The port city of Dieppe seems like a lively town with some tourist charm.
We stayed overnight and yesterday morning went for a walk down the main shopping street, strolled along the boat harbor and circled back along the beach to our hotel.
It is relatively quiet now, but Dieppe was the premier port of the kingdom in the 17th century. In 1632, 300 colonists heading to New France departed from the port here. It was a major trading post for centuries, and an important embarkation point for North America.
It was largely destroyed by an English and Dutch naval bombardment in 1694, but rebuilt immediately. Dieppe became chic as a seaside resort following the 1824 visit of the Duchess of Berry, daughter-in-law of Charles X. At the end of that century, Dieppe became popular with English artists and others who came there for ‘the season.’
But WWII was very difficult for this city, which was occupied by the Germans. In 1942, an invasion attempt by Allied soldiers, primarily Canadians, failed miserably, and most of the invading forces died. Revenge came two years later when members of the same Canadian infantry division were able to parade through the city as liberators.
This week it’s sunny in Dieppe and the June sales are on in all the shops. Life is good.