le Havre de Grâce was established in 1517 by King Francis I of France after the silting-up of the ports of the Seine estuary, Honfleur and Harfleur. In 1820 and 1852, the city was enlarged, first thanks to the pushing back of the ramparts and later, to their demolition. A war port during the 17th century, successful trading with the Isles during the 18th century and emigration to America during the 19th century; all this contributed to a high demography and a fast development of the city of Le Havre. The industrialisation beginning in the 1920’s gives the first place to the city in Normandy thanks to its worldwide coffee and cotton market.
In September 1944, 80% of the city centre was destroyed and the port was completely devastated…
It has taken twenty years for Le Havre to find a new lease of life. The lower part of the town is now the largest post-war unitary reconstruction site, with a surface area of 150 hectares. The unusual architecture made of concrete, created by Auguste Perret, offering antique columns and screen walls of oriental inspiration, opens Le Havre up on the sea.
In July 2005, UNESCO listed Le Havre’s city, rebuilt by Auguste Perret, as a World Heritage site. Perret was a major 20th century architect, a “concrete poet” and an innovator. Atelier Perret pulled off the feat of taking classic tradition and combining it with modernity to reinvent a unique 133ha centre whose architecture is clear, airy, harmonious and resolutely innovative.
HAROPA, the 5th largest port complex in Northern Europe, is a joint venture between the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris. As the first North-European port of call inbound for world trade, the port complex benefits from an outstanding geographic location on the northern seaboard of France and irrigates the European market owing to the river Seine and the high quality of its connection networks.
(source : Office de Tourisme de l’Agglomération Havraise)
Take a look at Le Havre’s Tourist Information Guide online. It offers tours of the city and it is replete with information on restaurants, guided tours, sports, shopping…
For more information visit Le Havre’s Tourist Information web site.