Due to the image of a city rebuilt in concrete, it is easy to forget that Le Havre is also a green city. There is a forest (Montgeon), hanging gardens, a park (Rouelles), as well as many squares (St Roch, Erignac, Holker etc.) where families wander, sporty locals work out and tourists visit. Awarded the "Ville et villages fleuris” label as one of France’s most flower-filled cities by the national flowering committee, in total Le Havre has 96 parks, gardens and squares.
Set back on what locals call “la côte” (the hill), the Carmelite community was confronted with a property development project which, bringing with it many disturbances, threatened their monastic lifestyle. Through a dialogue with the landscape architect Samuel Craquelin and two artists, Chantal Giraud, visual artist and Jean-Pierre Lartisien, sculptor, this potential nuisance was transformed into a positive project. The result was the creation of a silent garden, a place for meditation, contemplation and reflection about the beauty of nature and life far from the turbulence and effervescence of the port and city. All visitors, whatever their convictions, are welcome. It is a quiet place where, confronted with different areas rich with symbols, the visitor can find inner peace.
The theme of “Les Jardins Suspendus”, the hanging gardens, planted in a 19th century fort, is the voyage of plants across the oceans. Discover 3,000 species and two groups of greenhouses. Thanks to the exceptional geographic location, visitors have a remarkable panorama of the sea, the Seine estuary and the reconstructed city.
Built in 1992, and designed by the landscape gardener Yasuko Miyamae and the Norman architect, Samuel Craquelin, it symbolises the union between the twin sister ports, Le Havre and Osaka. The two rivers symbolise the history of the two ports, the pond evokes the union between the two oceans and the pebbly beach is a perfect reproduction of Le Havre beach. As for the stone lanterns, they incarnate the divine light and the mutual enrichment of the two cultures. Each detail evokes the encounter between the two worlds. Open for guided tours only, see the calendar.
Montgeon is 270 hectares of forest in the centre of the city. A recreational haven, it is the ideal place for relaxing and enjoying nature, with, for example, the conifer arboretum created in 1993. A wide range of activities are possible in the forest with a fitness trail, mountain bike and hiking trails, cyclocross, orienteering and more. In summer the Pôle Montgeon hires out equipment for recreational activities.
Situated on the outskirts of Le Havre, Rouelles park is 160 hectares of grassy plains, woods, gardens, lakes and streams. It is the perfect setting for the Bouteillerie manor with a dovecote which dates from the 17th century. The ideal place for young parents and joggers. In the heights of the park is an arboretum with over 250 species of broad-leaved trees.