Le Havre had its golden age during the Independence War in the USA with the import of cotton, tobacco and sugar. In fact, since the foundation of the city, it has followed a decisive pace towards becoming the crucial trade center and maritime key point of France. During World War II the harbor city suffered the disasters of destruction more than any other port in Europe. Most of the old town and historical heritage was lost forever, though gladly some part of it survived and was restored. In pre-war times Le Havre used to be the shelter of the most luxury liners crossing the oceans, such as Normandie, Ile de France and France, offering passengers the entertainment and mundane high-class desired.
After the War the city was rebuilt after the plan of a single architect - Auguste Perret. It emerged as a reviving modern center in the period between 1946 and 1964. Though loosing most of its old romantic charm, the city gained a new and unique vision of a contemporary urban port with an attempt to preserve history in the monuments built in commemoration and in the restored old buildings. Some of the churches that survived the destruction can still be seen today and among them the Saint Joseph Church is especially worth visiting. The port city is equipped with modern entertaining spots, comfortable accommodation and a large variety of restaurants. But there is a fact above all to compensate the loss of the authentic romance of the maritime city - from almost every street views to the sea blue and the water immersing horizon are revealed. And it is then that the magic of Le Havre as it was, and is it is, is sensed with its deepest impact.