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Calais Hotels

Calais City Info

Calais Hotels

Calais is a beautiful town in France rich in culture. In the town, you'll really enjoy the cultural heritage of traditional French restaurants and hotels.

As the nearest landing point in France, Calais has long been the port of passage across the Channel to England. The English occupied Calais from 1347 to 1558 - after complaints from English merchants that the old port was a "den of pirates" raiding their ships. The English army forcibly drove out all the inhabitants and during the occupation. The town was populated by English settlers - merchants, sailors and the defending army. English kings clung onto this possession as a base for trade with the Continent, and from which to send their armies into Continental wars. Henry VIII used it as a base for sacking and looting the north of France.

Despite the town having been flattened in two 20th century wars, you'll also find a lot of surviving glimpses into its fascinating past, such as, Town Walls, Church of Notre Dame, the13th Century Watchtower, etc.

Want to see this town, which still holds historical importance? Book your Calais hotels with us and enjoy your trip.

Calais Tourist Attractions

Calais Town Hall

The town hall of Calais was built for the occasion of the merging of the cities of Calais and Saint-Pierre in 1885 on a barren piece of land between the two cities. It was constructed in the neo-Flemish style of the 15th century by the architect Louis Debrouwer. Work started in 1911, was interrupted by the outbreak of war in 1914, repair of war damage and the completion of the building delayed its inauguration until 1925.It was again damaged in 1940.

Calais Theatre

Built in 1903 and inaugurated in 1905 this theatre stands on the former Brochot plain which was occupied by a cemetry between 1811 and 1871. The first floor of the facade is decorated with statues symbolising the four arts: Poetry, Comedy, Dance and Music. On the second floor four busts commemorate the composer Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny (1729-1817) and the dramatists Alain-Rene Lesage (1668-1747) Guillaume Pigault-Lebrun (1753-1835) and Pierre de Belloy (1727-1775) author of The Siege of Calais produced in1765. The first stone placed on July 9 1903 by Mr Loubet, President of the Republic, and the works were directed by the architect Malgras. Like the new town hall and the new railway station, the construction of the theatre was decided at the time of the fusion of the cities of Calais and St. Pierre in 1885.

Calais Town Hall

The town hall of Calais was built for the occasion of the merging of the cities of Calais and Saint-Pierre in 1885 on a barren piece of land between the two cities. It was constructed in the neo-Flemish style of the 15th century by the architect Louis Debrouwer. Work started in 1911, was interrupted by the outbreak of war in 1914, repair of war damage and the completion of the building delayed its inauguration until 1925.It was again damaged in 1940.

Calais Law Courts

The first public building raised on the place Crèvecoeur, the present Law Courts, sheltered in its early days, the city hall of Saint Pierre. It was built in 1857 to 1861. It not only symbolized the municipal power but also the Second Empire.

The construction of the city hall was given to Amédée Stensmaght, municipal architect, author of the nursery on the Rue Lafayette, today the library of the masters. The construction began in 1858 and was finished in 1861; then the building only consisted of the main body. Created in 1870, the Council of Saint-Pierre sat there.

Fort Risban

Fort Risban was besieged by the English in November 1346, they having chosen to take possession of Calais after their victory at Crécy. Once in control of the area the English restored the fort and made important changes such as the Tower of Lancaster built in 1405, under Henry VIII. The fort is surrounded by dunes and the sea. The inside is divided in two by a door accommodating pillboxes. The fort became French again in January 1558 thanks to the Duc de Guise. Less than forty years later the fort became at the heart of a new war and became Spanish for two years, until the treaty of Vervins in May 1598.

Richelieu Garden and War Memorial

Arranged from 1862 on the site of the fortifications of the old city, the Richelieu garden was redesigned in 1956. Between 1895 and 1924, the platform was occupied by the famous group by Rodin "The Burghers of Calais", then by the war memorial for the war of 1914-1918 created by sculptor Moreau-Vauthier. Seriously damaged by the bombardments under the occupation, this monument was replaced in 1962 by a new memorial, work of Yves de Coëtlogon that unites the memory of the dead of the two wars in an single homage.

Notre Dame church

It is in this church that took place on April 6 1921, the union between miss Yvonne Vendroux and captain Charles de Gaulle! The tower was probably raised toward the end of the 14th or during the 15th century. Notre-Dame is probably the only church in France to offer elements of this English style. Added toward 1631-1635, the apsidal chapel is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The Watch Tower

This tower is probably one of the oldest monuments in the city. Its date of construction is uncertain. Some say that it could be a tower that Charlemagne constructed about 810 in order to protect the coastline against the Norman invasions. The first official date is 1302.  In 1580, the tower threatened to collapse following an earthquake that split the tower in two. As its name indicates the Watch Tower  sheltered until 1905 a service of lookouts. In 1818, the tower was arranged as a beacon of rotating lights. This was replaced in 1848 by the present lighthouse.

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