Docks Vauban at Le Havre!

Ok let me bring you back to an off the beaten path city , oh yeah you have heard of it but hardly notice maybe because of the story of been 90% destroyed during WWII! However, this is the spirit of Le Havre it is back and even noted by Unesco! You should give it a try as we had several times and we like it. Le Havre is in department 76 Seine-Maritime of the region of Normandie.

I have written several posts on its monuments but need to tell you about a popular spot for my family, of course shopping! And the malls , but this one with a historic background and architecturally stunning. The Docks Vauban! Let me tell you a bit on it ok.

le havre

The Vauban basin is located near the entrance to the city center, surrounded by the train station, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Vauban docks shopping center. It was built in 1840-1843 and at that time accommodated boats carrying coal. The Vauban basin is the first of the basins beyond the old ramparts to be built. Inaugurated in 1841 for its western part, it will be finished in 1843 for the eastern part. Two banks, two quays, Quai Colbert and Quai Frissard. It was the Quai Colbert which was the first to be activated. South of the basin, first known as Quai Vauban, it became Quai Frissard in 1886. Since 2012, part of the basin has been converted into a marina call Port Vauban. A floating pedestrian bridge (gateway) makes it possible to cross it and join the Vauban docks at the station. The basin is 800 meters long and 90 meters wide.

Started in 1846, the construction of warehouse docks spanned several years until 1884. These first docks in France were used to store goods in transit such as cotton, coffee and spices. They survived the bombings of WWII. The buildings have been rehabilitated and transformed. They are made of bricks, slates and cover glass. They welcome shops, restaurants, cafes and cinemas. The project involved refurbishing and extending 13 huge buildings (60 metres long, 25 metres wide and 12 metres high); their brick and timber structures support roof structures in timber or steel; they are linked together by courtyards and glass-roofed passageways, laid out in a regular pattern.   The main arcades are designed to accommodate a mixture of lifestyle shopping, restaurants and market stalls following such precedents as Covent Garden, London and Faneuil Market Boston. The new interventions are contemporary in design juxtaposed with the grandeur of the historic warehouses. The south side has the main restaurant frontage overlooking the new marina. The night zone, for its part, offers a 12-screen multiplex cinema, a bar, restaurants, terrace cafés etc.There are also two new car parks, with car elevator/lifts, providing 1,094 parking spaces.

The shopping and leisure center Docks Vauban mall form part of larger mixed-use development which combine housing, workplaces, leisure complexe and cultural centre. It hosts Le Havre’s first branches of H&M, Saturn, La Grande Récré, G Star, Quiksilver, Levi’s, Du Pareil au Même and New Yorker stores. It ,also has our favorites Adidas, Foot Locker, Old Wild West restaurant, Columbus Café, and DeNeuville French chocolates.

The wonderful shopping center Docks Vauban webpage in French here:Docks Vauban shopping mall

You can get there by public transport LiA of Le Havre you can come here by the Tramway lines A and B, station “Gares” with access 5 minutes via the gateway Vauban Basin. By Bus lines   3 and 8, stop “Docks Vauban”. Lines 6 and 9, stop “stations” with 5 minutes access through the gateway of the Bassin Vauban. Lines 5, stop “Colbert” with 5 minutes from the dock. By the road coming from Rouen or Paris by the A13 , access is straightforward and it is not necessary to go through the city center. Many hotel car park (mall and effia) are around the basins of Vatine and Vauban. The A13 link up with the A131 to the Pont de Tancarville cross it continue right into Le Havre on the same road now name D282/D6015/ Bd de Leningrad to the Quai Colbert you have the parking EFFIA as below and over the basin is the Docks Vauban mall!

le havre

convenient money ATM lol !!!

The public transport LiA of Le Havre in French: Le Havre public transport network LiA

You can come by car as we do, and have the choice of the mall underground or the EFFIA Vauban parking we prefer as we do walk around from the mall into the city, easy walk. The parking for reference is here: Official EFFIA parking Vauban Le Havre

The city of Le Havre is nice and pretty now, on the city page of Le Havre you can see wonderful pictures my amateur rank will never make. City of Le Havre stunning maritime views

For brief info there is a shopping center in city center le Havre we have been but its for us just another mall, we much prefer the Docks Vauban, however, it would be worth mentioned it here for the shopper inclined in all of us!

L’Espace Coty is accessable from 5 doors with a nice FNAC reason we came in. It was done in 1995 ,name after  René Coty, President of the French Republic (France official name) from 1954-1959 who is a native of Le Havre. The webpage is here in French: Espace Coty shopping center

Le Havre

As it is my favorite form of painting, the impressionists! and Normandy has several including a Honfleur native and Le Havre resident Eugéne Boudin who painted The Vauban Basin at Havre c.1865;  see it at the local museum Musée d’art moderne André Malraux – MuMa!!

Hope you enjoy the shopping with a maritime look , wonderfully relax in my belle France and discover again Le Havre.

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

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