History of Honfleur
A city nestled in lush greenery
Situated between two hills on the left bank of the mouth of the Seine, Honfleur is nestled in a "green environment" in the words of Henri de Regnier. Untouched by the ravages of the Second World War, the old city, the prestigious history, still retains its charm. Its port, its old streets, museums and historical and religious monuments are witnesses of a rich architectural foundations of the international reputation of the city.
"HONNEFLEU", former name of the city, draws its origin in the language of the Vikings. The etymologists have been various interpretations, the word "HON" or "HONN" was probably a surname, while the term "flow" which meant cove, creek or small estuary in Norse, has evolved into "FLEU", then " FLOWER "(as in the names of some common remote Barfleur Harfleur ...).
This port of estuary and sea port has determined its dual mission: defending the royal river and the start of great adventures on the ocean sea.
However, the cause remains unclear Honfleur
The first written record dates from 1027, it comes from Richard III, Duke of Normandy. Another document, preserved in London, shows that a century after the conquest of Duke Guillaume, Rouen, Honfleur, served as a transit port for goods to England.
At the end of the twelfth century, the town had four churches and two priests, pastors St. Stephen and St. Catherine, Our Lady and St Leonard.
Time of War
The great period of military Honfleur opens with the Hundred Years War. Given the strategic position of the city, King Charles V decided to make a defensive bastion against the invading English: he is making great works of fortification.
Moreover, the arms of the city are: Gules, a silver tower topped with a swirl of itself, flanked by two fleurs-de-lis of gold, the head of France.
During the reign of Charles V and Charles VI, the fortress played a defensive role, at the entrance of the Seine opposite to that of Harfleur. The port served during this time starting point to several military expeditions in England.
Honfleur, taken in 1419 by the British, was occupied until 1450 and liberated by the troops of Charles VII. The construction of the church Saint-Etienne was completed in 1432 during the British occupation. A few years later, an expedition of reprisal leads to devastation of the English town of Sandwich, now twinned with Honfleur. (Picture window above the church of Saint Etienne illustrating fire Castle on Gonneville Honfleur by Troops loyal to the King of France).
At the end of the fifteenth century, St. Catherine's Chapel, destroyed during the siege of 1450, is replaced by a wooden church, work of shipwrights.
The start time of the maritime
The ships have always held an important place in the activity of the city. In the eighteenth century until the mid nineteenth century, they were still flourishing.
At the end of the fifteenth century and early sixteenth century, the kings of France will help meet the city's ruins: the glorious maritime history of Honfleur can begin. Honfleur Sailors are now among the best in the kingdom. They have in their relationship rare Brotherhood of the famous Marco Polo. Charles VIII also wrote that Honfleur was "the biggest and best supply of ships of the country of Normandy.
At that time, great adventures and discoveries follow one another: in 1503 Binot Paulmier of Gonneville landfall in Brazil in 1506 and Jean Denis visited Newfoundland and the mouth of the St. Lawrence. The port is known as the gentle giant of Rabelais, Pantagruel, it embarks on the Kingdom of Utopia.
The wars of religion and the League
They will unfortunately generate major disruptions. Thus the Church of St. Leonard where Catholics had fled was partially burned, and many buildings around. Today the only remaining original building of the church in the Gothic portal and the narthex. The nave was destroyed in 1594 during the siege before the city by Henry IV.
In the early seventeenth century were built the Hotel Dieu, chapel and chapel Notre Dame de Grace, which replaces an oratory of the XI century resulted in the collapse of the cliff in the fourteenth century.
Large shipments continue
Particularly to Canada. The fishing for cod on the banks of Newfoundland and the mouth of the St. Lawrence existed. Fishermen bartering with the natives. Pierre de Chauvin, Dupont-Grave, Samuel de Champlain and other shipowners mount many expeditions to these remote regions. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain up a dispatch from Honfleur leading to the founding of Quebec.
At the end of the seventeenth century, most of the fortifications dismantled on orders from Colbert and the port is growing: the ancient harbor basin becomes afloat, built on plans of Duquesne. This Old Basin today.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the prosperous port through trade with Canada, the Caribbean, the African coast and the Azores. Throughout this period, Honfleur is a very active center for pilots, owners, traders and even pirates.
three large granaries were built Salt
For permission to Colbert, they replace old Granary smaller. Built to receive the salt of the salt tax and the salt needed for fishing, the walls are made of stones from the destruction of the ramparts. Only two granaries remain.
At the same time, the home of Lieutenant King, now known under the name of the Governor, is built on the basin of the port of Caen.
During this period, two major figures of mariners have shown Honfleur: Pierre Berthelot, "pilot major and geographer of the King of Portugal, became a monk under the name" Denis of the Nativity, martyred in Sumatra, beatified in 1900, and Jean Francois Doublet, Officer of the Royal and fellow privateer Jean Bart of Dunkirk.
By the Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years War, France loses Canada: the port's activity is affected. Trade with the Caribbean is growing. Honfleur is the 5th eighteenth century slave port in France.
The wars of the Revolution and the Empire almost completely ruined the port. When peace returned, the business took off with the first half of the nineteenth century the import of timber and later North exotic woods.
The nineteenth century Honfleur will give a new claim to fame. Early in the century, painters, influenced by English landscape painters, working in Honfleur. They are attracted by the beauty of the setting and the picturesque harbor life. Camille Corot, Eugène Isabey, Huet Paul were among the first to stay there.
Around Alexandre Dubourg and Eugene Boudin, Honfleur born respectively in 1821 and 1824, formed an artistic circle whose place of rendezvous is the Ferme Saint-Simeon. Boudin it draws its famous pastel skies of the estuary, both admired by Baudelaire.
Courbet, Monet, Jongkind find them at informal gatherings (from 1850 to 1875) now designated as the "School of Honfleur, rightly regarded as a cradle of Impressionism.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, born in Honfleur historian Albert Sorel, the poet Henri de Regnier both academicians, Lucie Delarue-Mardrus, the humorist Alphonse Allais and the musician Erik Satie, one of the fathers of modern music .
Tucked between two hills, the town has gradually extended a hand towards the sea and the other backward countries and plateaus that dominate it. The arrival of the Normandy Bridge, which connects the two shores of the estuary will create a new European axis of communication between North and South, supporting the future industrial and tourism Honfleur. Honfleur, Harbor Pays d'Auge and the Côte Fleurie, retains its original character, which inspired many poets and writers:
"I like the platform of Honfleur and its old Air France
Scales gables, porch with wood sides,
The brown-roofed house which was the Lieutenancy.
"Honfleur once in full hope
its major marine bearing in sitting,
today can not deprive
with its painters and poets. "
The old dock Honfleur
|Les Maisons Satie home to a scenic route and original musical tribute to the musician and composer Erik Satie was born in these places in 1866.|
Museum Eugène Boudin
Address: Place Erik Satie - BP 80049 - 14602 Honfleur Cedex.
|Located 400m from the Honfleur Old Basin, the Naturospace is bordered by a large free parking|
The district and the saint Leonard Church
|The Saint-Léonard overlooking the library and the local Tourist Office and is distinguished by the presence of a large church dedicated to St. Leonard, a young man in the court of Clovis, patron saint of prisoners.|