Le Havre, World Heritage Site

Discovering Sailing on Commerce Dock.

Le Bassin du Commerce, Commerce Dock

At the junction of the old and the reconstructed city, the Bassin du Commerce (opened 1820) now links the island of Saint-François district and the city centre. The urban grid was defined following its axis; it offers a vast perspective over monumental buildings following one another from the entrance of the city as far as the yachting harbor.

When you cross the dock, the view is particularly attractive: water in the foreground, then the Oscar Niemeyer Cultural Centre called the Volcano (le Volcan), sporting the Scène Nationale (National Stage), then the tower of Saint Joseph church. Exceptional overview concentrating  a mass of modern architecture. The dock, topped by the footbridge designed by Guillaume Gillet in 1969,has a direct link to the sea and the water height follows the tides.

Nowadays, a boating centre has been set up and local children learning how to sail on dinghies are often seen on the dock water.

At one end of the dock, the war memorial built by French sculptor Pierre-Marie Poisson in 1924 shows the allegorical figure of Victory.

Making the most of the docks

Hidden though ubiquitous, sometimes difficult to reach, the docks of Le Havre were studied in 2012 to promote them the better. Creating footpaths on the quaysides and animation around them remains a challenge for the future.


Commerce Dock.
The footbridge over Commerce Dock.
Général de Gaulle Square.