Honfleur in Normandy, and the sea

There is a vivid lively quaint small town in Normandy that is always in my mind. This is special and personal as my Mother lies there in the ocean off of it. This is Honfleur, Normandy. We all will be going there eventually. I have written before on it in my blog.

Honfleur is a city of painters, artists, some of them were Gustave Courbet, Eugene Boudin, Claude Monet, and Johan Barthold Jongkind that created the school of Honfleur style and contributed to the creation of the Impressionist movement; Alphonse Allais and Erik Satie were born in the same street. You smell and see the flavor of seafood all around it, nice old history, quaint streets and Sainte Catherine Church. However, the most is the sea and all related to it.

The tourist office in English is here: http://www.honfleur-tourism.co.uk/

The region’s tourist office is here in English: http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/discover/normandy-must-sees/the-10-top-normandy-must-sees/honfleur-86-2.html

The department 14 Calvados page in English is here: https://www.calvados-tourisme.co.uk/en/discover/the-coast/honfleur.php

And the city page in French on the sea here: http://www.ville-honfleur.com/vie-maritime/presentation.html

You have two salt depot from the three originally there, the one was destroyed by fire. The two remaining can store 10K tons of salt used to preserve the fish in the fishing harbor; and both were built in the 17C

My favorite is the old bassin or vieux basin  in the center of town. They were ordered built by Colbert in 1681 and finished them in 1684.  It has a space of one hectare or 10K M2 and a lenght of 130 meters (429 feet)  by a width of 70 meters (231 feet) on the south side and 85 meters (281 feet )on the north side where you see the channel to the front harbor of Honfleur . It is completely surrounded by wharfs and walkable.

Along the wharf or quai Sainte Catherine you see wooden houses from the 17C and 18C.  The south side extends the quai Sainte Catherine to the rue Montpensier on an underground stream of La Claire that feeds the bassin. The western part is built around some more houses that are part of the quai Saint-Étienne. One of these houses is the Hôtel de Ville or mayor’s office and the Church of Saint Etienne(marine museum). On the north side or sea side you have the quai de la Quarantaine , and the only building is the Lieutenance that was the home of the lieutenant governor of the King.  There is a movable bridge on the channel towards the front of harbor that makes the tour of the basin final.

You can see the pont de Normandie from above the côte de Grâce or the Mont Jolie hill nearby. This is an impressive bridge and you can have boat rides right underneath ; like with the Jolie France. The technical details are here in French: http://www.pontsnormandietancarville.fr/en/informations-techniques/pont-de-normandie/le-pont-en-details/tablier-douvrage-principal.html

There is station of SNSM lifeguards volunteer corps with the main boat Notre Dame, the one that took my Mother’s ashes to sea. Wonderful guys very much close to them still. More on them in French here: https://www.snsm.org/etablissement/station-snsm-de-honfleur

There is a small beach on the north side almost facing Le Havre and just underneath the côte de Grâce; more on the beach here: http://www.plage-honfleur.fr/

On the côte de Grâce there is a nice small chapel church Notre-Dame de Grâce Chapel; we go there for service couple times a year and especially during the Fête des Marins already about 156 years old tradition where the Virgin is taken out to sea for a ride and blessings. More on the côte de grâce here: http://www.honfleur-tourism.co.uk/discover/surrounded-by-nature/cote-de-grace/

More on the Fête des Marins here: https://actu.fr/normandie/honfleur_14333/fete-marins-honfleur-programme-la-pentecote_3247032.html

In all a wonderful town , pleasant for the whole family ,and good seafood. Tops to see are the   L’Enclos  and the old basin or Vieux Bassin, the Lieutenance, Church of  Saint-Etienne (today a marine museum), the salt stockages or Greniers à Sel, the Church of Sainte-Catherine (biggest wooden Church in France, actually an upside down boat!) . The wall of the sea or Le mur de mer,a long promenade along the harbor channel on the river Seine.  Museum or Musée Eugene Boudin at rue de l’Homme de Bois. And the museum or musée d’Erik Satie, 67 boulevard Charles V.

Enjoy Honfleur and Normandy on me;cheers

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2 Comments to “Honfleur in Normandy, and the sea”

  1. Honflelur is a real treat any time of year. I remember having a beer in a bar by the harbour in February and it was warm enough to sit outside in the afternoon sun. The place was packed! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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