When we were in Honfleur last week we visited the Chapel of Notre-Dame de Grâce (or Our Lady of Grace) which is about 2.5km outside the town centre up the hill of the Côte de Grâce et Le Mont Joli. The hill overlooks the estuary of the River Seine with views of Le Havre, le Pont de Normandie and over Honfleur itself.
The original chapel was built in the times of Richard II, Duke of Normandy after he believed the Virgin Mary had saved him from the perils of the sea. However, following a cliff fall, where the chapel was destroyed, the church that you see today was rebuilt in the early 1600s by the sailors and fishermen of the town. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is filled with all kinds of marine memorabilia and is still used regularly to offer prayers and thanks for the safe return of the town’s fishing and sailing community.
Outside the chapel there is a separate impressive carillon of more than 20 bells which ring every quarter and a large cross overlooking the estuary. It’s well worth the climb to see the lovely chapel and to take in the far-reaching views.