The history and economy of Dieppe have always been closely linked to its fishing and commercial port. Its ships are found on every ocean.
© Philippe Devanne - Fotolia.com
A genuine seaside resort, Dieppe's streets are filled with shops and restaurants, and the weekly market brings colour and tradition to the central square.
An 18 hole golf course nearby makes Dieppe a good choice for keen golfers and its sporting facilities include tennis courts and water sports.
Dieppe was once an important port for the trading of spices and ivory, and its château museum displays a collection of sculpted ivory worked by local craftsmen as far back as the 16th century plus a collection of Impressionist paintings.
Worth a visit
- The Castle Museum: The limestone and flint fortress, rebuilt on the west cliffs during the 15th century houses the museum collections : maritime, ivories sculpted by Dieppe craftsmen since the 16th century, paintings by Boudin, Lebourg and Pissaro, etchings by Braque. The Vieux-Château (Old Castle) holds the maritime memory of the town and one of the finest collections of ivory carvings in Europe.
- The Beach : The sea front, set back from the sea, left space for a vast area of lawns and children's' play areas which extends for over a mile.
- St-Jacques Church : begun in 1195 on the site of building destroyed by fire, the Saint-Jacques church was often altered over the centuries. Its great door dates from the 14th century, and has a magnificent rose window, while the 130 ft square tower is 15th century, and the chevet and side chapels are from the 16th century.
- St Rémi Church : It was built between the 16th and 17th centuries, and its central spire dates from the 18th century. Inside, the very fine wood panelling in the choir, the organ case and the Renaissance decoration in the treasure house, are all worth the visit.
- La Cité de la Mer (Oceanarium and Marine Life Centre)
A scientific, technical & museum complex with aquariums, on the theme of the sea, fishing and marine technology.
- The western sea gate, known as "les Tourelles": This is the only surviving gate from the town wall, which was fortified in the 14th century. It was used as a prison during the French Revolution, and is now a private residence.
- La Place du Puits Salé (Salt well square)
This ancient square is the heart of the old town, and the well is a reminder that in olden days as the tide rose, sea water mixed with the well water. On the Square, the Café des Tribunaux is housed in an 18th century Norman building.
- The Port : The port, with its marina and fishing port, is in the very heart of the town. Trawlers and fishing boats provide a colourful spectacle which still attracts numerous painters. For many years the commercial port was the leading French banana port.
- Château de Miromesnil: birthplace of the writer Guy de Maupassant, whose stories of life in 19th century Normandy are now classics.
Events for your diary
- The International kite Festival: Dieppe turns its seafront into a gigantic play area for inspired kite flyers every two years in September!
- Herring Festival: Every year in November, Dieppe pays homage to its fishermen and hosts the annual Herring festival. More than 100 000 visitors gather for this unique and authentic event.
Scallops will also be honoured by this festival as Dieppe remains the first French port for scallops!
Not to be missed