Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Le Havre (French pronunciation: [lə ɑvʁ]) 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 provisionally renamed Franciscopolis in the documents, after King Francis I, who developed 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 Hable de Grâce (already in 1489, "the harbor of Grace"). The shortened name Le Havre, as used in modern times, simply translates as "the port" or "the harbour".