"CALAIS - MORE THAN I EXPECTED!" Top 5 Page for this destination Calais by balhannah

Calais Travel Guide: 115 reviews and 263 photos


Calais is one of only 5 cities of France to be allowed to have its own flag by royal decree, with Dunkirk, Boulogne, Le Havre and Saint Malo.

Calais, had much more to offer than I ever expected.

As a busy Ferry port, I thought it would be industrial, but instead, there were many good site's to see.

If you want information on the Port, then check out this official website of the Port.....


Long ago, pre-historic worked and polished flints in primeval tombs were found on the heights of the Calais, so this part of the continent was lived in since prehistoric times.

Calais is where Julius Caesar gathered a fleet of 800 to 1000 sailing vessels that, with 5 legions and 2000 horses, launched the conquest of England.

It was in 997, the count of Flanders realized the importance of Calais Harbour.
He surrounded it with defensive walls flanked by towers, and made large outside ditches.

Richard The Lion Heart landed at Calais in 1189 on his way to the Crusades.
At that time the town was part of the country of Boulogne. It was fortified by the Count of Boulogne in 1224.

In 1346, Edward III fought a long and hard siege up until in the 11th month, when the starving Calais people decided they could take no more.

The Governor, Jean de Vienne, sent a message to the English king saying he would surrender if everyone in the town, soldiers and citizens alike, were given a pardon.

In 1520 Henry VIII of England sailed from Dover to Calais at the invitation of François I of France, who hoped they could make an alliance against the Spanish, this never happened, and they never became allies.
Anne Bolyen became pregnant with Elizabeth I when on a trip to Calais with Henry VIII in December of 1532.

Calais was in English hands until 1558 when Francois De Guise regained it.
This was a mortal blow to Mary Tudor who said the famous words...
"If my heart was opened the name of Calais would be found written on it".

The Spanish Armada anchored off-shore overnight at Calais in 1588, on their way to invade England.

Calais accumulated immense riches that tempted the Spanish Prince to seize Calais by surprise in 1596. The City thenbelonged to the Spaniard's for 2 year's, before returning to French hand's again through the treaty of Vervins.

At the beginning of the 18th century the English fleet continued to be at large, menacing Calais.

On April 24, 1814 the king of France Louis 18 left exile and came to Calais to take possession of his throne. The restoration was for Calais a period of prosperity.

The First World War 1914-1918 ......
"The war to end all wars" ended in an armistice, but led eventually to the Second World War, Calais was still intact.

After the Second World War 1939-1944, Calais was in ruins.

So this conclude's our 2011 tour through France, and we depart on a P&O Ferry to Dover, England.

If you like, follow me through England for another part of our journey.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:More than the Ferry Terminal!
  • Last visit to Calais: Jul 2011
  • Intro Updated Dec 26, 2012
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Reviews (13)

Comments (8)

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2016 at 1:24 AM

    Thanks for virtual tour to Normandy!

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    The flowers, monuments, churches and the Jacquard statue is all gorgeous! Lovely page Dee!

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:03 AM

    What a lovely city with such beautiful flower decorations.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I remember taking that ferry (years ago) but unfortunately I never saw much of Calais.

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Nov 2, 2013 at 1:40 AM

      I thought Calais would just be a busy ferry port, tricked me!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jul 15, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    Calais really is lovely isn't it. Nice page Dee!

  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Thanks for this one Dee, I always dismissed Calais as being a nothing more than a ferry port as well. I should have known better.

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    A very interesting page. I've only known the ferry port and have never been in the town itself. Thank you for the tour.

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    The Burghers of Calais is one of my all time favourite sculptors, but have only seen the version in Paris ... looking forward to seeing the 'original'!


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