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Honfleur France

Painters including Claude Monet and Gustave Courbet often came to Honfleur, a quaint port town in northern France, to capture its changing light and boat-filled waters. Today, the town is as picturesque as ever, where visitors come to browse museums dedicated to famous residents in addition to the historic harbour lined with Renaissance-era townhouses.

Honfleur was the birthplace of not one but two influential French creatives – Impressionist painter Eugène Boudin and composer Erik Satie. At the Musée Eugène Boudin, you can see paintings and pastels by Boudin as well as by artists that influenced him, including Monet, Courbert, Louis-Alexandre Dubourg and others. Les Maisons Satie occupies two neighbouring houses where Satie was born. Inside, rooms are filled with playful sculptures, such as a giant pear with wings and a piano that plays itself – an homage, perhaps, to the composer's own eccentric persona.

Maritime history pervades nearly every corner of Honfleur. Many oceanic voyages launched from Honfleur's port in its earlier years, and life still centres around the Vieux Bassin, or old harbour. St Catherine's Church is also worth a visit. It was built by shipwrights during the 15th century and remains one France's largest wooden churches.


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