Posts Tagged ‘ dieppe ’

Historical Cities-Dieppe and Upper Normandy, France is now available on Google Maps

Link to Google Maps

Dieppe is a seaport, fishing harbor, and fashionable watering-place, situated on the English Channel at the mouth of the Arques, between two ranges of chalk cliffs.  The harbor, whence the cross-channel boats ply to Newhaven, is commodious and deep.

Dieppe probably originated in the Gaulish and Roman settlement of the Cite de Limes.  It was colonized in the 10th century by Norse adventurers, to whom it owes its name (in allusion to the depth of the harbor).  The earliest castle here was built by Henry II of England.  Dieppe, like St-Malo, was the home of many corsairs and bold adventurers, whose exploits included the pillaging of Southampton (1339), a blockade of Lisbon (1530), and voyages of discovery to every shore from Iceland to the Gold Coast.

Under Francis I, the port became the most flourishing in France, and the local manufacture of carved ivory from imported tusks dated from this period.  Its large Protestant population suffered by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and in 1694 the town was ruthlessly bombarded by the English fleet, which was returning from an unsuccessful attack on Brest, so that it had to be almost entirely rebuilt.  In 1870 and 1871, it was held by the Prussians for seven months.  The harbor was enlarged between 1914 and 1918.  Among celebrated Dieppois are Jean Ango (1480-1551), the corsair and merchant prince; Jean Cousin, one of the claimants to the discovery of Brazil (1488); and Abraham Duquesne (1610-1688), the Calvinist admiral who vanquished De Ruyter of Sicily.

Normandy (French for Normandie), the ancient duchy and province of France, now represented by the departments of the Seine-Inferieure, Eure, Orne, Calvados, and the Manche, owed its early name of Terra Northmannorum or Northmannia to its occupation in the early part of the 10th century by the Norsemen (Normands).  It is one of the most attractive regions of France, with a varied landscape of hedgerows, orchards, cornfields, and pastures, recalling England.  The coast-line is formed by white chalk cliffs, and in the winding dales of the interior are many remains of medieval architecture, village spires and venerable castles and abbeys, some of which were founded in the time of the conquerors of England.  The most picturesque portion is the lower basin of the Seine.  Since the time of their Scandinavian ancestors, whose regular trade was piracy, the Normans have been supposed to possess a somewhat grasping character; and they have been styled ‘the lawyers of France’ from their fondness for legal forms and processes.  At the same time they are tenacious in their French patriotism.  Butter and cheese, the staple products of Normandy, are very largely exported to England.

 

Forgotten Landmark-Saint Valéry Church, Varengeville sur Mer, France

Saint-Valéry Church (Route de l’Eglise, north of Chemin En Impasse, Varengeville sur Mer)

The Saint-Valéry Church in Varengeville-sur-Mer is perched on top of the cliffs of Ailly, hidden among gardens and woods bordering the cliff and overlooks the sea from a height of 84 metres. The lateral aisle in sandstone dates back to 1548 and was perhaps built by Jehan Ango to enlarge the primitive sanctuary. The Choir is bathed in a blue light diffused by the abstract stained glass of Raoul Ubac, disciple of Braque. The wreathed column is decorated with reliefs which were inspired by maritime expeditions. The 3rd column is polygonal (a Henry II pillar top). In 1998, Michel Ciry offered a large oil canvas entitled “Christ The Redeemer”. Important protection and consolidation tasks were recently undertaken by the municipality, the State, the Department and the Region.

It is surrounded by the marine cemetery, made famous by 2 brothers, Jérôme and Jean Tharaud, who lived in Varengeville and wrote several texts about it in the Chronicles of Figaro in 1948. This was the beginning of the fame of this sanctuary. Some artists compare the texts of the Tharaud brothers to the poem by Paul Valéry, the Marine Cemetery, written in 1920 and singing the charms of the marine cemetery of Sète. Analogies were drawn between the two cemeteries.[i]

Saint-Valéry Church

[i] Monuments-The Churches; Dieppe-maritime tourisme; http://uk.dieppetourisme.com/discover/heritage/monuments

Forgotten Landmark-Church of St. Aubin de Neuville, Dieppe, France

Church of St. Aubin de Neuville (14-16 Rue du Général de Gaulle, Neuville des Dieppe)

Dependent priory of Longueville sur Scie during the Middle Ages and up to the Revolution, the town of Neuville remained independent until the early 1980s, when it was attached to Dieppe. The first church located here was looted and burned in 1562 by Protestants. Only the chorus, probably rebuilt in the early 16th century (as evidenced by its sculpted pinnacles flamboyant decor foothills) escaped the flames. The reconstruction of the building proved slow and laborious and was not completed until about 1616, when it received its dedication. Rebuilt on a simple plan, the church has a nave flanked by aisles and a non-protruding transept opening to the choir. The bell tower, covered with a slate roof characteristic of the sixteenth century, supported by massive buttresses and drilled into the bottom of arched windows overlooking the western gate, is adorned with a statue of Bishop St. Aubin. Unlike the tower, built in stone as was the choir, the nave walls were built with local materials; flint blocks and blocks of sandstone alternating.

It is the inside which contains the most notable features of this building. The choir presents a rare rustic decoration of the eighteenth century, covering the shrine at a height of 5 meters high (pilasters, carved panels between which are inserted four paintings representing the four evangelists. Topping the central axis is a sculpted set representing a glory (sky filled with clouds and angels from which emerge the symbol of God).

The nave is covered by a barrel-shaped wooden hull vessel overturned and coated with plaster, while the ends of the beams of the frame are decorated with carved decorations; amazing twenty heads more or less grimacing, and five crests and heads resembling those of crocodiles.[i]

ChurchStAubindeNeuville

[i] Architectural Heritage-The Church of St. Aubin de Neuville; Dieppe.fr; http://mobile.dieppe.fr/pages/l-eglise-saint-aubin-de-neuville-88

Forgotten Landmark–Former Hotel de Ville and Museum,Dieppe, Normandy, France

Hotel de Ville and Museum4

 

 

Former Hotel de Ville and Museum (5-6 Boulevard de Verdun)

This structure housed paintings, local curiosities, and a collection of furniture, autographs, and sketches presented in 1889 by Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921), the composer.

 

This post is the first in a series as we develop a new set of historic travel guides to northwestern France, based on earlier guides such as Muirhead’s North-Western France (1926) and Murray’s A Handbook for Travellers in France (1899)