The port was remodeled in 1681 by Abraham Duquesne, under orders from Colbert. The former port was a brushed-upon shore in a small haven. Due to the expansion of the port, the Western fortifications of the town were demolished. The port is bordered on three sides, by buildings of two distinct styles; large stone houses on the Southside (Quai Saint-Etienne) and high and narrow wooden houses to the North.
The old harbor is a true local attraction lined with boats and authentic houses dating from the 16th and 18th centuries. Fishing vessels and pleasure boats are a common sight here, so if you ever come to this area, you can enjoy a ride through the Vieux Bassin and make some excellent shots.
The lieutenancy building (la Lieutenance) was built in the 18th century and it represents the entrance to the harbor. This was the most famous place in France for seafood boats who were selling their catch locally, and at one point sending it all to Paris.
Sailing and steamships were also part of the Honfleur's history.
If you visit this venue with small kids and they feel bored, you can take them for an amazing carousel ride right in front of the Lieutenancy.
Vieux Basin is a charming place to visit nowadays and learn about the past of this part of France. History lovers are the ones who most enjoy this tremendous site, scooping inspiration from the plenty of buildings and structures that resist the cruel hands of time and still stand proudly as a reminder of the past long gone.
If you're looking for an authentic experience while visiting Honfleur and you won't escape the mainstream tourist routes, then Vieux Bassin is the right place to visit. If you come to Normandy and you want to feel its charming spirit, then this is where you'll find it.
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