Dunkerque's name means 'Dunes of the Church', according to the etymological translation from Flemish. As it is situated in the northern part of France only 10 km from the border with Belgium, the city was long the focus of battles for domination, until in 1662 the King of England sold it to France for 40,000 pounds and it became definitively French. A Flemish dialect can still be heard, though French is officially spoken. Back in World War II, Dunkerque was the site of one of the most famous battles and, like many other French cities, suffered the devastating damages of war. Today, besides its industrial look, the city hosts charming spots like the Place du Minck, where an authentic fish market is set out in the open. The maritime scenery is captivating, and your sea adventures could continue in the Port Museum, whose impressive collec tion is held in a former tobacco factory. A delightful experience is offered by the Place du Minck, where you can take a boat trip along the coastline to discover all the secret spots of the port and admire breath-taking maritime views. A considerable part of the old town has survived the time and war damage and offers a myriad of sites and attractions. In the very heart of it, a statue was built to glorify Jean Bart, the famous savior of the city, who long ago fought against Dutch ships attacking the port.
The town of Dunkerque has a special place to tempt art lovers. The Contemporary Art Museum exhibits an exhaustive collection of some of the best examples of modern époques. Besides its attractions, Dunkerque has a unique charm, offering the harmony of French and Flemish influences coexisting in the beauty of the old town and the port area.