History : a few landmarks
On April,15th 1863, Just Viel, mayor of Le Havre places the first stone. A decree dating from July, 22nd 1861 signed by Napoleon 3rd authorised the erection of the middle school of Le Havre into a high school provided that the new buildings be built by the town.
On November, 22nd 1866, the Imperial High school is inaugurated. Built to welcome 750 students, the new high school doesn’t even get half of them.
From 1903 to 1967, the municipal Library of Le Havre was in the high school. It was mentionned in ‘La Nausée’ by Jean-Paul Sartre.
From 1914 to 1918, the high school becomes a military hospital. The students are taught in different buildings around and won’t be back before 1919. The memorial to the dead, work by the sculptor Alphone Saladin, inaugurated in 1921 gives hommage to the 188 teachers, personnel and students who gave their lives in the conflict.
From 1939 to 1945, and from the beginning of the occupation, the south aisle of the building is requisitioned by the German authorities. It lasted until its destruction along with the high school chapel in the night of October 14th and 15th 1940. During the whole war, lessons carry on having place in the building. In September 1944, it will host after the bombings which anhililated the town centre the provisory townhall of Le Havre. Just after the war, F1 welcomes the Girls’ High school which was entirely destroyed during the bombings.
A la recherche des enfants du Havre (Looking for the children of Le Havre) is a webdocumentary by Cécile Patingre along with students and teachers from Dufy Middle school and F1 describing dark hours. ‘A High school during the war’ is about F1.
In 1963, the name François 1er is given to the State High School. (Decree on January, 1st 1963) and the new sport centre and the new chapel are also inaugurated.
In 1966, for the 100th anniversary, the new South aisle is inaugurated.
In 2003, the new entrance is inaugurated.
In 2016, the renovation of the building and the 150th anniversary were celebrated.