“Honfleur is one of those few unique places that is truly unique in Europe. This historic medieval city port has a central basin around which are tall narrow house clad with slate shingle tiles to create an architecture that is both unique and picturesque. To sit in one of Honfleurs’ port side cafes and sip Pastis and become inspired by Honfleurs’ beauty as impressionist painter Claude Monet used to do is one of the great experiences France has to offer. Hope you enjoy the photos”, Paul Williams.
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Photos and pictures of Honfleur, Normandy France.
One of the most historic and picturesque port on the Normandy coast is Honfleur. So picturesque are the buildings and the port of Honfleur that they were a favorite subject of impressionist painter Claude Monet as can be seen his painting The Lieutenancy at Honfleur.
The architecture of Honfleur is unique with narrow shingle tiled buildings lining its inner dock and the its Sainte-Catherine church is the largest wooden church in France.
The first written references to Honfleur were by Richard II, Duke of Normandy in 1027. Honfleur became an important port for transporting goods from Rouen to England as it is located on the mouth of the Seinne. This strategic position made Honfleur one of the most important ports in France as it controlled all the trade that went up and down the Seinne.
During the Hundred Years’ War, a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453, pitted the Kingdom of England against the Valois Capetians for control of the French throne, Honfleur benefited initially from investment from the French King Charles II but despite strengthened defences Honfleur was taken and occupied by the English in 1357 and from 1419 to 1450.
After 1608, Honfleur thrived on trade with Canada, the West Indies, the African coasts and the Azores. As a result the town became one of the five principal ports for the slave trade in France. During this time the rapid growth of the town saw the demolition of its fortifications on the orders of Colbert.
The wars of the French revolution and the First Empire, and in particular the continental blockade, caused the ruin of Honfleur. It only partially recovered during the 19th century with the trading of wood from northern Europe. Trade was however limited by the silting up of the entrance to the port and development of the modern port at Le Havre. The port however still functions today.
Photos and images of Honfleur can be downloaded on line or bought as photo art prints
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