Though Le Havre is usually thought of as a place to get on or off a ship, there is a bit more to this major seaport.
It is situated at the mouth of the Seine River, on the English Channel in the upper Normandy region of the country. The town's name means the port in French, and its important distinction is that it has always served as the harbor for the city of Paris, with goods being transferred between oceangoing ships and barges on the Seine. It's a good base station for exploring most of Normandy, with major sites including Mont-St.-Michel accessible in about two hours or less.
Le Havre was completely destroyed in World War II, and Auguste Perret was charged with the redesign and rebuilding of the city. As a result, most of Le Havre is quite modern and stands in stark contrast with the rest of Normandy.
We enjoyed staying two nights and seeing Graville Abbey, the view from St. Adresse Fort, the Seine estuary and the Ocean Dock. The town hall is situated on one of the largest squares in France, and a climb to the top of the tower offers a great view of the city. The fine-arts museum, Malraux Museum, features one of the largest impressionist painting collections outside of Paris.
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