Calais

The old town of Calais has survived the damage brought by time and war, and a considerable part of its historical heritage has been completely restored. If you are willing to see the real look of old Calais as it was centuries ago, visit the Fine Arts and Lace museum where a model of it is displayed. Today, a considerable portion of the walls around the old Citadel are preserved, as well as the imposing Watch Tower, which looms over the Place d'Armes. Very close by you will find the only Tudor Church on the Continent, built during the English occupation (1347 - 1558). Delightful marine views are offered nearby from the original quayside at the old port.

Calais is a town of two parts united in a harmony of history and character. New Calais, which was built in the middle of the 19th Century, will meet you next to its old co-inhabitant. New Calais was constructed to host the British workers and engineers who assisted with the introduction of the machine lace industry in France at that time. Take a walk along the streets, the original 19th-Century houses and factories that once gave the crucial launch to the major industrial force of the region.

The old and new parts of Calais are united by the fascinating splendor of the Town Hall, set on the frontier between them. The building is impressive and beautiful, and was built in 1920. In front of it, the famous Rodin sculpture glorifies the heroic sacrifice of the 6 Burghers who saved their city during the English occupation.

Calais today is lively and charming. A popular tourist site, it offers a bit of everything, featuring three main shopping streets, a large selection of excellent restaurants serving a great variety of culinary delights, and plenty of entertainment for all ages.

If you want to read more about Calais, its history and tourist sights, visit the Calais Guide.