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havre itself translates to haven, but I doubt the sentence below literally refers to "haven of life":

Nous étions très surpris que ce havre de vie presque éternelle se trouve précisément à Okinawa, où 200000 innocents perdirent la vie à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Is this an expression that refers to something more precise?

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The original meaning of "havre" is indeed a haven, a harbour. By extension, it takes in French the meaning of place of refuge or place of comfort. This is used to characterize a location where one feels safe and well. With this meanng, it has also, as I understand it, an overtone of remoteness.

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Havre de vie is a bit like "sanctuary of life".

A similar French expression is havre de paix.

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  • 2
    I had to look for "in sort" meaning. It seems very outdated
    – Laurent S.
    Feb 18 '20 at 16:21
  • @LaurentS. yes it's true that this expression is old, first I wanted in a such way but I thought in sort would be maybe reintroduced as it is shorter :)
    – SylwekFr
    Feb 19 '20 at 7:34

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