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Mont Saint-Michel, Deauville, Honfleur

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World famous for its unique location and the beauty of its architecture, Mont Saint-Michel is one of France’s main monument attractions. It offers us an unforgettable view!

 

Come discover with us the famous Mont Saint-Michel, nicknamed “The Wonder of the Western World”. Allow Honfleur’s charm to seduce you. Town of Art and History and birthplace of Impressionist style painting… Relax on the beach in Deauville, the most prestigious seaside resort on the French coast… !!!


starting from € 135    View Program  

MONT SAINT-MICHEL

“Wonder of the Western World”, Mont Saint-Michel stands at the center of a huge bay dominated by Europe’s strongest tides. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it welcomes close to 3.5 million visitors yearly; both pilgrims and ordinary tourists.

At the request of the archangel Michael, “field commander of the Army of God”, Aubert, bishop of Avranches, built and devoted the first church on October 16, 709. In 966, at the request of the Duke of Normandy, a community of Benedictines settled on the rock. Its pre-Romanesque style church was therefore built before the year 1000. During the 11th century, the Romanesque style abbey was built atop a group of crypts at the rock’s peak. The original buildings of the religious community were propped against its north wall.

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The Abbey, a monumental masterpiece

 

During the 12th century, the Romanesque style religious community buildings were expanded to the west and south.

In the 13th century Philip II Augustus, king of France, following the conquest of the Normandy region, donated money which made possible the construction of the Gothic style “Merveille”: two three-story buildings crowned by the cloister and refectory.

During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Hundred Years' War made it necessary to protect the Abbey with a set of fortifications which allowed it to survive a siege lasting over thirty years. The Abbey church’s Romanesque style choir collapsed in 1421, and was replaced by a flamboyant Gothic style choir at the end of the Middle Ages.

This impressive spiritual and intellectual nexus was, along with Rome and Santiago de Compostela, one of the most important pilgrimage routes of the medieval West. Over nearly one thousand years men, women and children came via routes called “paths to Paradise” to request eternal life from the Archangel of Judgement, “judge of souls”.

The cloister, an architectural wonder

It’s an unlikely garden, perched atop an arid rock. As level as a hand, here where all is but steep slopes. So far up, eighty meters above ground level, this garden floats in the sky, open to the huge bay where sand and sea intermingle.


Breathtaking beauty

After admiring the Abbey, you’ll be able to contemplate the unique beauty of the Bay by going down the curtain wall path, or the roundabout path on your left bordered by small gardens, which you can get to from the Fanils porch.

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Le cloître La baie du Mont St Michel

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HONFLEUR

Lodged within “a jewel-box of greenery”, Honfleur is a port with a prestigious past, though still planning for the future. Seacoast city, starting point of great expeditions to new lands, world famous historic port; city of art, birthplace of celebrities; Honfleur left its historical mark throughout the centuries.

Saved for the most part from the ravages of time, this seaside town has managed to preserve the relics of its rich past, which now make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in France…

The Old Harbor

The ensemble formed by the Old Harbor: the quaint houses of Saint-Catherine's Quay, the Lieutenance and Saint-Stephen's Church, are surely what you’ll find most striking the first time you visit Honfleur. This harbor was built following an order by Colbert in 1681, to replace the existing docks.

On one side of the Old Harbor, on Saint-Catherine's Quay, a whole row of tall houses form a unique background. These houses of various sizes, propped one against the other, are unusual in having their upper floors facing the rear towards “Du Dauphin” and “Des Logettes” streets, most of them therefore having two different owners.

 

 

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Honfleur and the painters

Exalted many times by painters, the lighting of Honfleur owes much to the estuary, and painters owe it much also. Thanks to its estuary, the Seine provides marvelous sunsets and views of distant boats to painters that, combined with a foreground comprised of the harbor’s outlet or one of the river’s banks, allow infinite possibilities for creating a painting. This may explain why the Painters of the Estuary are often painters of the sea.

During the 19th century, Honfleur became an exceptional center of art: Eugène Boudin, whose influence was capital to the Impressionist movement, gathered around himself many of his artist acquaintances such as Jongkind, Monet and the poet Charles Baudelaire.

 

 

 

Saint-Catherine’s Church and district

 

Saint-Catherine’s district developed while the curtain walls were being built. A seaside district, “the people of the sea” have left their mark here. Their old timber-frame houses still stand.

Saint-Catherine’s Church replaced an older stone church destroyed during the Hundred Years’ War. It’s the largest wooden church in France built by ship carpenters, and with a separate steeple.

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The Erik Satie Galleries

The Satie Galleries house a unique visual and musical voyage dedicated to the musician and composer Eric Satie, born here in 1866. Erik Satie was a 20th century complete artist, also dabbling in literature and painting. He collaborated with many of the pillars of his time: Picasso, Picabia, Braque, Cocteau; and influenced other prestigious artists such as Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky. Wearing a pair of revolutionary headphones, the visitor is guided through a musical landscape to the rhythm of Erik Satie’s creations.

The scenography, combining sound, lighting, images and objects in a Satie-style fantasy and “humorous” decor, beckons visitors with a fun-filled and educational tour. Much more than an exhibition, the tour transfers the visitor in a unique atmosphere.

DEAUVILLE


Deauville, internationally renowned jet-set seaside resort, symbolizes elegance, prestige and refinement. With its casino, marina, racecourse, yearling sales, American film festival and international Bridge festival, Deauville now offers a considerable variety of sports facilities and choice of activities that make it one of the resorts most appreciated by foreign tourists.

Not to miss:

- the Boardwalk, the most characteristic and lively part of the beach,

- the Yacht Club,

- the harbor,

- the Deauville Casino.

 

 

 

 

 

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deauville_1   And Morny created Deauville…

 

In 1825, the location where Deauville now stands was still a vast field of sand dunes. The former village of Auvilla, built further back on the high ground, had a population of only 113 when the Duke of Morny came here for the first time. He was seduced by the site and decided to create a prestigious racecourse here; the large villas followed and a new town was born. The Duke of Morny made summer vacations in Deauville fashionable, which attracted the nobility first, followed by the world of artists and celebrities.

The big names in business and royalty rushed to Deauville. It’s “The Beautiful Era”. The town also inspired many artists, such as Coco Chanel who opened one of her first shops here, the already well-known fashion designer Paul Poiret, as well as numerous painters such as Dufy, Foujita, Van Dongen, writers, poets, caricaturists such as Apollinaire, Sacha Guitry, Colette, Sem, etc.



Program

Saturday’s program:


  • Meeting at 7am on the stairs of the Opéra Garnier (metro Opéra, lignes 3-7-8 and RER A, station Auber)
  • Departure for Mont saint Michel
  • Time for lunch
  • Guided tour of Mont Saint Michel abbey
  • Free time to walk around and take some pictures
  • Departure for Caen towards the end of the afternoon
  • Diner and an evening out at Caen
  • Night at a hotel/hostel at Caen
 

Sunday’s program:


  • Breakfast at the hotel / hostel at 8:30-8:30 am
  • Departure for Honfleur
  • Self guided tour of the city monuments (Saint Catherine church, the old ornamental lake, Satie’s house, museum of the navy, Eugène Boudin museum…)
  • Time for lunch
  • Departure for Deauville
  • Free time to relax on the beach, to swim or to walk around
  • Departure for Paris
  • Arrival expected around 9:00-9.30 pm.
 


Tarifs and Dates

Price: starting from €135


Included in price:

  • Transport by coach (bus)
  • Entrance and guided tour of the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel
  • Accommodation in shared rooms (3 persons)
  • Breakfast Sunday morning
                  

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