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Calais ( , , traditionally , ) is a port city in the
Pas-de-Calais Pas-de-Calais (, "strait of Calais"; pcd, Pas-Calés; also nl, Nauw van Kales) is a departments of France, department in northern France named after the French language, French designation of the Strait of Dover, which it borders. It has the m ...
department, of which it is a subprefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's prefecture is its third-largest city of
Arras
Arras
. The population of the city proper is 72,929; that of the urban area is 149,673 (2018).Comparateur de territoire: Aire d'attraction des villes 2020 de Calais (073), Commune de Calais (62193)
INSEE
Calais overlooks the Strait of Dover, the narrowest point in the
English Channel
English Channel
, which is only wide here, and is the closest French town to
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...

England
. The White Cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day from Calais. Calais is a major port for ferries between France and England, and since 1994, the Channel Tunnel has linked nearby
Coquelles
Coquelles
to
Folkestone Folkestone ( ) is a port town on the English Channel, in Kent, south-east England. The town lies on the southern edge of the North Downs at a valley between two cliffs. It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20t ...

Folkestone
by rail. Due to its position, Calais since the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the Post-classical, post-classical period of World history (field), global history. It began with t ...
has been a major port and a very important centre for transport and trading with England. Calais came under English control after
Edward III of England
Edward III of England
captured the city in 1347, followed by a treaty in 1360 that formally assigned Calais to English rule. Calais grew into a thriving centre for wool production, and came to be called the "brightest jewel in the English crown" owing to its great importance as the gateway for the
tin
tin
,
lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate ...

lead
,
lace Lace is a delicate fabric made of yarn or thread (yarn), thread in an open weblike pattern, made by machine or by hand. Generally, lace is divided into two main categories, needlelace and bobbin lace, although there are other types of lace, suc ...

lace
and wool trades (or "staples"). Calais remained under English control until its capture by France in 1558. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, the town was virtually razed to the ground: in May 1940, it was a strategic bombing target of the invading German forces who took it during the siege of Calais. The Germans built massive bunkers along the coast in preparation for launching missiles at England. The old part of the town, Calais proper (known as Calais-Nord), is situated on an artificial island surrounded by canals and harbours. The modern part of the town, St-Pierre, lies to the south and south-east. In the centre of the old town is the Place d'Armes, in which stands the Tour du Guet, or watch-tower, a structure built in the 13th century, which was used as a
lighthouse
lighthouse
until 1848 when a new lighthouse was built by the port. South east of the Place is the church of Notre-Dame, built during the English occupancy of Calais. Arguably, it is the only church built in the English perpendicular style in all of France. In this church, former French President Charles de Gaulle married Yvonne Vendroux. South of the Place and opposite the Parc St Pierre is the Hôtel-de-ville (the town hall), and the belfry from the early 20th century. Today, Calais is visited by more than 10 million annually. Aside from being a key transport hub, Calais is also a notable fishing port and a centre for fish marketing, and some 3,000 people are still employed in the
lace Lace is a delicate fabric made of yarn or thread (yarn), thread in an open weblike pattern, made by machine or by hand. Generally, lace is divided into two main categories, needlelace and bobbin lace, although there are other types of lace, suc ...

lace
industry for which the town is also famed.


History


Early history

The early history of habitation in the area is limited. It is sometimes claimed that the Romans called the settlement ''Caletum'' and that it was the departure point for
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; ; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC), was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey in Caes ...

Julius Caesar
's invasion of Britain. However, the name ''Caletum'' does not appear in Caeser's accounts of the invasion. Caesar describes his departure point as ''Portus Itius'', which is believed to have been near
Boulogne
Boulogne
. At that time Calais was an island in the North Sea.Adrian Goldsworthy Caesar, page 338 Calais was an English outpost for many centuries while it was an island surrounded by marshes, and difficult to attack from the mainland. At some time before the 10th century, it would have been a Dutch-speaking fishing village on a sandy beach backed by pebbles and a creek, with a natural harbour at the west edge of the early medieval estuary of the river Aa. As the pebble and sand ridge extended eastward from Calais, the haven behind it developed into fen, as the estuary progressively filled with silt and peat. Afterwards, canals were cut between
Saint-Omer
Saint-Omer
, the trading centre formerly at the head of the estuary, and three places to the west, centre and east on the newly formed coast: respectively Calais, Gravelines and
Dunkirk
Dunkirk
. Calais was improved by the Count of Flanders in 997 and fortified by the Count of Boulogne in 1224. The first document mentioning the existence of this community is the town charter granted by Mathieu d'Alsace, Count of Boulogne, in 1181 to Gerard de Guelders; Calais thus became part of the county of Boulogne. In 1189, Richard the Lionheart is documented to have landed at Calais on his journey to the Third Crusade.


14th–15th century; the Pale of Calais

English wool trade interests and King 's claims to be heir to the Kingdom of France led to the between England and France in 1346, followed by Edward's siege and capture of Calais in 1347. Angered, the English king demanded reprisals against the town's citizens for holding out for so long ("obstinate defense") and ordered that the town's population be killed ''en masse''. He agreed, however, to spare them, on condition that six of the principal citizens would come to him, bareheaded and barefooted and with ropes around their necks, and give themselves up to death. On their arrival he ordered their execution, but ed them when his queen, , begged him to spare their lives. This event is commemorated in '''' (''Les Bourgeois de Calais''), one of the most famous sculptures by , erected in the city in 1895. Though sparing the lives of the delegation members, King Edward drove out most of the French inhabitants, and settled the town with English. The municipal charter of Calais, previously granted by the Countess of Artois, was reconfirmed by Edward that year (1347). In 1360 the Treaty of Brétigny assigned Guînes, Marck and Calais—collectively the " Pale of Calais"—to English rule in perpetuity, but this assignment was informally and only partially implemented. On 9 February 1363 the town was made a staple port. It remained part of the Diocese of Thérouanne from 1379, keeping an ecclesiastical tie with France. The town came to be called the "brightest jewel in the English crown" owing to its great importance as The Staple a gateway port for the ,
lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate ...

lead
, and
wool Wool is the textile fibre obtained from sheep and other mammal, mammals, especially goat, goats, rabbit, rabbits, and camelid, camelids. The term may also refer to inorganic materials, such as mineral wool and glass wool, that have properties ...
trades (or "staples"). Its customs revenues amounted at times to a third of the English government's revenue, with wool being the most important element by far. Of its population of about 12,000 people, as many as 5,400 were recorded as having been connected with the wool trade. The governorship or Captaincy of Calais was a lucrative and highly prized public office; the famous
Dick Whittington Richard Whittington (c. 1354–1423) of the parish of St Michael Paternoster Royal, City of London, was an English people, English merchant and a politician of the late Middle Ages, late medieval period. He is also the real-life inspiration ...
was simultaneously
Lord Mayor of the City of London Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, chief, or ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the Peerage ...
and Mayor of the Staple in 1407. Calais was regarded for many years as being an integral part of the
Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (, ) was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, until 1 May 1707, when it united with Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of t ...
, with its representatives sitting in the English
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, and overseeing ...
. The continued English hold on Calais however depended on expensively maintained fortifications, as the town lacked any natural defences. Maintaining Calais was a costly business that was frequently tested by the forces of France and the
Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, Ducatus Burgundiae; french: Duché de Bourgogne, ) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the ancient Kingdom of the Burgundians, which after its conquest in 532 had formed a constituent part of the ...
, with the Franco-Burgundian border running nearby. The British historian Geoffrey Elton once remarked "Calais—expensive and useless—was better lost than kept". The duration of the English hold over Calais was, to a large extent, the result of the feud between Burgundy and France: both sides coveted the town, but preferred to see England control it rather than their domestic rivals. The stalemate was broken by the victory of the French crown over Burgundy following
Joan of Arc Joan of Arc (french: link=yes, Jeanne d'Arc, translit= an daʁk; 1412 – 30 May 1431) is a patron saint of France, honored as a defender of the French nation for her role in the siege of Orléans and her insistence on the Coronat ...
's final battle in the siege of Compiègne in 1430, and the later incorporation of the duchy into France.


16th century

In 1532, the English King
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his Wives of Henry VIII, six marriages, and for his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) ...
visited Calais and his men calculated that the town had about 2400 beds and stabling to keep some 2000 horses. Following the royal visit, the town's governance was reformed in 1536, aiming to strengthen ties with England. As part of this move, Calais became a
parliamentary borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geo ...
sending burgesses to the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada. In both of these countries, the Commons holds much more legislative power than the nominally upper house of parliament. T ...
of the
Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the 13th century until 1707 when it was replaced by the Parliament of Great Britain. Parliament evolved from the great council of bishops and peers that advis ...
. In September 1552, the English adventurer Thomas Stukley, who had been for some time in the French service, betrayed to the authorities in London some French plans for the capture of Calais, to be followed by a descent upon England. Stukley himself might have been the author of these plans. On 7 January 1558, King
Henry II of France Henry II (french: Henri II; 31 March 1519 – 10 July 1559) was List of French monarchs#House of Valois-Angoulême (1515–1589), King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559. The second son of Francis I of France, Francis I and Cla ...
sent forces led by
Francis, Duke of Guise Francis de Lorraine II, the first Prince of Joinville, also Duke of Guise and Duke of Aumale (french: François de Lorraine; 17 February 1519 – 24 February 1563), was a French general and statesman. A prominent leader during the Italian War of ...
, who laid siege to Calais. When the French attacked, they were able to surprise the English at the critical strongpoint of Fort Nieulay and the sluice gates, which could have flooded the attackers, remained unopened. The loss was regarded by Queen
Mary I of England Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents, was List of English monarchs, Queen of England and List of Irish monarchs, Ireland from July 1553 and Queen of Sp ...
as a dreadful misfortune. When she heard the news, she reportedly said, "When I am dead and opened, you shall find '
Philip Philip, also Phillip, is a male given name, derived from the Greek language, Greek (''Philippos'', lit. "horse-loving" or "fond of horses"), from a compound of (''philos'', "dear", "loved", "loving") and (''hippos'', "horse"). Prominent Philip ...
' er husbandand 'Calais' lying in my heart." The region around Calais, then-known as the '' Calaisis'', was renamed the ''Pays Reconquis'' ("Reconquered Country") in commemoration of its recovery by the French. Use of the term is reminiscent of the Spanish
Reconquista The ' (Spanish language, Spanish, Portuguese language, Portuguese and Galician language, Galician for "reconquest") is a Historiography, historiographical construction describing the 781-year period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula be ...
, with which the French were certainly familiar—and, since it occurred in the context of a war with Spain (
Philip II of Spain Philip II) in Spain, while in Kingdom of Portugal, Portugal and his Italian kingdoms he ruled as Philip I ( pt, Filipe I). (21 May 152713 September 1598), also known as Philip the Prudent ( es, Felipe el Prudente), was King of Spain from 1556, K ...
was at the time Queen Mary's consort), might have been intended as a deliberate snub. The town was captured by the Spanish on 24 April 1596 in an invasion mounted from the nearby
Spanish Netherlands Spanish Netherlands (Spanish language, Spanish: Países Bajos Españoles; Dutch language, Dutch: Spaanse Nederlanden; French language, French: Pays-Bas espagnols; German language, German: Spanische Niederlande.) (historically in Spanish: ''Flandes ...
by Archduke Albert of Austria, but it was returned to France under the
Treaty of Vervins A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law (also known as public international law and the law of nations) is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as ...
in May 1598.


17th century to World War I

Calais remained an important maritime city and smuggling centre throughout the 17th century. However, during the next century, the port of Calais began to stagnate gradually, as the nearby ports of and began to rise and compete. The French revolution at the end of the 18th century did not disturb Calais and no executions took place. In 1805, Calais hosted part of Napoleon's army and invasion fleet for several months before his aborted invasion of Britain. From October to December 1818, the British army used Calais as their departing port to return home after occupying post-Waterloo France. General Murray appointed Sir Manley Power to oversee the evacuation of British troops from France. Cordial relations had been restored by that time and on 3 December, the mayor of Calais wrote a letter to Power to express thanks for his "considerate treatment of the French and of the town of Calais during the embarkation."Herefordshire Record Office
Reference E60/IV/14
The Old Barracks, Harold Street,
Hereford Hereford () is a cathedral city, civil parish and the county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately east of the border with Wales, south-west of Worcester, England, Worcester and north-west of Gloucester. ...
, HR1 2QX
The population in 1847 was 12,580, many of whom were English. It was one of the main ports for British travellers to Europe. In
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
the British Expeditionary Force or BEF arrived in Calais on its way to the nearby frontline cutting through
Nord-Pas-de-Calais Nord-Pas-de-Calais (); pcd, Nord-Pas-Calés); is a former regions of France, administrative region of France. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region Hauts-de-France. It consisted of the departments of France, departments of ...
and
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch language, Dutch: ''Vlaanderen'' ) is the Dutch language, Flemish-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, in ...
. Calais was a key port for the supply of arms and reinforcements to the Western Front. In the 1930s, the town was known for being a politically socialist stronghold.


World War II

Calais was virtually razed to the ground during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
. In May 1940, it was a key objective of the invading German forces and became the scene of a last-ditch defence—the siege of Calais—which diverted a sizable amount of German forces for several days immediately prior to the
Battle of Dunkirk The Battle of Dunkirk (french: Bataille de Dunkerque, link=no) was fought around the French port of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) during the Second World War, between the Allies and Nazi Germany. As the Allies were losing the Battle of France T ...
. A total of 3,000 British and 800 French troops, assisted by
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
warships, held out from 22 to 27 May 1940 against the 10th Panzer Division. The town was flattened by artillery and precision
dive bombing A dive bomber is a bomber aircraft that Dive (aviation), dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy for the Aerial bomb, bomb it drops. Diving towards the target simplifies the bomb's trajectory and allows the pilot to ...
and only 30 of the 3800-strong defending force were evacuated before the town fell. This may have helped
Operation Dynamo Operation or Operations may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media * ''Operation'' (game), a battery-operated board game that challenges dexterity * Operation (music), a term used in musical set theory * ''Operations'' (magazine), Multi-Ma ...
, the evacuation of Allied forces at Dunkirk, as 10th Panzer would have been involved on the Dunkirk perimeter had it not been busy at Calais. Between 26 May and 4 June 1940, some 330,000 Allied troops escaped from the Germans at Dunkirk. During the ensuing German occupation, it became the command post for German forces in the Pas-de-Calais/Flanders region and was very heavily fortified, as the Germans generally believed that the Allies would invade there. It was also used as a launch site for
V1 flying bomb The V-1 flying bomb (german: Vergeltungswaffe 1 "Vengeance Weapon 1") was an early cruise missile. Its official Ministry of Aviation (Nazi Germany), Reich Aviation Ministry () designation was Fi 103. It was also known to the Allies as the buz ...
s and for much of the war, the Germans used the region as the site for
railway gun A railway gun, also called a railroad gun, is a large artillery piece, often surplus naval artillery, mounted on, transported by, and fired from a specially designed railroad car, railway wagon. Many countries have built railway guns, but the ...
s to bombard the south-eastern corner of England. In 1943 they built massive bunkers along the coast in preparation for launching missiles on the southeast of England. Despite heavy preparations for defence against an amphibious assault, the Allied invasion took place well to the west in
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie, Nouormandie ; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian languages) is a geographical and cultural region in Northwestern ...
on
D-Day The Normandy landings were the landing operations and associated airborne operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allies of World War II, Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and ...
. Calais was very heavily bombed and shelled in a successful effort to disrupt German communications and persuade them that the Allies would target the Pas-de-Calais for invasion (rather than Normandy). The town, by then largely in ruins, was laid siege to and liberated by General Daniel Spry's
3rd Canadian Infantry Division The 3rd Canadian Division is a formation of the Canadian Army responsible for the command and mobilization of all army units in the provinces of Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of ...
between 25 September and 1 October 1944. On 27 February 1945 Calais experienced its last bombing raid—this time by
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's Air force, air and space force. It was formed towards the end of the World War I, First World War on 1 April 1918, becoming the first independent air force in the world, by regrouping the Royal ...
bombers who mistook the town for Dunkirk, which was at that time still occupied by German forces. After the war there was little rebuilding of the historic city and most buildings were modern ones.


21st century – migration issues

Since 1999 or earlier, an increasingly large number of
illegal immigrant Illegal immigration is the migration of people into a country in violation of the immigration laws of that country or the continued residence without the legal right to live in that country. Illegal immigration tends to be financially upwar ...
s and
asylum seeker An asylum seeker is a person who leaves their country of residence, enters another country and applies for right of asylum, asylum (i.e., international protection) in that other country. An asylum seeker is an Immigration, immigrant who has b ...
s started to arrive in the vicinity of Calais, living in the Calais jungle, the nickname given to a series of makeshift camps. The people lived there while attempting to enter the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
by stowing away on lorries, ferries, cars, or trains travelling through the Port of Calais or the Eurotunnel Calais Terminal, or while waiting for their French asylum claims to be processed. The people were a mix of
asylum seeker An asylum seeker is a person who leaves their country of residence, enters another country and applies for right of asylum, asylum (i.e., international protection) in that other country. An asylum seeker is an Immigration, immigrant who has b ...
s and
economic migrant An economic migrant is someone who emigration, emigrates from one region to another, including crossing international borders, seeking an improved standard of living, because the conditions or job opportunities in the migrant's own region are insuf ...
s from
Darfur Darfur ( ; ar, دار فور, Dār Fūr, lit=Realm of the Fur) is a region of western Sudan. ''Dār'' is an Arabic word meaning "home f – the region was named Dardaju ( ar, دار داجو, Dār Dājū, links=no) while ruled by the Da ...
,
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordere ...
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
,
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
,
Eritrea Eritrea ( ; ti, ኤርትራ, Ertra, ; ar, إرتريا, ʾIritriyā), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa region of Eastern Africa, with its capital and largest city at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia ...
and other underdeveloped or conflict-stricken countries in Africa and Asia. The Calais migrant crisis led to escalating tension between the UK and France in the summer of 2015. The UK blamed France for not doing enough to stop migrants from entering the Channel Tunnel or attempting to scale fences built along the border. The
British Prime Minister The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The prime minister Advice (constitutional law), advises the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, sovereign on the exercise of much of the Royal prerogative ...
David Cameron David William Donald Cameron (born 9 October 1966) is a British former politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016 and Leader of the Conservative Party (UK), Leader of the Conservative Party from 2005 to ...
released a statement saying that illegal immigrants would be removed from the UK even if they reached the island. To discourage migrants and refugees from jumping on train shuttles at Calais, the UK government supplied fencing to be installed around the Eurotunnel complex, where the vehicles are loaded onto train shuttles in Calais. On 26 October 2016, French authorities announced that the camp had been cleared. By January 2017, 500–1,000 migrants, mostly unaccompanied minors, had returned and were living rough in Calais and there has been a presence ever since.


Geography and climate

Calais is located on the Pas de Calais, which marks the boundary between the and
North Sea The North Sea lies between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. An epeiric sea, epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the ...
and located at the opposite end of the Channel Tunnel, from
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent, South East England. It faces France across the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel at from Cap Gris Nez in France. It lies south-east of Canterbury and east of M ...
. On a clear day the
White cliffs of Dover The White Cliffs of Dover is the region of English coastline The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the coastline. ...
can be viewed across the channel. Aside from being an important port and boarding point between France and England, it is at the nucleus of many major railway and highway networks and connected by road to ,
Lens A lens is a transmissive optics, optical device which focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of transparent material, while a #Compound lenses, compound lens consists of several simp ...
, Béthune and St. Omer. is located about to the east. Calais is located north of the French capital of
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
, or around by car. The commune of Calais is bordered by the English channel to the north,
Sangatte Sangatte (; ) is a Communes of France, commune in the Pas-de-Calais Departments of France, department on the northern coast of France on the English Channel. The name is of Flemish origin, meaning hole or gap in the sand. Engineering Sangatte i ...
and to the west, Coulogne to the south and Marck to the east. The core area of the city is divided into the Old Town area within the old city walls, and the younger suburbs of St. Pierre, which are connected by a boulevard. Calais is part of the Côte d'Opale (Opal Coast), a cliff-lined section of northern French coast that parallels the white cliffs on the British coast and is part of the same
geological formation A geological formation, or simply formation, is a body of rock having a consistent set of physical characteristics (lithology) that distinguishes it from adjacent bodies of rock, and which occupies a particular position in the layers of rock expo ...
. It is known for its scenic
cliff In geography and geology, a cliff is an area of rock which has a general angle defined by the vertical, or nearly vertical. Cliffs are formed by the processes of weathering and erosion, with the effect of gravity. Cliffs are common on co ...
s such as Cape Blanc Nez and Cape Gris Nez and for its wide area of dunes. Many artists have been inspired by its landscapes, among them the composer
Henri Dutilleux Henri Paul Julien Dutilleux (; 22 January 1916 – 22 May 2013) was a French composer active mainly in the second half of the 20th century. His small body of published work, which garnered international acclaim, followed in the tradition of ...
, the writers
Victor Hugo Victor-Marie Hugo (; 26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French Romanticism, Romantic writer and politician. During a literary career that spanned more than sixty years, he wrote in a variety of genres and forms. He is considered to be one ...
and
Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian er ...
, and the painters J. M. W. Turner,
Carolus-Duran Charles Auguste Émile Durand, known as Carolus-Duran (Lille Lille ( , ; nl, Rijsel ; pcd, Lile; vls, Rysel) is a city in the northern part of France, in French Flanders. On the river Deûle, near France's border with Belgium, it is the ca ...
,
Maurice Boitel Maurice Boitel (July 31, 1919 – August 11, 2007) was a French painter Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (called the "matrix" or "support"). The medium is commonly applied to th ...
and Eugène Boudin. It was the painter who coined the name for this area in 1911 to describe the distinctive quality of its light. Calais has a temperate
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a marine climate, is the humid temperate climate sub-type in Köppen climate classification, Köppen classification ''Cfb'', typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring ...
(''Cfb'' in the
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by German-Russian climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, nota ...
). Temperature ranges are moderate and the winters are cool with unstable weather. It rains on average about per year. The commune of Calais is divided into 13 ''quartier''s : * Beau Marais * Cailloux * Calais-nord * * Fontinettes * Fort-Nieulay * Gambetta * Nouvelle-France * Mi-voix * Petit Courgain * Plage * Pont-du-Leu * Saint-Pierre


Demographics

Changes in the number of inhabitants is known throughout the population censuses conducted since 1793 in Calais. Note the massive growth in population from 13,529 in 1881 to 58,969 in 1886, a growth of 335.9%; this is because the city of Saint-Pierre-lès-Calais merged with Calais in 1885. According to the INSEE census of 2017, Calais has 73,911 people (a decrease of 4.4% from 1999). The town's population ranked 60th nationally, down from 53rd in 1999.


Economy

The city's proximity to England has made it a major port for centuries. It is the principal ferry crossing point between England and France, with the vast majority of Channel crossings being made between
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent, South East England. It faces France across the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel at from Cap Gris Nez in France. It lies south-east of Canterbury and east of M ...
and Calais. Companies operating from Calais include SeaFrance (currently in liquidation),
DFDS Seaways DFDS Seaways is a Danish shipping company that operates passenger and freight services across northern Europe The northern region of Europe has several definitions. A restrictive definition may describe Northern Europe as being roughl ...
, and P&O Ferries. The French end of the Channel Tunnel is situated in the vicinity of Calais, in some to the west of the town. Calais possesses direct rail links to Paris, to the south. More than 10 million people visit Calais annually. From medieval times, English companies thrived in Calais. Calais was a particularly important centre in the production and trade of wool and cloth, which outweighed the costs of maintaining the town as part of England. In 1830 some 113 manufacturers were based in Calais and the St Pierre suburbs, the majority of which were English. There are still two major lace factories in Calais with around 700 looms and 3000 employees.Ruler (2011), p.69 The town exports in the early 20th century were lace, chemicals, paper, wines, especially champagne, spirits, hay, straw, wool, potatoes, woven goods, fruit, glass-ware, lace and metal-ware.
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-d ...
11th ed. 1911
Principal imports in the early 20th century included cotton and silk goods, coal, iron and steel, petroleum, timber, raw wool, cotton yarn and cork. During the five years 1901–1905 the average annual value of exports was £8,388,000 (£6,363,000 in the years 1896–1900), of imports £4,145,000 (£3,759,000 in 1896–1900). As a fishing port, Calais has several notable fishing markets including Les Délices de la Mer and Huîtrière Calaisenne on the Boulevard La Fayette, the latter of which is noted for its
oyster Oyster is the common name for a number of different families of Seawater, salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in Marine (ocean), marine or Brackish water, brackish habitats. In some species, the valves are highly calcified, and many are somew ...
s,
lobster Lobsters are a family (biology), family (Nephropidae, Synonym (taxonomy), synonym Homaridae) of marine crustaceans. They have long bodies with muscular tails and live in crevices or burrows on the sea floor. Three of their five pairs of legs ...
and
crab Crabs are Decapoda, decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" (abdomen#Other animals, abdomen) ( el, :wikt:βραχύς, βραχύς , translit=brachys = short, / = tail), usually hid ...
s from Brittany. The Emile Fournier et Fils market on the Rue Mouron sells mainly smoked fish including
salmon Salmon () is the common name for several list of commercially important fish species, commercially important species of euryhaline ray-finned fish from the family (biology), family Salmonidae, which are native to tributary, tributaries of the ...
,
trout Trout are species of freshwater fish belonging to the genera ''Oncorhynchus'', ''Salmo'' and ''Salvelinus'', all of the subfamily (biology), subfamily Salmoninae of the family Salmonidae. The word ''trout'' is also used as part of the name ...
,
herring Herring are forage fish, mostly belonging to the family of Clupeidae. Herring often move in large Shoaling and schooling, schools around fishing banks and near the coast, found particularly in shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific Ocea ...
and
halibut Halibut is the common name for three flatfish in the genera ''Hippoglossus'' and ''Reinhardtius'' from the family of right-eye flounders and, in some regions, and less commonly, other species of large flatfish. The word is derived from ''haly ...
.


Politics

Calais is part of Pas-de-Calais's 7th constituency. The local MP is Republican Pierre-Henri Dumont. The mayor of Calais has been
Natacha Bouchart Natacha Bouchart (born 29 May 1963) is a French politician of the The Republicans (France), Republicans (LR) and formerly Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). Life and career Bouchart was born at Lens, Pas-de-Calais, Lens. She has served as M ...
since 2008, first for the
Union for a Popular Movement The Union for a Popular Movement (french: link=no, Union pour un mouvement populaire, ; UMP, ) was a centre-right political party in France that was one of the two major Major (Commandant (rank), commandant in certain jurisdictions) is ...
and then its successor The Republicans. From 1971 to 2008, the mayor was a member of the
French Communist Party The French Communist Party (french: Parti communiste français, ''PCF'' ; ) is a List of political parties in France, political party in France which advocates the principles of communism. The PCF is a member of the Party of the European Left, ...
(PCF): Jean-Jacques Barthe (1971–2000) and Jacky Hénin (2000–2008).


Notable landmarks


Place d'Armes

Place d'Armes is one of the largest squares in the city of Calais. It adjoins the watchtower, and during medieval times was once the heart of the city. While Calais was a territory of England (1347–1558), it became known as Market Square (place du Marché). Only at the end of English rule did it take the name of Place d'Armes. After the reconquest of Calais in 1558 by Francis, Duke of Guise, Francis II gave Calais the right to hold a fair twice a year on the square, which still exists today, as well as a bustling Wednesday and Saturday market.


Hôtel de Ville

The town centre, which has seen significant regeneration over the past decade, is dominated by its distinctive town hall ( Hôtel de Ville) at Place du Soldat Inconnu. It was built in the Flemish
Renaissance style Renaissance architecture is the European architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 16th centuries in different regions, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of Ancient Greece, ancient Greek and ...
between 1911 and 1925 to commemorate the unification of the cities of Calais and Saint Pierre in 1885. A previous town hall had been erected in 1818. One of the most elegant landmarks in the city, its ornate 74-metre (246 ft) high clock tower and belfry can be seen from out to sea and chimes throughout the day and has been protected by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
since 2005 as part of a series of belfries across the region. The building parts have also been listed as a series of historic monuments by government decree of 26 June 2003, including its roofs and belfry, main hall, glass roof, the staircase, corridor serving the first floor, the rooms on the first floor (including decoration): the wedding room, the VIP lounge, the lounge of the council and the cabinet room. The hall has stained glass windows and numerous paintings and exquisite decor. It houses police offices.


Église Notre-Dame

Église Notre-Dame is a great church which was originally built in the late 13th century and its tower was added in the late 14th or early 15th century. Like the town hall it is one of the city's most prominent landmarks. It was arguably the only church in the English perpendicular style in France. Much of the current 1400 capacity church dates to 1631–1635. It contains elements of Flemish, Gothic, Anglo-Norman and Tudor architecture. In 1691, an 1800 cubic metre
cistern A cistern (Middle English ', from Latin ', from ', "box", from Greek language, Greek ', "basket") is a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water. Cisterns are often built to catch and Rainwater tank, store rainwater. Cisterns ar ...
was added to the church under orders by Vauban. The church is dedicated to the Virgin, and built in the form of a cross, consisting of a nave and four aisles— The old grand altar dated to 1628 and was built from Carrara marble wrecked on the coast, during its transit from
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; lij, Zêna ). is the capital of the Regions of Italy, Italian region of Liguria and the List of cities in Italy, sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of t ...
to
Antwerp Antwerp (; nl, Antwerpen ; french: Anvers ; es, Amberes) is the largest city in Belgium by area at and the capital of Antwerp Province in the Flemish Region. With a population of 530,504,
. It contained eighteen figures, the two standing on either side of the altar-piece—representing
St. Louis St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri, United States. It sits near the confluence of the Mississippi River, Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers. In 2020, the city proper had a population of 301,578, while the Greater St. Louis, ...
and
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; german: Karl der Große; 2 April 747 – 28 January 814), a member of the Carolingian dynasty, was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, and the first Holy ...
. The organ—of a deep and mellow tone, and highly ornamented by figures in relief—was built at
Canterbury Canterbury (, ) is a cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour. The Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbish ...
sometime around 1700. The pulpit and reading-desk, richly sculptured in oak, is another well-executed piece of ecclesiastical workmanship from St. Omer. The altar-piece, the Assumption, was often attributed to
Anthony van Dyck Sir Anthony van Dyck (, many variant spellings; 22 March 1599 – 9 December 1641) was a Duchy of Brabant, Brabantian Flemish Baroque painting, Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England after success in the Sou ...
, though in reality it is by
Gerard Seghers Gerard SeghersGerard Seghers
at the Netherlands Institute for Art History
Frans Jozef Peter Van ...
; whilst the painting over the side altar, once believed to be by
Peter Paul Rubens Sir Peter Paul Rubens (; ; 28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish people, Flemish artist and diplomat from the Duchy of Brabant in the Southern Netherlands (modern-day Kingdom of Belgium, Belgium). He is considered the most influential art ...
is in fact by Pieter Van Mol. A high and strongly built wall, partaking more of the fortress than a cathedral in its aspect, flanks the building, and protects it from the street where formerly ran the old river, in its course through Calais to the sea. The square, massive Norman tower has three-arched belfry windows on each face, surmounted by corner turrets, and a conically shaped tower of octagonal proportions, topped again by a short steeple. The tower was a main viewing point for the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790) which linked the
Paris Observatory The Paris Observatory (french: Observatoire de Paris ), a research institution of the Paris Sciences et Lettres University, is the foremost astronomy, astronomical observatory of France, and one of the largest astronomical centers in the world. ...
with the
Royal Greenwich Observatory The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (ROG; known as the Old Royal Observatory from 1957 to 1998, when the working Royal Greenwich Observatory, RGO, temporarily moved south from Greenwich to Herstmonceux) is an observatory situated on a hill in G ...
using
trigonometry Trigonometry () is a branch of mathematics that studies relationships between side lengths and angles of triangles. The field emerged in the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic world during the 3rd century BC from applications of geometry to Astr ...
. Cross-channel sightings were made of signal lights at
Dover Castle Dover Castle is a medieval castle in Dover, Kent, England and is Grade I listed. It was founded in the 11th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. Some sources say it is the ...
and Fairlight, East Sussex. The church was assigned as a historic monument by decree of 10 September 1913, only to have its stained glass smashed during a Zeppelin bombardment on 15 January 1915, falling through the roof. General de Gaulle married Yvonne Vendroux on 6 April 1921 at the cathedral. The building experienced extensive damage during World War II, and was partially rebuilt, although much of the old altar and furnishings were not replaced.


Towers

The Tour du Guet (Watch Tower), situated in Calais Nord on the Places d'Armes, is one of the few surviving pre-war buildings. Dating from 1229, when Philip I, Count of Boulogne, built the fortifications of Calais, it is one of the oldest monuments of Calais, although the oldest remaining traces date to 1302. It has a height of 35–39 metres (sources differ). An earthquake in 1580 split the tower in two, and at one time it threatened to collapse completely. The tower was repaired in 1606, and then had the purpose of serving as a hall to accommodate the merchants of Calais. It was damaged in 1658 when a young stable boy set fire to it, while it was temporarily being used as royal stables during a visit of King
Louis XIV Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was List of French monarchs, King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the Li ...
. It was not repaired for some 30 years. In 1770, a bell identical to the original bell of 1348 was cast. Due to its height, from the late 17th century it became an important watchout post for the city for centuries until 1905; the last keeper of the tower was forced to leave in 1926. Abraham Chappe (a brother of Ignace Chappe) installed a telegraph office in the tower in 1816 and operated for 32 years. It was this office which announced the death of Napoleon I to the French public in 1821. It also had the dual function as lighthouse with a rotating beacon fuelled by oil from 1818. The lantern was finally replaced by a new lighthouse on 15 October 1848. During the First World War, it served as a military observation post and narrowly missed destruction during World War II. This tower has been classified as a historic monument since 6 November 1931. The Calais Lighthouse (Le phare de Calais) was built in 1848, replacing the old watch tower as the lighthouse of the port. The tower was electrified in 1883 and automated in 1992. The staircase has 271 steps leading up to the lantern. By day it is easily distinguishable from other coastal lighthouses by its white color and black lantern. The lighthouse was classified as a historical monument on 22 November 2010.


Forts

The
Citadel A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be a castle, fortress, or fortified center. The term is a diminutive of "city", meaning "little city", because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core. In ...
, located on the Avenue Pierre Coubertin, was built between 1560 and 1571 on the site of a former medieval castle which was built in 1229 by Philippe de Hureprel. Its purpose of its construction was to fend off would-be invaders, but it wasn't long until the city was successfully invaded by Archduke Albert of Austria on 24 April 1596. Both
Louis XIII Louis XIII (; sometimes called the Just; 27 September 1601 – 14 May 1643) was King of France from 1610 until his death in 1643 and King of Navarre (as Louis II) from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged with the French crown. ...
and
Cardinal Richelieu Armand Jean du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu (; 9 September 1585 – 4 December 1642), known as Cardinal Richelieu, was a French clergyman and statesman. He was also known as ''l'Éminence rouge'', or "the Red Eminence", a term derived from the ...
at one time considered expanding the citadel and Calais into a great walled city for military harbour purposes but the proposals came to nothing. Fort Risban, located on the coast on the Avenue Raymond Poincaré at the port entrance, was built by the English to prevent supplies reaching Calais by sea during the siege in November 1346 and continued to be occupied by them until 1558 when Calais was restored to France. In 1596, the fort was captured by the Spanish Netherlands until May 1598 when it was returned to the French following the
Treaty of Vervins A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law (also known as public international law and the law of nations) is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as ...
. It was rebuilt in 1640. Vauban, who visited the fort some time in the 1680s, described it as "a home for owls, and place to hold the Sabbath" rather than a fortification. During World War II it served as an air raid shelter. It contains the Lancaster Tower, a name often given to the fort itself. Fort Nieulay, located along the Avenue Roger Salengro originally dated to the 12th or 13th century. During the English invasion in 1346, sluices gates were added as water defences and a fort was built up around it in 1525 on the principle that the people of the fort could defend the town by flooding it. In April and May 1677,
Louis XIV Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was List of French monarchs, King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the Li ...
and Vauban visited Calais and ordered a complete rebuilding of Fort Nieulay. It was completed in 1679, with the purpose to protect the bridge of Nieulay crossing the Hames River. By 1815 the fort had fallen into a ruined state and it wasn't until 1903 that it was sold and improved by its farmer tenants. The fort was briefly the site of a low-key scuffle with Germans in May 1940.


Museums, theatres and cultural centres

Calais contains several museums. These include the Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle de Calais, Cité internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode de Calais and the Musée de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (World War II museum). Cité internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode de Calais is a lace and fashion museum located in an old Boulart factory on the canalside and contains workshops, a library and a restaurant and regularly puts on fashion shows. The World War II museum is located at Parc St Pierre opposite the town hall and south of the train station. The building is a former Nazi bunker and wartime military headquarters, built in 1941 by the Todt Organisation. The 194-metre-long structure contains twenty rooms with relics and photographs related to World War II, and one room dedicated to World War I. Theatres and cultural centres include Le théâtre municipal, Le Centre Culturel Gérard Philipe, Le Conservatoire à rayonnement départemental (CRD), L'auditorium Didier Lockwood, L'École d'Art de Calais, Le Channel, Le Cinéma Alhambra and La Médiathèque municipale. Le théâtre municipal or Calais Theatre is located on the Boulevard Lafayette and was built in 1903 on a plot of land which was used as a cemetery between 1811 and 1871. The theatre opened in 1905. On the first floor of the façade are statues which represent the performing arts subjects of Poetry, Comedy, Dance and Music.


Monuments and memorials

Directly in front of the town hall is a bronze cast of ''Les Bourgeois de Calais'' (""), a sculpture by to commemorate six men who were to have been executed by Edward III in 1347. The cast was erected in 1895, funded by a public grant of 10,000 francs. Rodin (who based his design on a fourteenth-century account by
Jean Froissart Jean Froissart (Old French, Old and Middle French: ''wikt:Jehan, Jehan'', – ) (also John Froissart) was a French-speaking medieval author and court historian from the Low Countries who wrote several works, including ''Chronicles'' and ''Melia ...
) intended to evoke the viewer's sympathy by emphasizing the pained expressions of the faces of the six men about to be executed. The ''Monument des Sauveteurs'' ("Rescuers' Monument") was installed in 1899 on Boulevard des Alliés, and transferred to the Quartier of Courgain in 1960. It is a bronze sculpture, attributed to Edward Lormier. The ''Monument Le Pluviôse'' is a bronze monument built in 1912 by Émile Oscar Guillaume on the centre of the roundabout near the beach of Calais, commemorating the accidental sinking of the submarine '' Pluviôse'' in May 1910, off the beach by the steamer ''Pas de Calais''. Armand Fallières, president of the Republic, and his government came to Calais for a state funeral for its 27 victims. One of these victims, Delpierre Auguste, (1889–1910), drowned at age 21 before the beach at Calais; a dock in the city is named for him. The monument was dedicated on 22 June 1913. Monument "Jacquard" was erected on the square in 1910, opposite the entrance to the Calais theatre. It commemorates
Joseph Marie Jacquard Joseph Marie Charles ''dit'' (called or nicknamed) Jacquard (; 7 July 1752 – 7 August 1834) was a French people, French weaver and merchant. He played an important role in the development of the earliest programmable loom (the "Jacquard loom") ...
, popular in Calais because of his contribution to the development of lace through his invention of the
Jacquard loom The Jacquard machine () is a device fitted to a loom that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with such complex patterns as brocade, damask and matelassé. The resulting ensemble of the loom and Jacquard machine is then called a Jac ...
. A tall
column A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a structural element that transmits, through compression (physical), compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. In other words, a column i ...
in the Courgain area of the city commemorates a visit by
Louis XVIII Louis XVIII (Louis Stanislas Xavier; 17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824), known as the Desired (), was List of French Monarchs, King of France from 1814 to 1824, except for a brief interruption during the Hundred Days in 1815. He spen ...
. ''Parc Richelieu'', a garden behind the war memorial, was built in 1862 on the old city ramparts and redesigned in 1956. It contains a statue designed by Yves de Coëtlogon in 1962, remembering both world wars with an allegorical figure, representing Peace, which clutches an olive branch to her breast. Another monument in the Parc Richelieu, erected on 23 April 1994, marks the approximate site of
Emma, Lady Hamilton Dame Emma Hamilton (born Amy Lyon; 26 April 176515 January 1815), generally known as Lady Hamilton, was an English maid, model, dancer and actress. She began her career in London's demi-monde, becoming the mistress of a series of wealthy m ...
's last resting place. She died in Calais on 15 January 1815.Brayne, Martin (2016), ''Gone to the Continent: the British in Calais, 1760–1860''


Hotels and nightclubs

For many years the most famous hotel in Calais was the Hôtel d'Angleterre, often called Dessin's or Dessein's, after the family which owned it for almost a hundred years. Its popularity increased after
Laurence Sterne Laurence Sterne (24 November 1713 – 18 March 1768), was an Anglo-Irish novelist and Anglican cleric who wrote the novels ''The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman'' and ''A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy'', published ...
set the early chapters of his 1768 novel '' A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy'' there. With the arrival of the railway fewer British visitors stopped in Calais and Dessin's closed in 1860. Hôtel Meurice de Calais is a hotel, established in 1771 as Le Chariot Royal by the French postmaster, Charles-Augustin Meurice, who would later establish the five-star Hôtel Meurice, one of Paris' most famous luxury hotels. It was one of the earliest hotels on the continent of Europe to specifically cater for the British elite. The hotel was rebuilt in 1954–55. It has 41 en-suite rooms. The main centre of night activity in Calais is at the Casino Le Touquet's on the Rue Royale and at the 555 Club. Every month, Casino Le Touquet hosts a dinner and dance cabaret. The casino features slot machines, blackjack, roulette, and poker facilities.


Education

There are several schools in Calais. These include Groupe Scolaire Coubertin, Eglise Saint-Pierre, Universite du Littoral, Centre Universitaire, Lycée HQE Léonard de Vinci on Rue du Pasteur Martin Luther-King, École d'Art de Calais on Rue des Soupirants, and the Centre Scolaire Saint-Pierre on Rue du Four à Chaux which provides education in the primary grades, high school, and vocational school. There are at least seven colleges in the city, such as Collège Martin Luther King on Rue Martin Luther King, Collège Nationalisé Lucien Vadez on Avenue Yervant Toumaniantz, Collège Les Dentelliers on Rue Gaillard, College Jean Mace on Rue Maréchaux, Collège République on Place République, Collège Vauban on Rue Orléansville, and Collège Privé Mixte Jeanne d'Arc on Rue Champailler.


Sport

Calais was represented in
association football Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 Football player, players who primarily use their feet to propel the Ball (association football), ball around a rectangular field ca ...
by the Calais RUFC, who competed in the
Championnat National The Championnat de France National ( en, French National Championship), commonly referred to as simply National or Division 3, serves as the third division of the French football league system behind Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. Contested by 18 clubs, t ...
. The club was founded 1902 as Racing Club de Calais and in 1974 was renamed as Calais Racing Union Football Club. Calais RUFC had a good reputation in French cup competitions and went as far as the final in the 1999/2000 season, losing out finally to
Nantes Nantes (, , ; Gallo language, Gallo: or ; ) is a city in Loire-Atlantique on the Loire, from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast. The city is the List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, sixth largest in France, with a popul ...
. Since 2008 they played at the Stade de l'Épopée, a stadium which holds about 12,000 spectators. Calais Racing Union was liquidated in September 2017. The rugby club in Calais is Amicale Rugby Calaisien. Basketball is popular in Calais with the teams Calais Basket (male) and COB Calais (female) as is volleyball with the Lis Calais (male) and Stella Calais (female) teams. There is also the SOC club which caters in a range of sports including athletics, handball and football and Yacht Club de Calais, a yachting club. Calais also has Les Seagulls, an American football team.


Transport


Sea

The Port of Calais was the first cable ship port in Europe and is the fourth largest port in France and the largest for passenger traffic. The port accounts for more than a third of economic activity of the town of Calais. Cargo traffic has tripled over the past two decades. In 2007 more than 41.5 million tonnes of traffic passed through Calais with some 11.52 million passengers, 1.4 million trucks and trailers, 2.249 million cars and 4,700 crossings a year. Passenger numbers for the Dover to Calais route in 2018 were 9,168,000. On average, ships sail from the port every 30 minutes. A new 400 million euro project is underway at the port to create a breakwater protecting a pool of 700 meters long, thus allowing virtually all types of ships to stop at Calais.


Rail

As well as the large port, the town is served by three railway stations: Gare de Calais-Fréthun, Gare de Calais-Ville, and Gare des Fontinettes, the former being the first stop on mainland Europe of the
Eurostar Eurostar is an international high-speed rail service connecting the United Kingdom with France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Most Eurostar trains travel through the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France, owned and operated sep ...
line. Gare de Calais-Ville is the nearest station to the port with trains to Gare de Boulogne-Ville and either Gare de Lille Flandres or Gare de Lille Europe.


Road

Local bus services are provided by STCE. Free car parking facilities are available in front of the Calais ferry terminal and the maximum stay is three days.


Air

Calais is served by an airport and an airfield. Calais–Dunkerque Airport is located at Marck, east north east of Calais. Saint-Inglevert Airfield is located at Saint-Inglevert, south west of Calais.


Notable people


International relations

Calais is twinned with: *
Bardejov Bardejov (; hu, Bártfa, german: Bartfeld, rue, Бардеёв, uk, Бардіїв) is a town in North-Eastern Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked ...
,
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the s ...
''(since 6 September 2002)'' *
Brăila Brăila (, also , ) is a city in Muntenia, eastern Romania, a port on the Danube and the capital of Brăila County. The Sud-Est (development region), ''Sud-Est'' Regional Development Agency is located in Brăila. According to the 2011 Romanian ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
''(since 8 May 2002)'' *
Duisburg Duisburg () is a city in the Ruhr metropolitan area of the western German States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lying on the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr (river), Ruhr rivers in the center of the Rhine-Ruhr Region, Duisburg ...
,
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
''(since 25 June 1964)'' *
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent, South East England. It faces France across the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel at from Cap Gris Nez in France. It lies south-east of Canterbury and east of M ...
,
Kent Kent is a Counties of England, county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west, and Essex to the north across the estuary of the River ...
,
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
''(since June 1973)'' *
Wismar Wismar (; Low German: ''Wismer''), officially the Hanseatic City of Wismar (''Hansestadt Wismar'') is, with around 43,000 inhabitants, the sixth-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the fourth-largest city ...
, Germany ''(since December 1971)'' *
Xiangtan Xiangtan () is a prefecture-level city A prefecture-level city () or prefectural city is an administrative division of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province of China, province and above a Counties of the Peo ...
, China


See also

*
Communes of the Pas-de-Calais department The following is a list of the 890 Communes of France, communes of the Pas-de-Calais Departments of France, department of France. The communes cooperate in the following Communes of France#Intercommunality, intercommunalities (as of 2020):
* France–UK border


References


Notes


Bibliography

* ''This article incorporates public domain text from the 1911 edition of the ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-d ...
'' and Robert Bell Calton's ''Annals and Legends of Calais'' (1852)''. ;Books * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

*
Agglomération

Info about the port and city

Info about the port and city


{{Authority control Ephemeral islands Communes of Pas-de-Calais Former islands of France France–United Kingdom border crossings Port cities and towns on the French Atlantic coast Port cities and towns of the North Sea Pale of Calais Vauban fortifications in France