Château Musée de Dieppe!

So let me bring out to Normandy again, a different one indeed. We have come here several times especially when living in Versailles before 2011 , and have written on Dieppe briefly before in my blog. I feel it deserves at least to talk about its main interest there, the Castle Museum of Dieppe (header title in French).

At first we went there for the famous market and the fishing port as we love natural things… then we saw the cliffs and realised there was a castle there so obviously we went to see and it was a pleasant experience , a must to see while in Dieppe.

Dieppe is a town located in the department of Seine-Maritime 76  in Normandy. The town is nicknamed “the city with four ports” because of the the ferry / port Transmanche, the commercial port, the fishing port and the marina. The location is in North-West France, on the coast of the Channel , 170 km from Paris, and 60 km from Rouen. It is located at the mouth of the Arques coastal river, whose deep valley separates the Pays de Caux plateau from the Petit-Caux plateau. Dieppe is close to the famous resorts of the Alabaster Coast (Côte d’Albâtre), such as Varengeville-sur-Mer and Veules-les-Roses.

The Château-Musée de Dieppe is a seaside castle now a museum. It was built to defend the city by monitoring the coast of the English Channel. It is built on the edge of the western cliff, about thirty meters above the water level.

A bit of history I like

The exact origin of the castle is confusing. It was certainly built on the site of a first castle, built by Henry II Plantagenet and Richard the Lionheart, then destroyed by Philippe Auguste in 1195. What is certain today is that the oldest vestige is the dungeon or west tower. Its construction, located around 1360, is concomitant with that of a fortified enclosure around the city, then threatened by the Flemish and the English. Built as a fortress capable of withstanding assaults and sieges, the castle evolved in the 17C. The progress of the armament gives it roles of residence and barracks. Large, high windows are pierced with pepper-covered roofs covering the terraces of the towers. The castle becomes a place of residence and reception. The court is an illustration of this by adopting a ceremonial function. On the southwestern part of the castle, a barracks was built in 1630, on the site of the present temporary exhibition hall of the museum.

The French revolution finds its political interest by turning the castle into a jail to lock up the counter-revolutionaries. In 1906, the City bought the castle. In 1923, the municipal museum created in 1897 is transferred there. The initial project was to set it up as a museum of fine arts. During  WWII, during the construction of the Atlantic Wall, the castle is again used as a fortress with  the whole of the defenses is then made up of walls and blockhouses, coming to reinforce the walls and the ancient enclosures of the castle.

Dieppe

Something about the Castle Museum of Dieppe.

The museum has sixteen rooms offering very rich collections, with having an exhibition of one of the richest collections of ivory objects and sculptures of France. The richness of this collection is explained by the fact that, for centuries, Dieppe was the main center of the work of ivory in France, the craftsmen working the defenses brought it back from Africa with the ships. A marine collection on three rooms is devoted to the sea with objects, and paintings, and a background of 15,000 to 20,000 letters retraces the correspondence of the composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The museum is not outdone with regard to painting, since it offers works of painters of the 20C such as Dufy, Van Dongen, Braque, Lotiron, among others and Impressionist painters like Renoir, Sisley, and Pissaro. You will also discover beautiful maps from the famous cartography school of Dieppe, models of traditional boats, paintings of the great European schools evoking the maritime adventure of the city and its port, since the time of the great expeditions of the 16C to 20C ships. Outside, the Esplanade du Belvédère offers an exceptional view of the city and the cliffs. Also, it  enjoys temporary exhibitions and many thematic guided tours.

Dieppe

Dieppe

dieppe

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Dieppe on castle museum in French

Tourist office of Dieppe on castle museum in French

Tourist office of Seine Maritime 76 on the castle museum in English

Tourist office of Normandy on the castle museum in English

And there you go another dandy in my belle France, a must to visit I say. Dieppe has memorable moments for us too but that was in other posts. Enjoy the Castle Museum of Dieppe!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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