Le Havre is a French commune and city in Normandy in north-west France. The city with just under 180,000 inhabitants is located on the right bank of the Seine estuary on the English Channel, southwest of the Pays de Caux. Modern Le Havre is strongly influenced by its seafaring traditions. Its port is the second largest in France, after Marseille for all shipping traffic and the largest French container port. The fact that Le Havre is a well-known port city can also be seen from the name of the city, which translates as “the port”. The city and its port were founded by King Francis I in 1517. Economic development in the early modern period was hampered by many religious wars, conflicts with the English, epidemics and storms.
Almost three quarters of Le Havre’s buildings were destroyed during World War II but were later rebuilt. The Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in the center is one of the largest public squares in Europe. Notre-Dame church from the 16th-17th centuries Century is one of the few surviving old buildings. Although damaged during World War II, it was restored in the 1970s. The Saint-Joseph church is an unusual reinforced concrete structure. The art museum, established in 1961, houses a collection (salvaged from the old museum that was destroyed in 1944) containing works by 19th century painter Eugène Boudin and 20th century artist Raoul Dufy.
Rouen offers its guests top sights
Rouen is without a doubt one of the most attractive holiday destinations in French Normandy. Top attractions include the superbly restored historic center, the Gothic-era cathedral and outstanding museums. In addition, Rouen is characterized by an extremely lively cultural life. With the typical cobblestone pavement and the picturesque half-timbered houses, parts of the old town have saved their appearance from the Middle Ages into the present. The narrowest alley, the Rue des Chanoines, is only 90 centimeters wide. Rouen Cathedral was built between the 12th and 16th centuries. Your so-called butter tower is 75 meters high. The world famous Impressionist painter Claude Monet was so impressed by its facade that he painted a whole series of paintings of it.
The Église Jeanne d`Arc church honors the memory of the French national saint
A popular tourist destination in Rouen is the Place du Vieux Marché, where Joan of Arc was burned in 1431. She had been found guilty of heresy. The Église Jeanne d`Arc church was built on the site of the pyre and consecrated in 1979. The windows of the church are made of fantastic stained glass that dates back to the 16th century. One of the exquisite museums in Rouen is the Musée des Beaux-Arts, housed in a magnificent building from 1870. You can see pictures by Sisley, Renoir, Pissarro, Modigliani, Rubens, Caravaggio and of course several paintings by Claude Monet.
The plague victims found their final resting place in the art academy
Also worth seeing is the Ceramics Museum in Rouen, which is located in a building from the 17th century. Among the outstanding exhibits are the faiences, the earliest of which date from 100 years before the time of construction. The Le Secq des Tournelles museum houses a wrought iron collection. The Rouen Art Academy is housed in several half-timbered houses that were built between 1526 and 1533. They are decorated with wood carvings that have death as their theme, as they have long served as the final resting place for the victims of the plague.
Côte de Granit Rose
The Côte de Granit Rose or the Pink Granite Coast is world famous and is one of the most beautiful sights in Brittany. The ten-kilometer stretch of coast between Paimpol and Trébeurden is a must for trips to this region of France because of its spectacular, reddish-colored rock formations.
Rose granite owes its characteristic color and its name to the minerals alkali feldspar and hematite. This fact, but also the history of its origins, which began over 300 million years ago, makes the granite coast particularly interesting for study trips. The layers of earth that were above the granite at that time were eroded over time by water and wind, leaving only the bizarre, reddish granite rocks. These have made the coastline a unique example of the violence of nature.
The most beautiful rock formations on the Côte de Granit Rose
The heart of the Pink Granite Coast is the section between Perros-Guirrec and Trégastel. In the Ploumanac’h landscape park there is one of the most popular photo opportunities and landmarks of the Côte de Granit Rose, the lighthouse. It protrudes from a rocky headland, but at the same time forms a unit with it, because like its surroundings it is made entirely of rose granite.
Many of the granite formations have been given names because of their shapes, so there is “Napoleon’s hat” at the port of Ploumanac’h, which is reminiscent of the famous general’s tricorn. Not far from here, on a rock surrounded by water, the oratory of Saint-Guirec was built. The religious monument consists of a chapel supported by four columns, under the roof of which a statue of a saint forms the center. At low tide, the monument can be reached on foot.
These sights and the mighty accumulations of stones can be explored very well on the Zöllnerweg, a section of the GR-34 hiking trail, which was laid out in 1907. From Perros-Guirrec beach, the path leads directly to the imposing backdrop of the pink granite giants and also offers hikers a beautiful distant view of the Sept-Îles group of islands.