Exploring the Cote Fleurie in Normandy: historical Dives

Sladjana Perkovic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Located at the estuary of the River Dives between Cabourg and Houlgate, Dives-sur-Mer (also known as Dives) is a charming seaside resort and artistic site. This unique city on the Coté Fleurie in Normandy is also an important historical place where William the Conqueror gathered his fleet and set out to conquer England. Today, many interesting places can be visited in Dives,* **such as the Church Notre-Dame, and the medieval wooden market* hall from the beginning of the 15th century. The “Fete de la Mer” is a joyful sea party organized every year in August. If you are a boat and a sea lover, you should definitely take part in this event, that's also perfectly suitable for families and children.

About Dives

Dives has an ancient origin. This city was a vital port of the Roman Empire, and in 1066, William the Conqueror decided to set out from the port of Dives to conquer England. At the end of the 19th century, after the opening of the railway line connecting the Norman coast to the French capital, this important historical place has become a seaside resort, appreciated by Parisians. At that time, many hotels and villas were built attracting affluent clientele. Marcel Proust, a famous French writer, was a regular visitor of Dives, and he even describes its church in his novel “In Search of Lost Time” (“À la recherche du temps perdu”). Today, Dives is a medieval historic center, a fishing port, but also an interesting artistic site. In the heart of this city, you can find the “Village of Art”, a place where several artists have settled their studios.

Places to visit

The main attractions of Dives are the medieval wooden market hall and the Church Notre-Dame. Listed as a French historical monument since 1888, this church was the site of a pilgrimage, that was taking place twice a year. The oldest parts of the church date from the 11th century, before it was enlarged in the Gothic style in the 14th century. In the 16th century, during the French Wars of Religion, the most important relics of the church disappeared, which marked the end of the pilgrimage. Today, if you visit the Notre-Dame of Dives, you can admire many interesting things, such as a monumental plaque that lists the companions of William the Conqueror. This plaque is situated above the pediment, at the entrance of the church. The medieval wooden market hall was built at the beginning of the 15th century. Listed as a French historical monument since January 1918, this place is a real attraction of Dives that you should definitely visit.

Photo Credit © Wikipedia/Pimprenel

A sea party

Every August, Dives organizes the “Fete de la Mer”. This fun event is a perfect occasion to start discovering and exploring the Cote Fleurie in Normandy and historical Dives. All day long, many interesting events are taking places in Dives, such as boat parade and concerts. This party is perfect for children and families, but also for sea lovers. 

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