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Le Havre town guide

LE HAVRE

Visitors by hire car will probably arrive at Le Havre for a holiday in Brittany or Southern Normandy. It is not immediately attractive although if you look you can see some of the old ramparts and the building which houses a splendid maritime museum. It was founded in the sixteenth century by King Francois as a port to enable trade with England and some of the states to the north. It has been a place of arrivals and departures ever since, now being France's second port. Many French emigrants setting off for the Americas had Le Havre as their final view of the home country.

Le Havre's heyday was probably as a home port for many of the French ocean liners that plied the oceans of the world until jet air travel became the norm.

The port was severely damaged during the Second World War and has been rebuilt since. It is therefore necessary to seek out the more attractive parts of this large city, these can be found in the centre and on the northern edge of the town.

Apart from its maritime heritage, Le Havre claims to be the seat of impressionist art, many of the artists first made their homes in the port before moving on to more attractive places nearby. Hire car drivers who want to explore and find out more about the impressionist painters should start from here.

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