Archive for August 13th, 2020

August 13, 2020

Honfleur: Curiosities of a harbor town!

I told you will be around Honfleur for a while, bear with me please! Honfleur is special if you have read the previous posts. I can probably do a blog only on Honfleur! Beautiful Norman skies nice harbor with an ever bigger beach, and just arts, architecture and history all around you. I could go on …..let me tell you some of the curiosities of Honfleur and things written before so just touch on here with new photos. Hope you enjoy it as we did; again!

The house of Jean-Francois Doublet is a building located at numbers 29 and 31 rue des Capucins . This is near where now rue Jean Doublet was our apartment in Honfleur. The house is dated 1627 according to an inscription. It was acquired by the privateer corsair Jean Doublet when he withdraws to Honfleur to ease his activities. Jean François Doublet was born in Honfleur in the last months of 1655, and died on December 20, 1728 in Barneville-la-Bertran. Jean Doublet remains unknown, despite a long career at sea of forty-eight years, to say the least very heterogeneous. Recognized as an excellent pilot, he is the privileged witness to the entire maritime history of the time of Louis XIV, of which he left us a testimony, reconstituted at the end of his life, having lost twice all the the writings in his logbook. He is undoubtedly the most prolific privateer corsair, having left his memoirs written with care and thoroughness. A bust recalls his stays in Honfleur.The museums of Honfleur recalls his stories on the mariners museum here in French: Naval museum on Jean Francois Doublet

Honfleur

A few steps from the old basin or vieux bassin, the Saint-Léonard district groups its houses at the foot of a church dating from the 12C (see St Léonard post). This district experienced strong development during the second half of the 19C due to its proximity to industries, basins and the railway station. This development necessitated the creation of a fountain and a wash house or lavoir (see post) supplied by the Saint Léonard spring. Fed by the sources of the Côte Vassal, it is the oldest washhouse in the city. It was restored in 1807. More from the city of Honfleur here: City of Honfleur on the wash house St Leonard

Honfleur

The statue to the fallen mariners who died for France sits at Quai Lepaulmier on the front side of the St Leonard Church ; (see post) The statues reads in English as the French rememberance to the soldiers and mariners of the district fallen for France ; it was done in 1913.

Honfleur

The Fountain of the mussels pickers of Honfleur is at Place de la Porte de Rouen. This fountain, located on the roundabout in front of the media library, “Les moulières” refers to these women who collected mussels by the kilos (kg), often risking their lives. Honfleur wished to pay tribute to those who for decades worked hard in the estuary and on the Ratier bank to feed their families. This extremely difficult and perilous profession gradually disappeared over time and died out definitively in 1977. See next post for resto see it here!

Honfleur

The rue de’homme de bois, starts at place Hamelin near the Lieutenance preserve a wood beam with the image of a men sculpture in relief’s rememberance when Honfleur was a port of slaves. Near the museum Eugene Boudin, he had rented a room in 1889 to paint the pastel colors of the sky that the museum conserves a few examples. This street at the corner with Rue Varin was the object of many paintings by painters such as Alexander Dubourg that met the families of fisherman. The rue de l’Homme de bois continued on the rue Alphonse Allais that connected with the Impasse de Neubourg where the mother of Charles Baudelaire stayed, the house is no longer there.

Honfleur

It was at 41 rue du Puits, in this cobbled street which rises behind Saint-Catherine Church, that the painter Henri de Saint-Delis lived the last years of his life, until 1949. It is precisely on this 18C house backing onto and communicating with a beautiful 19C building ,accessible by no 43, that the Boelen family set their sights on, in order to set up a boutique hotel, a small 9-room establishment, with seminar room and garden, aiming for 5-star classification. Henri de Saint-Delis, Henri Liénard known as “de Saint-Delis”, born April 4, 1878 in Marconne (Pas-de-Calais) and died November 15, 1949 in Honfleur, is a French painter. He is buried in Honfleur. A bit on Henri de Saint-Delis work : Artnet site on Henri de Saint Delis paintings

Honfleur

Johan Barthold Jongkind  born in Lattrop (Netherlands) June 3, 1819 –died at Saint-Égrève (Isère) February 9, 1891 was a Dutch painter, watercolourist and engraver, considered one of the precursors of Impressionism. His taste for the seas attracted him to the Normandy coast, to Le Havre, Sainte-Adresse, Honfleur (where he lived at 29 rue du Puits) and Trouville, among others. In 1862, thanks to Moret, a pupil of Isabey, he made the acquaintance of Eugène Boudin on whom he had a great influence. Likewise, Claude Monet, whom he met in 1862 during joint stays at the Ferme Saint-Siméon in Honfleur, recognized his debt to Jongkind: “it is to him that I owe the final education of my eye” More on Jongkind here: Jongkind site on his time in Honfleur

Honfleur

Jean Marie LeGuen lives still at 25 rue du Puits, artist well known in Honfleur for his caricatures and his striking portraits, announces the color in the front of his workshop. With humor, as it should be in the land of Alphonse Allais! More on him here: Official Leguen of Honfleur

Honfleur

The Maisons Satie (see post) or Satie’s houses are the birthplace and museum since 1998 of the artist and classical music composer Erik Satie. The ensemble is made up of three houses in the Norman red half-timbered house style from the 15C. The avant-garde artist and music composer classic Erik Satie was born in this house on May 17, 1866. See my post and on these sites for more on this interesting musician.

Museums of Honfleur on Satie: Museums of Honfleur on Maison Satie

The work of Erik Satie: The work of Erik Satie

Tourist office of Honfleur on the Maisons SatieTourist office of Honfleur on the Maisons Satie

Honfleur

The musée Eugène-Boudin (see post) is a museum that revolves around several themes, the main one being, of course, Eugène Boudin himself and the painters of the 19C. The paintings, evolving from the dark romanticism of Isabey to the luminous clarity of Monet, evoke the atmosphere of meetings at the Ferme Saint-Siméon inn, not far from Honfleur, where artists came to find the light of the Norman skies, of the water and gardens. The works of Eugène Boudin are surrounded by those of painters friends: Monet, Dubourg, Courbet, Jongkind to name a few. Two spaces present the 92 works of Boudin with paintings and drawings currently kept here. In one are the pastels, skies, views of Honfleur, scenes at the Ferme Saint-Siméon inn. In the second, oil paintings, beaches, portraits, landscapes and seascapes. Other rooms offer a journey through more contemporary painting devoted to 20C artists who lived or worked in Honfleur and Normandy: Vallotton, Marais, Dufy, Marquet, Cappiello and the painters of the Rouen school. Also worth seeing is the ethnographic collection of costumes, accessories, lace, furniture and, a few meters away, the Sainte-Catherine bell tower, annex to the museum where religious works are exhibited   such as sculptures, souvenirs des Charités and the Chapel of Notre-Dame de Grâce (see post)). The chapel, meanwhile, hosts temporary exhibitions. Eugène-Louis Boudin  was a French painter, born in Honfleur on July 12, 1824, died in Deauville on August 8, 1898. He was one of the first French painters to capture landscapes outside a workshop. A great painter of seascapes, he is considered one of the precursors of Impressionism. More on him and the museum here: Museums of Honfleur

The tourist office of Honfleur on the Musée Eugéne BoudinTourist office of Honfleur on Museum Eugéne Boudin

Honfleur

And there you go a bit of new , some old, and all with new photos of my Honfleur , Calvados 14 , Normandy in my belle France. Enjoy it fully as we always do.

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

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August 13, 2020

Honfleur: old hospital chapel and lighthouse!

So by now you know why Honfleur is special to me. So will spare another sad story. Let me tell you about a wonderful monument there a bit away from the city center but a wonderful walk from upper town or even better from the old basin or vieux bassin.

The Chapel is one that is been having a fund raiser to renovated and inside is very impressive worth the effort to preserve the beautiful. The lighthouse is still there having exhibitions by painters and artists of all kinds.

The Saint-Firmin Chapel is located in the former Saint-Joseph hospital, on Place Jean de Vienne. In the chapel rests, among others, Gabrielle Orieult, known as Sainte Melaine, founder of the hospital in 1669. The nuns were at the service of the sick but also of the elderly. The Stations of the Cross were blessed in 1857. The Franciscans then occupied it until 1977, which now settled in Deauville. While belonging to the old hospital, the chapel was sold in 1991 for the symbolic franc to the city of Honfleur.

Honfleur

Honfleur

The Chapelle de l’Ancienne Hôpital is dedicated to Saint Firmin. Possessing two choirs, one of the faithful and the other of the religious ladies, it forms a wing in return and is built of flint with white stone buttresses. The windows in third point indicate the 16C, it is assumed that the chapel was built around 1580. Major works were carried out in the 17C and 18C and profoundly transformed it. From this period date the bell towers covered with slate and the choir of the Nuns known as the Chœur des Dames or Choir of the Ladies b 1707. This choir contains an ancient organ which is today without a pipe. This organ is from the Louis XIII period and was given by Aubert treasurer of France in 1711. You will also notice many statues from the 19C and a very beautiful altar restored in the 19C.

Honfleur chapelle de l'ancienne hôpital

Honfleur chapelle de l'ancienne hôpital

After the departure of the Augustinian Nuns in the 1980s, the chapel was closed but not abandoned. It is currently managed by the Association les Racines de Honfleur, which is responsible for the restoration work and the animation of the place with concerts, exhibitions; etc.

In 1853, a first lighthouse called phare de l’Hôpital or Hospital lighthouse was built with its 25 meters high and a reach of 14 miles. This lighthouse, which has been off since 1908, was first lit in 1957. The Julian Art Academy acquired this lighthouse in 1949 to make it available to its scholarship holders. It was sold to the city of Honfleur in 2004. The lighthouse was painted black during WWII.

Honfleur

The city of Honfleur has a bit more information on them in French here: City of Honfleur on the chapel and lighthouse

It’s worth it to take a walk from the old basin in city center and see these beauties of old still reminding us that what we have is worth preserving for future generations. We love to walk in Honfleur and each time we think is the first time. Hope you enjoy it and do come in.

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

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