Havre , (Fr. Le Havre), a fortified seaport of Normandy, France, in the department of Seine-Inferieure, situated on the S. shore of the English channel and on the right bank of the Seine, 108 m. direct, or 143 m. by rail, N. W. of Paris, and 44 m. W. of Rouen; lat. 49° 29' 14" N., Ion. 0° 6' 38" E.; pop. in 1872, 86,825. Next to Marseilles it is the principal emporium of France, and has direct communication by steam vessels with London, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Cadiz, Malaga, New York, etc. With the United States the commerce is of great magnitude, and Havre is an important point of departure of emigrants. It receives the bulk of the American cotton, and ships most of the exports of French goods to the United States. The number of vessels entered in 1870 was 8,458, tonnage 2,516,898, of which 116, tonnage 114,000, were American; cleared, 5,707, tonnage 1,386,152. The number of vessels belonging to the port is about 500. The imports of cotton in 1870 were 464,-985 bales, of which 294,032 bales were from the United States. The imports of petroleum were 110,247 bbls.; of coals, 116,100 tons. The total value of the imports and exports is about $250,000,000 annually; and about one fifth of the whole foreign commerce of France is carried on through this port.
The imports consist chiefly of cotton, spices, coffee, tea, sugar, timber, etc, and the exports of French manufactured goods, wine, brandy, oil, jewelry, salted meat, butter, cheese, fish, etc. There are manufactories of paper, sugar refineries, a government manufactory of tobacco, a large cotton factory, several manufactories of machinery, a large establishment for the manufacture of salt, etc. The ship yards of Havre produce the best vessels in France. Its docks are among the finest in the world and capable of accommodating over 600 vessels. The largest, called l'Eure, has an area of 700,000 sq. ft., and one of its dry docks is 515 ft. long by 112 ft. broad. A basin recently constructed has an area of 53 acres. Havre is much frequented during the season for sea bathing. It has a commercial court, a school of navigation with an observatory, three theatres, a public library, an exchange, a chamber of commerce, a merchants' club house, and a Lloyd's with the principal European journals. Among the churches are an English chapel and an American church. The old fortifications have been removed, and new forts constructed on the heights, which command both the city and the sea. The military quarter of Havre contains an extensive arsenal.
The city hall, which is centrally situated, is a magnificent edifice, resembling the late Tuileries in the style of its architecture. The adjoining picturesque village of St. Ad-dresse is studded with pretty villas and gardens. - Havre was founded by Louis XII. at the beginning of the 16th century, and consisted then only of a few huts. Francis I. caused it to be fortified, and the construction of a port was begun under his auspices. It was called after him Ville Francoise or Franciscopolis, and afterward, from a chapel of that name, Havre de Grace. The English took it in 1562, and bombarded it on several occasions in the 17th and 18th centuries. The extension of the fortifications and of the town generally was ordained by Louis XVI. in 1786, and has since been carried out far beyond the original plans. Among the eminent persons born in Havre are Mlle. Scudery, Mme. de Lafayette, Bernardin de St. Pierre, and Casimir Delavigne.