And how about quaint little Honfleur!

Ok so on a miserable cloudy very cold snow flakes there and ice on the trails leading to my office and cafeteria, and light rain I will brighten up my mind writing about quaint little beautiful ,etc etc Honfleur.

As usual ,I have written before on it, and very sentimental to me. My late Mom love the town, and so much she is buried at sea off Honfleur by the volunteer lifesavers of the SNSM boat Notre Dame base in Honfleur. We have come many times, and love it.

Honfleur

I have given some insights on the tourist spots and places to eat even hotels, now let me tell you a bit about the history I like. Oh yes ,the previous posts are here!

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/07/03/honfleur-in-normandy-and-the-sea/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/02/26/honfleur-normandy/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/05/21/honfleur-fete-des-marins/

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/25/honfleur-seamen-paintersand-normandy/

Honfleur is a marvelous little town by the sea and the Seine river. The town is in the département 14 of Calvados in the region of Normandy, and located on the south bank of the estatuary of the Seine river facing Le Havre and on the ending of the bridge of Normandy. Often call an artists/painters town and with its own school. Many times represented in the work of Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet ,and Johan Barthold Jongkind, forming the school of Honfleur, that contributes to the emergence of the impressionist movement. The artists Alphonse Allais ,and Erik Satie were born here on the same street !

The first mention of the town in writing dates back to Richard III duke of Normandy in 1027. It is known that by the middle of the 12C the town was an important trade point with England coming from Rouen via Seine river. Charles V ordered fortified the town to stop the English to come up the Seine river with the help of the port of Honfleur located just on the statuary of the river. However, nevertheless Honfleur was taken by the English and occupied in 1357 and again in 1419 and 1450.

The town participated in the movement for great discoveries with a Jehan Denis visiting Labrador and Newfoundland that he took in the name of the king of France in 1506.These expeditions made the port of Honfleur one of the most important in France and served as launching pad for adventures in the French colonies of America such as the repeated sailings of Samuel de Champlain that ended by the founding of Québec in 1608. From this point on, commerce developed to Canada, Louisiana, the Caribbean and the African coasts as well as Azores islands, making Honfleur one of the five main towns in the slave trade.

Honfleur was liberated in WWII on August 25 1944 by the Belgian army Brigade Piron and the town suffered no damage, one of the rare Normand towns to be spare. More so that what you see is genuine original in the architecture and buildings of the town.

A bit on what the town has to offer to follow. The town has a whopping 57 historical monuments in its territory, including the wonderful Sainte Catherine Church, Saint Etienne Church, Saint Leonard Church, the Salt depots, the Lieutenance house and most of the houses in the Quai Sainte Catherine, as well as the Vieux Bassin, and my family’s favorite the Notre Dame of Grace Chapel or Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Grâce up the côte de Grâce hill and the big Cross of Christ overlooking the harbor and towards Le Havre.

Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, built in 1910 in the limits of Equemauville, and here after the fall out of the cliffs houses ex voto , boat models and an organ from 1990; on the exterior you can see the pilgrims bells.  We had held Mass here so a bit more : This Chapelle Notre-Dame de Grâce was built between  1600-1615 by the rich merchant and marines/fisherman of  Honfleur at the place of an older Chapel that was destroyed due to a slide in the cliffs; this older one was built before the year 1023 by Richard II, Duke of Normandy  to pay a wish of which on the course of a storm he could had perished ; thereafter, the cult is perpetuated.

Honfleur Honfleur

The museum or Musée Eugène-Boudin and its annex dedicated to religious art in the bell tower of the Sainte Catherine Church which a building apart from the Church! ; the house or Maison Satie and the museums of old Honfleur such as marine museum or Musée de la Marine (inside the old Saint Etienne Church and a must to see), and the museum or Musée d’Ethnographie et d’Art populaire; (in the old prison of the Viscount of Roncheville).

The water basin or ponds were built by Abraham Duquesne on orders of Colbert in 1681. The old basin or vieux bassin rounds the quai Sainte-Catherine and the houses are numbered from 2 to 68, the houses dates from the 17C and 18C. They are very narrow and have from 3 to 7 floors (FR) except the No 2 that has one floor. Many of the facades are covered in tiles and other are done in corbel.  Today, most in the street level of the quai Sainte-Catherine are restaurants or brasseries. The side along the quai Sainte-Catherine by the narrow rue Montpensier have an underground trail with a creek of the Claire feeding the basin. The other side of the basin is with other buildings on the quai Saint-Étienne; which include, the city hall or hôtel de ville, and the Saint Etienne Church (St Stephen) now the marine museum. There are three small narrow streets that gives access to the quai Saint-Étienne. On the side of the ocean you have the quai de la Quarantaine,and one building ,the lieutenance that was next to the housing for the king’s lieutenant. The only fortified part of the town today. The movable bridge on the basin and over the channel to the front port is by the Morelle that makes end on the tour of the basin.

The Church dedicated to Sainte Catherine of Alexandria as there is a statue in wood on top of the entrance porch of the bell tower, representing a wheel and a sword. The first nave on the left is the oldest dating from the second half of the 15C and built like a market where the naval construction were done , giving a look as if it were an upside down boat. The bell tower is apart from the Church,
unique, this was done to avoid fires that would hurt the parishioners. The Saint Etienne Church is of gothic style part from the 14C and 15C, the oldest Church in town, built in chalk stone with silex and Caen stone as Honfleur is on the limits of these stone formations, the bell tower is in chesnut wood and now houses the marine museum which is very nice with its model boats of old.

The city page on tourism here: http://www.ville-honfleur.com/decouvrir-honfleur/honfleur-terre-de-patrimoines/

And the tourist office of Honfleur here: http://www.honfleur-tourism.co.uk/

The department of Calvados (14) tourist page is here: https://www.calvados-tourisme.co.uk/en/discover/towns.php

The region of Normandy tourism on Honfleur is here: http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/discover/normandy-must-sees/the-10-top-normandy-must-sees/honfleur-86-2.html

There are many films done here and some of my favorites (even if this is not by all means a full list).
Les Trois Mousquetaires (1953), by André Hunebelle, with Georges Marchal and Bourvil (great French comedian).
L’Homme à la Buick (1967), of Gilles Grangier, with Fernandel (another great French comedian) ,and Danielle Darrieux
La Chambre verte (1977), of François Truffaut, with François Truffaut and Nathalie Baye
Tendre Poulet (1978), of Philippe de Broca, with Annie Girardot and Philippe Noiret
Le Quatrième Pouvoir (1985), of Serge Leroy, with Philippe Noiret and Nicole Garcia

There ,is, also since 1995, each year at end November when the town host the festival of Russian films or Festival du cinéma russe. A very important movie festival on Russian cinema with producers, directors and actors in competition are invited. Keep an eye on the webpage below for the 2018 festivities.
http://festival-honfleur.fr/

Charles Dumont (one of the composers/writers of Édith Piaf),did a song here sang by Sophie Makhno called the white night of Honfleur or the Nuit blanche à Honfleur. It was written in the 1970’s at the Hôtel du Cheval Blanc in Honfleur.

You now have good shopping at the outlet mall Honfleur Outlet, more here: https://www.honfleuroutlet.com/fr/

and the wonderful garden event Passionnément Jardin with plants and showings and purchases yes we had and good deals.  See it coming April 28-29 2018. More of that here: http://passionnementjardin.org/

And the good one Naturospace with wild butterflies and tropical lush in Honfleur! Just up the alley from the public park where the garden event is held follow the road and at the end is the Naturospace. More here: http://www.naturospace.com/

And cruises up the Seine river even to Paris, here in French: https://www.croisierenet.com/ports/301/france/croisiere-honfleur.html

And those out of Honfleur into the ocean and around and under the bridge of Normandy. We have done the Calypso and Jolie France nice. More here: http://www.honfleur-tourism.co.uk/discover/sea-side/boat-trips/

Well, you get the idea , Honfleur is one whole packful of goodies ,and in such a small space is even more cozy, quaint, nice, beautiful Honfleur. Enjoy the trip. Cheers!

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