Normandy Section

Trouville-sur-Mer - seaside resort - Normandy

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Trouville-sur-Mer and the Impressionists

Trouville-sur-Mer is located on the north bank of the mouth of the Touques on the Côte Fleurie.

Trouville-sur-Mer is only 2 hours from Paris by the A13-A132, and has become a popular weekend destination for the Parisians.

Deauville-Trouville train station, as the name suggests, serves the two resorts.

Until 1925, Trouville-sur-Mer was a modest fishing port specialised in oyster farming.

Its origin goes back to the creation of the Duchy of Normandy, when it was the property of Thorulfr the Viking.

A small group of landscape painters, led by Charles Mozin and Paul Huet, ‘discovered’ the isolated village when they went to Normandy in order to paint the dunes and exceptional light of this then untamed coastline.

The public discovered Trouville-sur-Mer started through the paintings Mozin exhibited at the Louvre Museum!

Eugène Boudin, Jean-Baptiste Corot and Claude Monet followed in their steps and produced countless paintings.

Writers such as Gustave Flaubert and Alexandre Dumas became regulars at Trouville-sur-Mer.

Plage de Trouville-sur-mer - The ‘Queen Beach’

The French elite discovered the benefits of sea bathing  in the 1820s.

The trend amplified during the Second Empire.

Indeed, wealthy Parisians, foreign tourists and artists flocked and developed the resort between 1860 and 1880.

They also competed with each other!

They indeed build lavish seafront mansions in order to display their social rank.

These mansions' architectural style was therefore very eclectic - Swiss chalets, Arabic palaces or traditional timber-frame buildings painted in various colours!

A casino and many luxury hotels were also built along the seafront in order to cater for a wealthy French and foreign clientele.

Lavish buildings soon lined the 1200m long sandy beach of Trouville-sur-Mer, which was soon nicknamed the ‘Reine des Plages - Queen Beach'.

Amazingly, Trouville-sur-mer is one of the few remaining Norman resorts that has retained most of its seafront Second Empire architecture!

A boardwalk runs along the central section of the beach.

The Promenade Savignac was the first to be built (1867) on the Normandy coast.

It was named after the much celebrated poster designer Raymond Savignac, who retired in Deauville in 1979.

Many of his art works are on exhibit all over the resort.

Casino de Trouville-sur-Mer

Deauville's landmarks

Unlike Deauville, Trouville-sur-mer’s seashore didn’t recede nor change shape.

The resort is therefore exactly as it was in the 19th century!

Many buildings erected during the Second Empire are also classified Historical Monument.

1- Among these is the Hôtel des Roches Noires - built in 1866 - where Marcel Proust, then much later Marguerite Duras, sojourned.

Claude Monet immortalized the hotel in one of his paintings.

2- The Villa Montebello, an impressive mansion built in 1865, today houses the Musée de la Ville de Trouville-sur-Mer.

3- The lord of Trouville built the Château d'Aguesseau in the 17th century.

The castle, however, was heavily remodeled in the mid 19th century.

4- Trouville has retained its small fishing port.

La Poissonnerie, as the covered fish market (built in 1935) is locally known, is a compulsory stop when visiting the resort!

5- the other major landmarks include the marina, casino, countless classified buildings and the Palais des Congrès.

Trouville-sur-mer Festival Off-Courts

All these contribute to the reputation of Trouville-sur-mer!

This elegant and internationally renowned seaside resort is indeed frequented by personalities from all around the world.

Some travel to attend the annual Festival de Courts Métrages - Festival Off-Courts, which was founded in 2000.

You never know who you might bump into when strolling along!

Department of Calvados
Coordinates: Lat 49.366289 - Long 0.082808

Photos Wikimedia Commons: Sandy beach - Casino and port - Port and fish market
Christian Dior collections Louvre 2017 exhibition

September 24 2020

Christian Dior, a famous inhabitant of Granville

Christian Dior was born in Granville, a coastal town of Cotentin in Normandy where his childhood home is now a museum dedicated to his creations
Port of Le Havre by Eugene Boudin

September 6 2020

Eugene Boudin, the painter of Normandy beaches

Eugene Boudin, a sailor's son who became one of the great Masters of Normandy seascapes and beach scenes and a precursor of Impressionism
Maison de Monet in Giverny

August 15 2020

Maison de Monet and gardens in Giverny

Maison de Monet in Giverny, the house and gardens the Impressionist Master transformed into a work of art and where he lived and painted for 43 years
Beny-sur-mer Canadian war cemetery - Stone of Remembrance during the 75th Anniversary commemorations

November 11 2019

Beny-sur-mer Canadian War Cemetery near Juno Beach

Beny-sur-mer Canadian War Cemetery, the burial-place of the soldiers who fell on Juno Beach and in the first days of the Battle of Normandy
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