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Visit Le Havre – the best things to do in Le Havre

Would you like to visit Le Havre? This is a good choice because Le Havre is a very interesting city. 

Destroyed during the Second World War it was rebuilt by the architect Auguste Perret. It is worth noting that the city has been able to reinvent itself, and has given life to a dynamic and creative urban space.   

I spent 2 weeks in Le Havre and I discovered with great pleasure the most interesting corners of the city. In this article, I reveal the best things to do in Le Havre.

Visit le Havre: the best things to do in Le Havre

Rebuilt city centre Auguste Perret

The city of Le Havre, ravaged by the bombings of the Second World War, was rebuilt between 1945 and 1964 by Auguste Perret.

The amazing architecture of this city bears the signature of Auguste Perret. The Perret style and omnipresent in Le Havre, so typical and special that the city center is listed as a World Heritage Site. 

Perret Le Havre
By Velvet — Personal Work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12455347

Among the remarkable buildings not to be missed:

  • City Hall

City Hall Haven

  • St Michael's Church
  • St. Joseph's Church in Le Havre
St. Peter's Church
Photo Mathieu Dessus by Flickr

 

St. Joseph's Church is a must-see of the rebuilt city centre. It is a work by Auguste Perret erected in memory of the victims of the bombings of the Second World War.

With its 107 meters in height, its 6500 stained glass windows capable of filtering out the outside light and its concrete walls it is an amazing and majestic church. This masterpiece will take your breath away with its beauty.

 

The 2 volcanoes Oscar Niemeyer

The two volcanoes designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer are located in the heart of the city, and opened to the public in 1982.

The Great Volcano became the National Scene of Le Havre reopened to the public in January 2015.

The Little Volcano houses a modern library open to the public in November 2015.

This library has large spaces for the public: workrooms, press lounges, cinema and music lounges with muti-media equipment, children's space, etc.

Everything is done to spend a pleasant time in the middle of books, CDs, comic newspapers, you really have to spend a few hours to understand why she is so famous. 

Havre Library Volcanoes Haven

Visit to the Museum of Modern Art

Located by the sea, the André Malraux Museum of Modern Art (MuMa) houses a beautiful collection of Impressionist paintings, among the artists you will find Boudin, Pissarro, Monet, Manet.

Temporary exhibitions complete the tour.

Monet MUMA
Monet, Fécamp, seaside, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2183944

 

Seaside walk

Discover the waterfront that inspired Impressionist painters.

 
From the MUMA Museum, pass by the Port of Placentia, along the beach, to the Sainte-Adresse district. At the end of the day, take advantage of one of the terraces facing the sea to relax. 
 
Haven Beach

 

Visit to the perret witness apartment

The Perret Witness Apartment takes you back to the 1950s to discover thanks to this museum apartment neat in every detail how the interior of a Perret dwelling was decorated.

 

Docks Vauban Shopping Centre

It is a place to discover from an architectural point of view but also for a moment of relaxation shopping or for a coffee break in front of the docks

Docks Le Havre
By Pliny — Personal Work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27625100

Our Lady of the Flots

Small chapel, perched on the heights of Sainte Adresse. It's a small sailor's church with boats, paintings, a statue. Not to mention the remarkable view of the sea and the city. 

Notre Dame Cathedral

The cathedral was almost completely destroyed in the bombing of 1944.In 1949 the restoration began in order to restore it to its primitive form.

The façade still shows signs of bombing.

Suspended Gardens

This haven of peace, was originally a vast military work transformed into a botanical garden. You can discover the free gardens, visit the greenhouses and enjoy a view overlooking the estuary.
 
 

The Docks Baths

A typical architecture for this relaxing area along the Vauban Basin, within a complex of shops and leisure activities: sports or play pools, spa, balneo, fitness, swimming school.

 

 

Fort de Tourneville

The Fort de Tourneville, a 6-hectare military wasteland that has been decommissioned since 1989, has been transformed into a multidisciplinary cultural space open to the public: theatre, music, visual arts, modelling, etc.

 

 

Graville Abbey

11th century abbey located on the heights of the city: a museum of sacred art, visit of the adjoining Church of St. Honorine, Garden of the Virgin, with magnificent views of Le Havre.

Hotel in Le Havre

During my stay I stayed at the Gambetta residence, in the heart of the city, very clean studios at good rates

To book: Residence Le Gambetta

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