Around the year 1227, the lord Philippe Hurepel, Count of Boulogne, erected a castle. Appearing on engravings, this construction included six cylindrical towers and a dungeon, designed to protect against threats of Flemish and English invasions.
Equipped with wide and deep moats, this castle will then be owned by King St Louis and the Counts of Artois.
During the Hundred Years War. Edward III of England begins the siege of the city.
The governor seeing his population hungry for 8 months of siege, decided to give the keys of the city to King Edward III of England. As a sign of capitulation, the king demands that 6 notables surrender barefooted weapons, dressed in sheets and a rope around the shot. Destined for the gallows, these notables were pardoned by this same king, at the request of his wife of French nationality, moved by the sacrifice of these men. Auguste Rodin's statue of the six bourgeois symbolizes this founding sacrifice of the history of the city.
Calais will remain under English rule for another 210 years, before being released by Duke François de Guise. Under the reign of Henry IV, the city will become French again in 1598. The castle is dismantled around 1560. Louis XIV will strengthen, building the fort-lock and a citadel.
For the city of Calais, the restoration (1814-1830) promises a prosperous period in terms of trade, many factories coming to change the daily life of Calais. Prosperity peaked between 1880 and 1914, before World War I established the city as an international military base.
Calais paid a heavy price during the Second World War. Apart from the many casualties, this war completely destroyed the city's heritage.
The city is still connected to England by the presence of the Channel Tunnel.
Calais is the home of the international city of lace and fashion. Offering an immersion into the historic past of the local lacemaking industry, this city is discovering the world of elegance.
Tourism in Calais
The historical heritage makes of Calais a tourist stage of quality. The tourist office of Calais cote d'Opale encourages its visitors to discover these jewels and its local gastronomy. A short distance from Belgium and England, between sea and countryside, Calais is a popular tourist destination.
The six Bourgeois of Auguste Rodin
Unmissable monument of the city, the statue of the 6 bourgeois of Rodin was cast in bronze, the monument represents a historical event in Calais, when the city entered under-English domination.
World Heritage Site of Unesco,
Offering panoramic views of the city With an elevator, this square red brick tower of Kortrijk and white stones is 75 meters high. Belfry represents the reflection of the evolution of architecture.
The church Notre Dame
Listed as a historic monument since 1913, this church mimics the perpendicular English architectural style. She hosted the wedding of Charles de Gaulle and Yvonne Vendroux in 1920.
Strolls in Calais
The Beautiful country gardens
Private garden offering many botanical species, a garden and appreciated by fans and has, since November 2015, the Garden Remarkable label.
The Tudor Garden
Landscaped gardens on the edge of Notre Dame de Calais church.
Separated barely 200 meters apart from each other, the public gardens Parc Saint Pierre and Richelieu allow you to take a break in the city center and each have a children's area.
What to discover in Calais
The plain of Fort Nieulay Fortress
Grassy areas to appreciate the defensive system, this plain is particularly appreciated by joggers.
Terres Saint Roch
Water body of about 25 000 m2 located in a former gravel pit, it is the rendezvous of the fishermen of the corner. This body of water is home to a particularly important wildlife.
The Tom Souville base of Blériot-plage
Rendez-vous of the amateurs of slides and water sports. Free access, a path is drawn around walkers or joggers.
Calais Tourist Hotels
Hotel mouton blanc
Established in 1968, the hotel mouton blanc is recommended by the backpacker for its hotel, but also its restaurant. It will welcome you in a warm atmosphere. The rates for a double room vary from 37 to 44 €.
Campanile Hotel Calais
Straightforward hotel with flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, terraces & dining
B & B Hotel Calais Center St Pierre
Standard rooms with flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and parking are free.
One kilometer from the center of Calais, a few minutes from the beach, Eurotunnel or the Cité
Europe, this hotel is open 24 hours a day. Breakfast, buffet and restaurant are available and rooms cost from 78 € to 86 € per night.
Holiday inn calais coquelles
The charm and modernity of the 113 new rooms and the Holiday Inn Coquelles 4-hectare park have everything to make your stay unforgettable. Come and enjoy your business trips, family vacations, gourmet meals, all within 5 minutes of the Channel Tunnel. A heated indoor pool and fitness center welcomes you from 07h to 22h for a relaxing moment in bodybuilding. On site, the restaurant Cap Resto offers traditional dishes, where you can sample local specialty beers.
How to get from Calais to Paris airports
To connect the Orly airport to Calais, 3 hours of road are necessary. The journey is made on the A1 or A26. It takes 19 minutes more via the A16. To reach Calais from Roissy, you have to travel 266.0 km in 2h28mn still on the A1 or the A26.