Praised by Alphonse Karr, then editor of Le Figaro in the 19th century, mentioned in the famous dictation by Prosper Mérimée, immortalised by Claude Monet (the famous terrace at Sainte-Adresse), praised by Georges Dufayel, father of “Nice Havrais” in the 1900s, the Dionysian town embodies a certain sense of the good life.

Sainte-Adresse is also a popular spot for board sports, combining with elegance and pleasure, history, culture and water sports, as well as architecture with its numerous villas.

Nice havrais
Plaque commémorative sur l'immeuble le Nice Havrais à Sainte-Adresse

Georges Dufayel and the Nice Havrais

Georges Dufayel, owner in Paris of the Palais de la Nouveauté, a temple for the sale on credit of all kinds of goods, bought from the Dehors heirs the land located between the foot of the Hève cliff and the sea. He would create a seaside resort here called “Nice Havrais” because of its special position.

Dufayel entrusted Ernest Daniel with the construction of prestigious buildings, the Palais du Commerce, and the Régates, the Nice Havrais building. As for the plots, they were divided into 300 lots, sold bare or with villas on them. Only the Nice Havrais building and a few villas bear witness to this great project today, as a result of the Second World War.

Les vitraux et les ornements de l'intérieur de la chapelle Notre-Dame des Flots à Sainte-Adresse

Notre-Dame des Flots Chapel

It belongs to the landscape, history, worship … since 1859, dominating the cliff of Sainte-Adresse. Behind the construction of this chapel is a personality at the very least highly original: Father Duval-Pirou, an outstanding clergyman.

The 13th-century Gothic style design, in vogue at the time, was entrusted to a young architect, Théodore Huchon. The most original feature is the axial chapel, known as the “sanctuary”, containing the statue of the Virgin, a vast niche lit by bay windows and painted starry azure.

Le Pain de sucre à Sainte-Adresse

Sugar Loaf

This curious white-clad edifice, known as the Sugar Loaf (Pain de Sucre), is a monument erected in memory of Count Charles Lefebvre-Desnouettes, an empire general who disappeared off the coast of Ireland when the ship bringing him back to France sank.

His widow, a cousin of Napoleon I, had this daymark in memory of her late husband erected to serve as a landmark for sailors and was buried there when she died in 1880.

The Sainte-Adresse landing stage

Admittedly, the one we’re walking on is not the original, which is said to have been installed at Bains des Falaises and created by Florentin Guéroult. Its purpose was to allow bathers to reach the sea without having to walk on the pebbles.

From the Grand Hotel Frascati opposite the entrance to the port to Sainte-Adresse, several landing stages were built, including that at Bains Marie-Christine. A source of inspiration for painters and photographers alike, it seems inseparable from the landscape.

Vue sur l'estacade de Sainte-Adresse et la plage du Havre

The Villas of Sainte-Adresse

If Dufayel, businessman and builder, left his mark and the name “Nice Havrais”, which provides a good example of the holiday spirit, another great name has left a mark of her presence: the great Sarah Bernhardt.

The actress entrusted the architect Georges de Broker with the construction of an imposing villa.

La villa Sarah Bernhardt à Sainte-Adresse
Une villa de type nordique à Sainte-Adresse

This spirit of seaside architecture has endured ever since. The best way to discover all these “beauty queens” is certainly on foot. Let yourself be spirited away by these curious names…

Villas St Georges, Les Griffons, Casabianca, La Coiffe, Les Algues, Hollandaise, La Normande, Blanc Cottage, Nordique… not forgetting the Manoir de Vitanval, the undisputed doyen of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Unable to remain on its own soil, on 11 October 1914, the Belgian government set sail aboard the “Peter de Coninck”, heading for Le Havre.

The ministers moved into villas in Sainte-Adresse, in the Nice Havrais building. Some arteries were renamed Boulevard Albert 1er, Boulevard du Roi des Belges.

An app lets you follow a memorial journey, an interactive tour explaining the Belgian presence at Sainte Adresse from 1914 to 1918.

Statue du roi Albert 1er à Sainte-Adresse

The End of the World

Under this dream-like name, we find a jumbled, charming bar where you can forget the daily routine while enjoying the atmosphere with a breathtaking view of the sunsets, a seawall promenade and a resin work 6.24m high by Fabien Merelle, representing the artist carrying his daughter on his shoulders. Why the end of the world? Because the path ends there.

Terrasse du bar du Bout du Monde à Sainte-Adresse
Table d'orientation de Sainte Adresse

The orientation table

Located before the last two bends leading to Cap de la Hève, it stands like a real balcony over the estuary.

It lets you locate Villerville, Trouville, Deauville, Cabourg and the CHU of Caen on the horizon (in good weather).

Festival de jazz sur les plages de Sainte-Adresse et du Havre

The festivals of Sainte-Adresse

Estacade (end of January), organised in Sainte-Adresse, adds another look at so-called classical music through an innovative, friendly approach. Over a weekend, a group of 7 musicians, passionate about chamber music, take part in unique concerts that really bring music and the audience closer together.

Dixie-Days. It’s all about spirit, conviviality, swing and good times. This festival, created a quarter of a century ago, has the specific feature of offering concerts, mostly free of charge, on stages facing the sea.

Sainte-Adresse and Impressionism

While Turner found inspiration here, what about Monet!!! The artist would bring it to prominence and, through his various paintings, make this resort known all over the world.

Regattas, the terrace, lady in the garden at Sainte-Adresse have for years occupied the picture rails of the prestigious Hermitage Museum or the Metropolitan in New York. Let’s not forget Sisley, Jongkind, Boudin…

Plage de Sainte-Adresse

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