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Sightseeing in Honfleur - what to see. Complete travel guide

Honfleur is widely recognized as the most beautiful seaport in France. This city is also famous as the cradle of impressionism. The picturesque city waterfront with white yachts and boats of local fishermen look so spectacular that it is easy to find this scene in the paintings of internationally renowned artists such as Monet, Seurat, Satie, and Baudelaire. There are many antiquity shops in Honfleur, so this port city attracts art collectors. Tourists can also buy many interesting items here or simply look at stunning collections of true masterpieces. The old part of the city still keeps the original atmosphere and charm of this place. It is always so interesting to explore historical buildings and a magnificent waterfront named after Saint Catherine.
First mentions of Honfleur date back to the 20s of the 11th century. There is a reference about the settlement as a part of the land that belonged to Richard III, Duke of Normandy. The French city turned into an important transit point in the middle of the 12th century. It was a stop on the path from Rouen to England. The beginning of the Hundred Years' War brought much uncertainty to Honfleur. One ruling force replaced another, and local people suffered from this. Charles V helped to strengthen the city’s defensive forces by building a fortress here. The main purpose of the stronghold was to protect the French city from English conquerors.
Pirates captured Honfleur in the 15th century. They thought that the city was the best place for their naval base. However, they were not able to keep their positions for a long time, and soon the sea rogues were expelled from this region. Honfleur started trading with American colonies in the 17th century, and the city and its people greatly benefited from it. The French Revolution, however, left the city on the verge of bankruptcy. Only closer to the end of the 19th century, Honfleur could partially recover because of the growing wood trade. When the port closed, the region completely stopped developing, turning into a merely beautiful area not far from Le Havre. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Local people and tourists enjoy taking a stroll on the main waterfront of Honfleur named after Saint Catherine. This area offers a striking view of the sea gates and old bay. If you happen to visit this place in the evening, you will see how numerous lights from the windows of the old houses reflect on the water surface. Every day, local painters sit at the waterfront and draw the mesmerizing scenery, turning white sheets into marvelous pieces of art.
It is possible to see the main landmark of this French city from the waterfront. This is Saint Catherine’s Church, a gorgeous wooden building made by local shipbuilders. Maybe this is the reason why the shape of this church is somewhat reminiscent of a ship. Saint Catherine’s Church is an important landmark of Gothic architecture. When visiting this city, tourists always take pictures of this unusual shrine.
Musee de la Marine or Maritime Museum is an important stop on the tourist map of Honfleur. The popular venue is open in the building that faces the waterfront. Initially, this was Eglise St Etienne, a Catholic church with gothic architecture built in the 15th century. At that time, this was the tallest building in Honfleur. Yet, the church was closed five centuries later and then transformed into a museum that now exhibits numerous artifacts and the maritime history of the region.
Guests of the city come here in order to see gorgeous models of battleships with their own eyes, as well as civilian frigates. The museum’s collection is really impressive and doesn’t have analogs anywhere else in the world. The museum is ready to welcome thousands of tourists every day and tell them about the history of shipbuilding and prominent personalities whose lives were connected with ships and the sea.
Besides historic and cultural landmarks, Honfleur can offer fabulous natural attractions to its guests. The city’s name already sounds very “floral” because “fleur” means “a flower” in French. Tourists will find it very interesting to visit a small oasis with tropical plants and beautiful butterflies. This is Naturospace, a center recreating tropical forest in Honfleur. In Naturospace, visitors can see butterflies of different shapes and colors. They fly freely everywhere in the center, often escorting visitors.
There is no train station in Honfleur. That is why tourists need to get to the Saint-Lazare Station in Paris and take a train to Deauville-Trouville Station. Tourists may also choose to go to Lisieux, Le Havre or Pont-l'Évêque first. Having arrived in any of these cities, simply get on a bus that will take you directly to Honfleur. Needless to say, travelers can always find a taxi that will take them to the port city but this variant will be significantly more expensive.
Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Honfleur
♥   Castle 'Château de Orcher' Seine-Maritime, 8.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Tancarville' Seine-Maritime, 18.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Ételan' Seine-Maritime, 29 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Crèvecœur' Cantal, 36.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Fécamp' Seine-Maritime, 38.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Honfleur
♥   Regional Nature Park 'Boucles de la Seine normande' , 32.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Regional Nature Park 'Normandie-Maine' , 99.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Regional Nature Park 'Perche' , 118 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Honfleur and around
♥   Art museum 'Musée des Beaux-Arts André Malraux' Le Havre, 12 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Honfleur from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Pont Gustave-Flaubert

From the series “The Most Unusual and Strange Bridges on Earth”
The complete lift of the moving part of the bridge to the height of 55 meters takes about 12 minutes. Many people gather to watch this magical show. The bridge is irreplaceable for the urban infrastructure. Some 50,000 cars are driven daily. For the tourists, the bridge is just as important, as it opens the magnificent panorama of the Seine and the picturesque coasts. The architects Michel Virlogeux and Aymeric Zubléna are the authors of the design of the unusual bridge, which is today one of the most important landmarks of Rouen. The realization of her grandiose project cost about 155 million euros. … Read further
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Honfleur

All about Honfleur, France - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Honfleur, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Honfleur in few days.
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