Le Havre

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Le Havre

Coordinates: 49°29′24″N 0°06′00″E / 49.49000°N 0.100000°E / 49.49000; 0.100000


Le Havre (French pronunciation: [lə avʁ]) is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total population of the greater Le Havre conurbation is smaller than that of Rouen. It is also the second largest subprefecture in France (after Reims). Its port is the second busiest in France (after that of Marseille). Since 1974 it has been the see of the diocese of Le Havre.

Le Havre was originally named Franciscopolis after King Francis I, who founded the city in 1517. A chapel known as Notre-Dame-de-Grâce ("Our Lady of Grace") existed at the site before the city was established, and the denomination lent its name to the port, to be called Le Havre (or Le Hable) de Grâce ("the harbor of grace"). The shortened name Le Havre, as used in modern times, simply translates as "the port" or "the harbor".

While under German occupation, the city was devastated in 1944 during the Battle of Normandy in World War II; 5,000 people were killed and 12,000 homes destroyed, mainly by Allied air attacks. After the war, the center was rebuilt in the modernist style by Auguste Perret. Le Havre was honored with the Legion of Honor award on 18 July 1949. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

Le Havre was once synonymous with urban gloom and greyness. The city's inhabitants have done much to change this; as a result of substantial improvements, Le Havre is now spoken of as the Brasilia of France.[citation needed].

Le Havre's home port code is LH.

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