A Romantic Port Town in Northern France
Le Havre is located at the mouth of the Seine River, which flows through Paris and ends in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the largest port city in the Normandy region. Near Le Havre, there is Étretat. Impressionist painters loved Étretat’s beautiful coastline.
Visiting a Beautiful Monastery
From Le Havre, we head to Mont Saint-Michel, a world heritage monastery built on a tidal island, sometimes called the “Wonder of the Western World.” A path leading to the island appears only at low tide, so a temple was built to house monks who underwent rigorous training. The main part of the temple is built in a gothic style, but as a result of repeated additions and renovations over time, the interior is a mixture of various medieval architectural styles. This majestic building, which includes the best architecture of each period, is sure to overwhelm you. The restaurant also offers a variety of French delicacies such as the famous omelet, fresh seafood, and traditional dishes with a rich regional flavor.
Land of Impressionist Paintings
Le Havre is known as the birthplace of the impressionist art movement. It was here that Claude Monet painted one of his most famous paintings, “Impression, Sunrise.” The Museum of modern art André Malraux – MuMa houses one of the nation’s most extensive collections of impressionist paintings. Le Havre was also the site of the Normandy landings during World War II. After the destruction in the war, architect August Perret rebuilt the city. The excellent urban planning and well-proportioned cityscape won the recognition as a World Heritage Site. Enjoy the beauty of the modern cityscape, which is unusual for a World Heritage site.
Upstream the Seine
The Seine, a 780-km-long river, originates in Dijon, a city in central France, flows through Paris, and empties into the Bay of Seine in the north. Starting from Le Havre, Peace Boat travels upstream the Seine through the Normandy region of northwestern France. The ship will cruise through the countryside loved by impressionist painters, heading towards the ancient medieval city of Rouen and then on to Paris.
PHOTO: PEACEBOAT, Okuhira Keita, Kawano Momoko