Le Havre is an urban French commune and city in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region of northwestern France. It is situated on the right bank of the estuary of the river Seine on the Channel southwest of the Pays de Caux. Le Havre is the most populous commune of Upper Normandy, although the total population of the greater Le Havre conurbation is smaller than that of Rouen. After Reims, it is also the second largest subprefecture in France. The name Le Havre means "the harbour" or "the port". Its inhabitants are known as Havrais or Havraises.
The city and port were founded by King Francis I in 1517. Economic development in the Early modern period was hampered by religious wars, conflicts with the English, epidemics, and storms. It was from the end of the 18th century that Le Havre started growing and the port took off first with the slave trade then other international trade. After the 1944 bombings the firm of Auguste Perret began to rebuild the city in concrete.