Fécamp the fishing harbour of upper Normandy
Fecamp Travel Blog› entry 59 of 354 › view all entries
The next stop was Fecamp; just over halfway from Dieppe to Le Havre, this city is a serious fishing port with an attractive seafront promenade and a waste number of fishing boats in the harbour. The city as such is not as charming as the the other small cities that I visited that day. One compelling reason to pay a brief visit is to see the Benedictine Distillery on rue Alexandre-le-Grand, in the narrow strip of streets running parallel to the port towards the town centre. Tours lasting an hour and a half start with a visit to a small museum, set firmly in the Middle Ages with props of manuscripts, locks, testaments, lamps and religious paintings beneath a nightmarish mock-Gothic roof. The first whiff of Benedictine – a sweet herby liqueur often combined with brandy – comes in the grim rust-and-grey-coloured Salle des Abbés, and at this point the script abruptly changes – from mysterious monks to PR for an exclusive product.
If your aesthetic sensibilities need soothing after this, head for the soaring medieval nave and Renaissance carved screens of the church of the Trinité, up in the town centre, or the modern Musée des Terres-Neuvas et de la Pêche, on the seafront at 27 bd Albert 1er. Spreading across two floors, with lots of miniature model boats and amateur paintings, it focuses on the long tradition whereby the fishermen of Fécamp decamp en masse each year to catch cod in the cold, foggy waters off Newfoundland. Sailing vessels continued to make the trek from the sixteenth century right up until 1931; today vast refrigerated container ships have taken their place.