Versailles - Le Havre: Brilliant designers
From Versailles to Le Havre... in other words from the most famous château in France to the gateway to the ocean. Beyond the splendour of the Sun King’s residence, the whole pomp and ceremony of Versailles will amaze you. At le Havre, the flavours of the sea will have you genuinely in rapture. Between royal Versailles and the modern port of le Havre, from the gates of Paris to the cliffs of Normandy, an unforgettable journey awaits you along the Seine.
Official residence of the kings of France, Versailles Palace is an unmissable visit if you want to discover the pomp and circumstance of a period, artistic riches, exceptional gardens, famous collections, the Petit Trianon that will throw you into the private world of Queen Marie-Antoinette... and the stables where the town today houses the Académie du Spectacle Equestre.
What to see
- The King’s vegetable garden
To fill his table, Louis XIV ordered the gardener JB. de la Quintinye to create a huge vegetable garden (9 hectares) at the edge of the parc aux cerfs.
- The Grand Musical Fountain Display
A virtuoso walk through the heart of the most beautiful gardens in France which stage their fountains and jets of water to great classical melodies.
The combination of an ancient history of a port and contemporary architecture, le Havre will inevitably astonish you. Take advantage of a trip to the city to visit the MuMa (Musée d’Art Moderne André Malraux) and admire the 2nd largest impressionist collection in France or visit the show apartment, a reproduction of a 1950’s lifestyle. Savour the great sea air at the port or along the two-kilometre beach.
What to see
- The city rebuilt
A city devastated by the Second World War, Le Havre has been transformed with the inspired and modern touch of Auguste Perret, a “poet of concrete”.
- Historic route of Norman Abbeys
The visit to Mont-Saint Michel Abbey will be the grand finale of your encounter with the historical edifices that are the Norman abbeys.
- Caen Memorial
Near the Normandy landing beaches, it recounts the events of the Second World War, a moving visit and previously unseen films.
The birthplace of genius
In the MuMa in Le Havre, one of the largest collections of impressionist paintings is on display for you. Not far from here, Claude Monet painted the port here in his painting “Impression, Sunrise”, which gave its name to the art movement. Let yourself be carried away by the Norman sites and landscapes which have charmed the greatest artists, such as Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet, Georges Seurat, Camille Pissarro, Raoul Duffy, Othon Friesz, to name but a few. Extend this artistic journey to Versailles to discover the world of Charles Le Brun, creator of the famous Hall of Mirrors in the palace, the Ambassador’s Staircase and even the Halls of War and Peace. Attention, masterpieces.
April/October: The Grand Musical Fountain Display, at the Palace of Versailles
August/September: Septembre Musical de l’Orne festival
October/November: Automne en Normandie festival
Exceptional cultural sites
1 Palace of Versailles
2 Musée Malraux - Le Havre
3 Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey / Norman abbeys, historic route
4 The Caen Memorial
5 The Normandy landing beaches
6 Château de Carrouges
7 Towers of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue
8 Chartres cathedral