UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Normandy

  • © Atout France/Daniël Gallon-Dangal

  • © Atout France/CDT Calvados

  • © Atout France/Jean François Tripelon-Jarry

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Normandy Normandie fr

Mont-Saint-Michel

Built atop a rocky island thirteen centuries ago, Mont-Saint-Michel is widely known today as one of the Marvels of the Western World. It has several notable architectural gems, from its pre-Romanesque church and famous abbey built in the 11th century to its numerous other Gothic structures. Transformed into a prison during the Revolution of the Second French Empire, the Abbey has been recognized as a Historic Monument since 1874. The monastic community that has used it since 1969 also ensures an ongoing spiritual presence.

Surrounded by a magnificent bay, the Mont-Saint-Michel has as its background one of the highest tides in Europe.

Things to see:

  • The abbey
  • The ramparts, Grande-Rue and abbey's gardens
  • Mont-Saint-Michel bay and its high tides
  • The Grévin Museum (a large wax museum that portrays the lives of monks and the history of Mont-Saint-Michel)
  • Nighttime walks

The Bayeux Tapestry

This huge woolen embroidered piece was commissioned at the end of the ninth century by Bishop Odo, a brother of William the Conqueror. It tells the story of the conquest of England by the Duke of Normandy.

Things to see:

Le Havre

The fruit of deeply rooted maritime and port history, Le Havre's heritage is one of an urban epic, punctuated by the some of the greatest architects of its time: Bellarmato, Thibault, Lamandé, Perret, Niemeyer, Reichen & Robert and of course Jean Nouvel, 2008 recipient of the Pritzker Prize (the world's highest honour in architecture.)

Le Havre is the only city to have the post-war rebuilt architecture of its centre classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Things to see:

  • The Saint-Joseph church and its lantern tower
  • The city center, rebuilt after World War II by Auguste Perret
  • The marina, beach and lively promenade
  • The Volcano, cultural centre and theatre of national importance
  • The Malraux Museum with its magnificent Impressionist collections)
  • The Maison de l'Armateur (Ship owner's house)

Tatihou and Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue

An immense garden on the coast, the Saire valley is a truly living territory where the land and sea are constantly engaged in a game of hide-and-seek. Vauban's towers of Tatihou and La Hougue were classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2008. As the port from which William the Conqueror's troops departed before their conquest of England, Saint-Vaast became recognized in history after the battle of La Hougue in 1692. This beautiful small island is a true ornothological paradise and transforms into a peninsula during low-tide, though it is always accessible by water vehicle. Simply adorable and charming, the island is dominated by the Vauban tower and its fortifications.

Things to see:

  • The fort at Hougue
  • The Tatihou Maritime Museum
  • The Vauban tower (offering a great view of the island and coast)
  • The maritime gardens

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