Le Havre is a city in the Haute-Normandie region of Northern France. The city is located on the bank of the River Seine on the English Channel, in the Seine-Maritime department of the region. Le Havre is the biggest commune in the region and is home the second busiest port in France. The city itself is the 12th biggest in France, with a population of nearly 200,000. Being in France the spoken language is French, whilst the currency is the Euro.
Le Havre was founded in 1517, specifically as a port, as the old ports of Harfleur and Honfleur has become impractical to use. Le Havre actually means ‘the harbour’ so when it was created no one was under any illusions as to what its purpose was. In the 18th century the city grew as trade from the New World became a common occurrence, along with trade with the rest of Europe.
During World War II the city was occupied by the Nazis and was devastated during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, with more than 5,000 Le Havre residents killed. After the bombing campaigns had left it flattened the city was rebuilt post-war, by the modernist architect Auguste Perret and in 2005 the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its example of architecture and town planning in the post-war era.
One of the main attractions in Le Havre is Le Havre Cathedral, which was built in 1536 and survived the bombing of the Second World War. Other attractions include; the Musee des Beaux-Arts Andre Malraux, which is an art gallery that has paintings from the last five centuries, from artists such as Monet, Degas and Manet.
Due to the winds whipping off the English Channel and the River Seine the weather in Le Havre is mostly cold, with temperatures hitting highs of 18C in the summer months and dropping to lows of 3C in the winter. Le Havre is also susceptible to snowfall in the winter and is often covered in a few inches most days.
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