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.



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.


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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