The City - Largest city in Normandy with 193 000 inhabitants
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. The lights of Le Havre skies are highly prized by impressionists and give an impression of wide spaces to the viewer.
Le Havre more than a city, a site, to be discovered !