Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between Concrete Statics and Impressionism


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Disclosure & Image Rights: Le Havre Tourisme supported our research on the spot and the arrival from Paris. Picture material created with a free provided camera of our sponsor Olympus. Thalys supported our trip to France. Picture Location: Le Havre, Normandy, France.

The French port of Le Havre is not only an important trading center on the Atlantic, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A picturesque old town is sought in vain, much more, the city has much to offer artistically thanks to Claude Monet.

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-4


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The story of Le Havre

Overview

Not that Le Havre had no historical roots: Founded 1517 at the suggestion of Admiral Bonnivet as a war harbor then expanded to the garrison town. Le Havre, the transatlantic trade, with slaves, is certainly one of the darkest chapters in French history. Le Havre can be reached from Cologne or Düsseldorf by the Thalys to Paris Nord, then by metro to the station St. Lazare and from there by train directly.

In this way, the city at the Seine estuary became the most important port in France. The neighboring Sainte address even housed the Belgian exile government during the First World War. In World War II, the port city was occupied by the Germans due to their strategic importance and 1944 was destroyed by the Allies by bombing 85 percent. Le Havre was thus one of Europe's most damaged cities: 160.000 residents were killed by 5.000 residents, 80.000 homeless were devastated 12.000 buildings and 150 acres of Old Town area.


Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-6

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-14

The World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO

Overview

Reconstruction was unthinkable when it was destroyed to such an extent. As a result, the city of Le Havre made a plan to build a model city in Le Havre that would create new dwellings for residents living in shelters.

The designs came from the architects Auguste Perret, the so-called poet of the concrete, who patented the prefabricated construction and thus laid the foundation for modern prefabricated buildings. Perret, 1945 already 71 years old, designed a new city in the spirit of Le Corbusier: It was to house on 133 acres the 40.000 inhabitants of the city center.

To save space, 150 designed orthogonal building blocks located in the two urban streets that line the old quays. Inside this double grid, Rue de Paris, Avenue Foch and Boulevard François Ier form a "monumental triangle", resuming the position and function they held before the war. It is precisely this triangle that 2005 has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-5

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-8

Living like in the 50ers

Overview

Likewise, symbolic buildings were rebuilt in a new form at their original location: for example the town hall, the stock market, the market halls and various churches. Perhaps the most important of these is the church of Saint-Joseph: it inspires above all through the architecturally ingenious light-play, which adapts to the solar radiation. The striking, octagonal tower, on the other hand, is intended to recall the destruction of the Second World War.

An important feature of the new building architecture is the neoclassical style: connecting struts and pillars, arranged in blocks, courtyards, streets, squares and gardens with their traditional layout. These open blocks embody the modern principle of the "right to rest, air, sun and space" for all inhabitants of the "new" city. Such a model apartment can still be seen in the original furnishings - the Museum Appartement Temoin Perret. In addition, you can rent rooms in Le Havre in the style of the 50er years.

Auguste Perret himself died of 1954, but up to 1964 about one hundred architects realized his urban planning visions. One feature of this construction is the different concrete surfaces made from the existing debris of the city: it was mixed, dyed and processed in different ways, sometimes coarse, sometimes smooth, processed.

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-7

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-11

Event Location by Oscar Niemeyer

Overview

An exciting meeting and event location is the Maison de la Culture Du Havre, created by Oscar Niemeyer 1972-1978, also known as le volcan for its shape of a truncated volcanic cone. Niemeyer had previously planned, inter alia, the South American capital Brasilia, his volcano consists inside of light-flooded, high-ceilinged rooms such as the public library - excellent for events.

"Small but oho", on the other hand, could be the motto of the exquisite Vent d'Ouest hotel for seminars: The cozy hotel is very centrally located in front of the Saint Joseph church and can accommodate 20 seminar participants as well as 38 rooms. The 3 stars should not disguise the facilities and the excellent service: There is a lovingly designed breakfast and a spa area with massage rooms.

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-9

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-10

Meetings at the port and football stadium

Overview

15 m², including a 000 m² exhibition hall, a conference room with 10,000 seats and a panoramic restaurant with 383 seats, are available in the port: The building complex Docks Cafe was built and is currently being remodeled for 270 millions of Euros: This will create a large hall for up to 1998 people as well as a seminar room for 30 to 2.000 persons.

The football stadium Océane can also be rented for events. The blue football and rugby stadium has space for 25.178 spectators and is the only energy-efficient soccer stadium in Europe: solar modules with an area of ​​1.500 m² are installed on the roof.

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-1

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-16

Claude Monet and the beach promenade

Overview

My personal highlight in Le Havre is the beautifully designed beach promenade. Here, the museum André Malraux (MuMa) is another special feature: after the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the museum houses the largest and most significant collection of Impressionist painting, as Claude Monet here his childhood and youth from the age of six.

In fact, Le Havre was very popular with artists because of its proximity to Paris. The App "The Impressionist and Fauvist Le Havre" informs you today: whenever you come near a view of Le Havre or Sainte-Adresse that inspires an Impressionist painter has, can listen to the history of the painting, zoom in on his performance, learn anecdotes about the painter and his city and much more. Small drawback: The multilingual app works only with an existing Internet connection.


Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-13

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-15

Hanging gardens and culinary art

Overview

The Jardins Suspendus are also highly recommended over the rooftops of the city: they are located within a former fortress: rare plants are gathered from all parts of the world, almost 4000 different species invite to a botanical journey to North America, Asia, Australia and Europe.

Of course, the culinary is not too short, we are in France: Excellent food with very large portions you can in the "Bouchon Normand". Something for lunch and snacks in between is the restaurant "l'Etable" and "Le Chat Bleu". Le Grignot did not quite convince me - despite Gault and Millau's reference.

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-2

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-3

Meetings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Le Havre: Between concrete prostitution and impressionism le-havre-normandie-france-12


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