The reconstructed city of Le Havre holds a wealth of places, streets, small details to admire. We are off to discover the essential buildings, whether they are monumental, or because they are the “focal points” around which the city is organized.
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Going for a stroll in the city
Town Hall Square, Avenue Foch, St Roch’s Park, Rue de Paris, Sea Front and Docks: under the open sky, we visit a city like no other in the world.
The Town Hall
Finished rebuilding in 1958 on its pre-war site, the Town Hall is one of the emblematic sites of the reconstruction by Auguste Perret. Its 18 storey high tower is 72 metres high and its central horizontal body is 92 metres wide.
Saint Joseph’s Church
Keystone of the reconstructed city, Perret’s masterpiece is going to surprise you. It is worth going in, to discover a majestic modern church.
The Perret Show Flat
The Perret Show flat takes you back in time to the 1950s. Step in and discover a living space where the best was made of natural light. You will realize how modern Perret’s architecture is.
Much architectural experimenting went on, on the vast reconstruction site of Le Havre. As out of a laboratory, the reconstructed city centre is made up of different types of buildings, all in accord with the Perret Studio precepts. The ISAI (Buildings Without Individual Attribution) and even the Résidence de France are representatives of the twentieth century modern movement.
If you have a look at a map of Le Havre, you will find the cultural route through the city. From the Salacrou Municipal library to the André Malraux Museum (MuMa) by way of the Town Hall Theatre, cultural sites abound in the reconstructed city.
Situated in the same part of town, the Collège Raoul Dufy (Raoul Dufy Secondary School) and the Ecole de Management de Normandie (Normandy School of Management) are two of the schools in Le Havre. They have seen changes and additions over time, but, on the outside, they remain original and authentic, each with its own identity.
Gateway to the ocean: The Porte Océane
Just before reaching the beach, the Porte Océane, Gateway to the Ocean, was meant as a transition between the city and the sea. Finished building in 1955, it is also one of the memorable marks Auguste Perret left in Le Havre.
A place where local trade used to take place, the place still deals with money matters. Situated on Quai Georges V, its atypical design was nonetheless inspired by Perret.
The Halles centrales
It is the city’s covered market: butcher shops, deli counters, cheese and grocer stalls…. The covered market has a nicely rounded vaulted roof; it does not follow the Perret rules but rather the style popular for such places in the 1950s.
Saint – Michel’s church
Less monumental than Saint-Joseph’s church, Saint-Michel’s deserves a visit for the sake of its unusual shape and the stained-glass windows by the Boutzen workshop. The church was built on the same site as the previous one which dated back to 1661. It was finished building in 1964.
On an island: Saint-François' District
Here, in one of the oldest districts in Le Havre, there are still many remnants of the pre-war city, blending with reconstructed buildings thus differing from the rest of the city centre. It is the district for restaurants but its importance lies uppermost with its fishing harbour.
The Niemeyer Cultural Centre
Officially inaugurated in November 1982, this building, all volumes and curves, imposes a lyrical presence in a strictly orthogonal urban environment. It was renovated and refurnished in 2014 and will welcome the new City Library in 2015.