All the charm of a seaside hotel
to discover Honfleur
Honfleur, located on the Seine estuary, which is bridged by the imposing Pont de Normandie, stands at the gateway to the green countryside of the Pays d'Auge and the Côte Fleurie, making it a year-round vacation destination. It's easy to love - no effort, introductions or imagination required! Guests at La Chaumière hotel are quick to succumb to its charms...
Musician Erik Satie, journalist and humourist Alphonse Allais, and painter Eugène Boudin were all natives of Honfleur. The town has inherited a sense of irony from Satie and Allais, and artistic fame and a claim to be the birthplace of Impressionism from Boudin. Painter Eugène Boudin brought a group of artists and friends together, including Jongkind, Monet and poet Charles Baudelaire.
Stroll along the quays, explore the picturesque cobblestone streets and alleys of the Saint-Catherine neighbourhood, admire the historic homes, stop to admire an artist's easel or take a break on a café terrace by the Vieux Bassin... pure bliss!
In the Enclos neighbourhood, two of the three Salt Storehouses built in 1670 still stand today, and are listed historic monuments. Most of the stones used to build them came from the old city walls. Their oak roof frames were built by the navy carpenters of the day. These storehouses held over 10,000 metric tons of salt for assessment for the gabelle, or salt tax. The salt was then used for cod fishing campaigns on the Great Banks off Newfoundland.
The Vieux Bassin
The most memorable sight for first-time visitors is doubtless the ensemble formed by the Vieux Bassin, with the historic houses on the Sainte-Catherine, the Lieutenance and Saint-Etienne church. Created by Duquesne on orders from the minister Colbert in 1681, the Vieux Bassin has kept its original aura, with colourful pleasure craft and narrow, wood-frame houses with slate façades.
Sainte-Catherine church and bell tower
Sainte-Catherine church, built in the second half of the 15th century (a listed historic monument), replaced an older stone church destroyed during the Hundred Years' War. It was built by the town's residents after the departure of the English army. Since they were very poor, they built the church using wood from the Touques forest and their knowledge of shipbuilding.
It is the largest church in France built with a separate bell tower. The bell tower, a sturdy oak structure, was built on the bell ringer's house. Now an outbuilding of the Eugène Boudin Museum, it is open to visitors and features a display of religious artwork (sculptures, artefacts from the Charities and the Notre-Dame de Grâce chapel).