Known to the British above all as a ferry port, Cherbourg has a gritty history as a naval harbor. It also has glamorous connections with cruise ships and major yacht races. Located at the top of Normandy`s substantial, western Cotentin peninsula, the deep natural harbor here is backed by steep wooded hillsides. It was an obvious place for a fortified port. Cherbourg prides itself on a vibrant local lifestyle and culture with its Italian-style theater, art and history museums, its basilica, the Ravalet castle and, of course, the Cite de la Mer. Set on the green slopes of the Cotentin, the city hosts the second largest artificial harbor in the world, part of the legacy of the 18th century.