|département: 14, Calvados|
Honfleur is situated on the southern bank of the mouth of the river Seine in the département Calvados, arrondissement Lisieux, in the région Normandie of northern France. The municipality has a population of about 8,200 (2007).
The first written mention of Honfleur is a reference by Richard III, duke of Normandy, in 1027. By the middle of the 12th century, the city represented a significant transit point for goods from Rouen to England. Located on the estuary of one of the principal rivers of France with a safe harbour and relatively rich hinterland, Honfleur profited from its strategic position from the start of the Hundred Years' War. The town's defences were strengthened by Charles V in order to protect the estuary of the Seine from attacks from the English. This was supported by the nearby port of Harfleur. However, Honfleur was taken and occupied by the English in 1357 and from 1419 to 1450. At the end of the Hundred Years' War, Honfleur benefited from the boom in maritime trade until the end of the 18th century. Trade was disturbed during the wars of religion in the 16th century. After 1608, Honfleur thrived on trade with Canada, the Antilles, the African coasts and the Azores. As a result the town was one of the five principal ports for the slave trade in France. During this time the rapid growth of the town saw the demolition of its fortifications on the orders of Jean-Baptiste Colbert. The wars of the French revolution and the First Empire, and in particular the continental blockade, caused the ruin of Honfleur. It only partially recovered during the 19th century with the trading of wood from northern Europe. Trade was however limited by the silting up of the entrance to the port and development of the modern port at Le Havre. The port however still functions today. [Text adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honfleur]
The chapelle Notre-Dame de Grâce was built by Richard II and was rebuilt in 1615 century on the Côte de Grâce hill about 1.5 km south-west of the town centre. It is richly adorned with paintings and models of ships offered ex voto by sailors. The esplanade bordering the chapel offers fine panoramic views of the Seine estuary, the port of Le Havre and the Pont de Normandie. [Text adapted from http://www.calvados-tourisme.com/en/342/0/2/PCUNOR014FS0007H/sit/detail/heritage/natural-spaces//HONFLEUR/, http://web.france.com/cities/Honfleur, http://wikitravel.org/en/Honfleur]
The composer Erik Satie (1866–1925) was born in Honfleur.