Dieppe is a French town in the Seine Maritime department and in the Upper Normandy region. With 36,000 inhabitants, called the Dieppois, Dieppe is proud to be both the nearest beach from Paris and a port town, but also an Art and History town, and a sub administrative centre (sous prefecture), gathering a hospital, two courts, two museums and a cultural centre housing a national stage.
Dieppe owes its development to its strategic location of port town being in front of England. Indeed, during the 11th century, William the Conqueror made Dieppe a strategic harbour to supply its conquest of England. During the 16th century, the town was the departure point of the conquests. In 1694 the Anglo-Dutch fleet totally destroyed the town, which was made of wood. It was re built by Louis XIV’s architect, Ventabren, who implemented the white brick and the archways in the town.
Since 1936, first paid holidays in France, Dieppe has become the key destination for Parisians in search of quietness and clean air. It is also a key destination for British people, as the ferry from Dover and Newhaven docks in Dieppe.
Buying a property in France will cost you in average €3,197 /sq m in 2009. Since house prices in Dieppe are around €2,135 /sq m, the area is rather affordable. 60% of dwellings are apartments; with 50 sq m big in average you will need €124,500. Houses are cheaper than apartments, with only €1,960 /sq m, you will need €228,785 for a 120 sq m property.
Owing to its closeness to England, Dieppe is an excellent location for a second-home for British people. However, as 65% of residents are tenants, it is also an excellent investment for a buy-to-let.
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Culture, art and historical heritage: Dieppe received the label of Art and History town in 2003. As a consequence, it displays a team of 7 passionate guides who will help to discover all the historical monuments of the town and every anecdote that belongs to them. There are many beautiful monuments that ought to be seen in Dieppe. Especially the Dieppe castle, which already existed during the 12th century, although the current castle was built during the 15th century; Saint Rémy Church (16th-17th centuries) is one of the most beautiful churches of the region; the Hôtel Royal, the last mansion of the Belle Epoque is now a residential building, etc.
Beach resort: Dieppe is Paris closest beach. As a consequence, it has developed a lot its natural potential. In addition to the beach, the town displays casino, an 18 cups golf, a racecourse, a marina, many shops and an aquatic and thalassatherapy centre. Every two years, Dieppe is the stage of an international kite contest, to which every one can participate and which gathers thousands of persons. During the event there are also workshops where you can learn how to make the best kite ever, or you can also exchange your trick with people from all over the world!
Tranquillity and scenery: Dieppe is said to be an Arts town, both because of its architecture, and because it used to inspire many painters, from impressionists to classical ones. Indeed, the sight over the marina surrounded by two white cliffs, the changing light and the beautiful landscapes are present in Delacroix, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley paints disclosed at the Castle-Museum.
Architectural style: as already mentioned, Dieppe was totally re built during Louis XIV reign. Nowadays you can still see vestiges of that time, such as the medieval castle, two impressive churches and many buildings and monuments through the old quarter. Next to the 10th century Saint Rémy Church stands the Renaissance Saint Jacques Church. Hence, all periods and styles of architecture are present in Dieppe, which makes it such a charming and interesting town to visit.
Cosmopolitan life: Since the 16th century Dieppe has been an important town, notably thanks to its harbour. It was William the Conqueror link between France and England, Louis XIV main harbour, and then the departure point for many conquerors, such as Ango, Parmentier, Verrazano. All these activities brought people from all over Europe to this small town. Nowadays, since paid holidays, it is the key destination for Parisians, and also the arrival point for British people going to France. In summer the town gets rather busy and you will hear almost all European languages as you stroll in the town centre.
Location – transport links: Dieppe has a key location, at 195km from Paris, and only 4 hours ferry from England. Indeed, it is one of the harbours to go to the British Island, either at Dover or Newhaven. There are also direct trains to go to Paris and RouenRouen, as well as motorway that links the town to the main cities in France .
Half-timbered houses: this kind of house is found mainly in the old quarter of Dieppe. However, as it is becoming fashionnable again, you may also find some in other residential areas. These houses were built with wood and rammed earth as it was cheaper and easier than stones. They were mainly built during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, after what, they stopped building them for security reasons, as they were likely to catch fire. The size of the house can vary, however they are usually 2 storey high: on the ground floor you will find the traditional kitchen with a living room, a bathroom, a dining room. Up the stairs are the bedrooms with another bathroom.
Apartments: as 60% of dwellings are apartments, you are likely to buy one of them. Since Dieppe is not a huge town, apartments are usually quite big and come with a private parking. Main of them are build in new buildings, however, you can also find some old ones in former mansions or Renaissance buildings. Obviously these latter ones would be more expensive. The main advantage of the apartments is that they are close to all amenities and the beach.
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