City summary: Le Havre

Press release


Le Havre today is a city rebuilt from the ashes of World War II. After having been nearly completely destroyed by bombing raids, the city put energy into a new city center plan led by architect Auguste Perret, a pioneer in the architectural use of reinforced concrete. Now honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, his work in Le Havre, which includes a remarkable stained-glass church tower, complements other modernist visions, like the MuMa, an art museum housing France’s second largest collection of Impressionist art fittingly hosted in the city where Monet painted a canvas that gave the movement its name.

Fun Fact

The high standard and historical importance of Auguste Perret’s post-war reconstruction architecture in the city center of Le Havre was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Significant Site

Eglise Saint-Joseph: 12,768 pieces of glass set in an octagonal tower light up this modern church to dramatic effect

Extraordinary Exhibit

Musée d'Art Moderne André Malraux (MuMa): the second largest collection of impressionist paintings in France set in a masterpiece of modern museum architecture

Delectable Delights

  • apples: grown in abundance throughout Normandy and a primary ingredient in meals and desserts, as well as drinks

  • cider: produced in Normandy in large quantities and very often drunk with meals as a substitute for wine or beer

Legendary Local

govy: award-winning visual artist who also advocates for the Neurodiversity Movement

Also in the Area

  • Mémorial de Caen: near the Normandy landing beaches, this memorial movingly recounts the events of World War II

  • Etretat: a brief visit to the romantic open-air theater overlooking the English Channel reveals why it has inspired so many famous artists

  • Deauville: a resort town where the preserved architecture is in bold evidence right from the famous Boardwalk

Access from Paris

  • by road: about 2 h 15 min (125 miles) via the A13 autoroute de Normandie

  • by train: about 2 h 5 min by intercity service from the Gare Saint Lazare

For more about what to see and do in and around Le Havre, including on the “Lose your bearings in architecture” itinerary, visit


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency
New York, 10022
United States