The city of Le Havre was classified as a seaside resort in 1999. The beach has, in particular, the largest open-air skatepark in France.
Founded in 1516 by Francis Ist according to town-planning brought over from Italy by Siennois Bellarmato, Le Havre was well acquainted with the lightning development requested by the King of France: that of the first commercial and military port in the kingdom. The city also paid the price for it, as 80% of it was destroyed by the bombings of World War II.
Devastated as it was, a local architect, Auguste Perret, succeeded Bellarmato in his restoration works centuries later, as he imagined the most coherent urban plan of reconstruction ever to be created in France.
A welcome addition to the 'pre-war' remains was thus this 20th century architectural heritage, completed in 1981, with the 'volcanic' inauguration of the 'Maison de la Culture' designed by the Brazilian architect Niemeyer.