The Full Wiki

Calais: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Calais

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 50°56′53″N 1°51′23″E / 50.9480555555556°N 1.8563888888889°E / 50.9480555555556; 1.8563888888889

Commune of Calais

Calais pier.jpg
Pier and lighthouse on the Calais seafront
Calais is located in France
Country France
Region Nord-Pas de Calais
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Calais
Intercommunality Communauté d'agglomération du Calaisis
Mayor Natacha Bouchart (UMP)
Elevation 0–18 m (0–59 ft)
Land area1 33.50 km2 (12.93 sq mi)
Population2 74,888  (2006)
 - Density 2,235 /km2 (5,790 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 62193/ 62100
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Calais (French pronunciation: [kaˈlɛ]; in English often /kæˈleɪ/, traditionally /ˈkælɨs/) is a town in northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras.

The population of the metropolitan area at the 1999 census was 125,584.

Calais overlooks the Strait of Dover, the narrowest point in the English Channel, which is only 34 km (21 miles) wide here, and is the closest French town to England, of which Calais was a territorial possession for several centuries. The white cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day.

The old part of the town, Calais proper (or Calais-Nord), is situated on an artificial island surrounded by canals and harbours. The modern part of the town, St-Pierre, lies to the south and southeast.



Ferry docked at Calais

People have lived in Calais since ancient times. The Romans called the settlement Caletum. As the centuries passed it grew in importance as a port. While sovereignty over Calais passed from one authority to another, the people spoke mostly Dutch. Its position as the point in continental Europe closest to England led the English king Edward III, who believed himself the rightful king of France, to cross the Channel and capture the city in 1347. The Treaty of Brétigny in 1360 ceded the city to England. For two centuries Calais remained an integral part of England, with representation in the English Parliament (see Pale of Calais). In 1558 Calais was finally recaptured by the French. In 1805 Napoleon massed troops there for his planned invasion of England. In World War I Calais was a major base for the BEF. In World War II it was the site of a major engagement, the Siege of Calais, in which some 4,000 British soldiers surrendered to the Germans after holding out for four days. Four years later, the Allies mounted Operation Fortitude, a deception campaign intended to convince the Germans that the main Allied landing would come around Calais instead of in Normandy. The Allied effort succeeded in causing Hitler to keep significant forces in and around Calais until July 1944, a month after the Invasion of Normandy had begun. Calais was finally liberated by the Canadian 1st Army later that year.


The city's proximity to England has made it a major port for centuries. It is the principal ferry crossing point between England and France, with the vast majority of Channel crossings being made between Dover and Calais. The French end of the Channel Tunnel is also situated in the vicinity of Calais, in Coquelles some 4 miles (6 km) to the west of the town.

The mainstay of the town's economy is, naturally, its port, but it also has a number of indigenous industries. The principal ones are lace making, chemicals, and paper manufacture. It possesses direct rail links to Paris, 148 miles (238 km) to the south.

Calais has restaurants that are popular with English visitors, in the tradition of seaside towns, but shopping is its most popular attraction.


Calais is currently home to around 1000 expatriates, mostly looking to enter Great Britain avoiding the strict migration controls at the port.[1][2].

Some 700-800 migrants, mostly Afghan, were camped in an area among the dunes near the port, locally called 'The Jungle', but this was destroyed by French authorities in a dawn raid on September 22, 2009.[3]. The inhabitants were partly imprisoned at the nearby Centre de Rétention of Coquelles, but many more were taken to detention centres all over France before being released and having to make the long journey back to Calais by foot. After the closing down of the camp, the French authorities have threatened to repatriate "sans-papiers" ("immigrés en situation irrégulière") to Afghanistan [4].


Cranes in the Ferry Terminal, Calais

As well as the large port, the town is served by two railway stations: Gare de Calais-Fréthun and Gare de Calais-Ville, the former being the first stop on mainland Europe of the Eurostar line.

Local bus services are provided by STCE.


Calais is represented in association football by the Calais RUFC, and are members of the Championnat National. Calais RUFC have a reputation as bieng great giant killers in French cup comeptitions and went as far as the final in the 01/02 season, losing out finally to Nantes.

Main sights

City hall

Virtually the entire town was destroyed by heavy bombardments during World War II, so little in Calais pre-dates the war. The Tour de Guet, situated in Calais Nord on the Places d'Armes, is one of the few surviving pre-war buildings.

The German wartime military headquarters, situated south of the train station in a small park, is today open to the public as a war museum.

The town centre is dominated by its distinctive town hall, built in the Flemish Renaissance style (and visible well out to sea). Directly in front of the town hall is a cast of the statue The Burghers of Calais (French Les Bourgeois de Calais), by Auguste Rodin. The town centre has seen significant regeneration over the past decade.

Another must see for visitors to the area is the Alhambra cinema, an arthouse cinema located on the same square as the Hôtel de Ville.

On the outskirts of Calais there is Cité Europe, a huge shopping complex with shops, a games arcade, bars restaurants and a multiplex cinema. Located next to Cité Europe is L'Usine, a factory outlet centre for higher-end brands. These are both built on land next to the Channel Tunnel terminal.

Immediately to the west is the Côte d'Opale, an extremely scenic cliff-lined section of coast that parallels the white cliffs on the British coast and is part of the same geological formation.

On clear days, the buildings of Calais can quite readily be seen with the naked eye from the British shore, 33 km (21 miles) away.

International relations


Twin towns - sister cities

Calais is twinned with:

See also


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Calais (disambiguation).

Calais is a city in the Nord-Pas de Calais region of France. It is the closest point on the French mainland to England; Dover lies across the English Channel (La Manche) just 32 km (20 miles) away. The town has a major cross-channel ferry port and the French entrance to the Channel Tunnel is nearby. Calais is popular with British day-trippers arriving by ferry or on Channel Tunnel shuttle trains one reason being due to the fact that France has lower taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Large warehouse supermarkets have sprung up on the outskirts of Calais just to serve these British "booze cruisers" who return to the UK with their suspensions groaning under the weight of cheap booze and cigarettes. While most tourists view the town as simply a port there is a little more to the town.

Get in


From Dover takes just over 1h15 minutes; the operators are:

  • Seafrance
  • P&O


Le Shuttle

Running from Folkestone to the western edge of Calais the service takes about 35 minutes (although only about 20 minutes are in the tunnel) and offers the fastest way to go between the countries; this service is for passengers with cars only who remain with their car for the duration of the short trip, onboard there are no restaurants (although there are facilities – a fast food restaurant and various shops in the terminal buildings) but there are toilets.


Tour Bus, in a train car, in the Chunnel
Tour Bus, in a train car, in the Chunnel

Running from London St Pancras, Ebbsfleet and Ashford, Eurostar offers Calais in 1 hour; there are around 3 trains a day in each direction. Note that the Calais Fréthun TGV stop is some distance from Calais itself; there are however shuttle buses and taxis.


Running from Lille, Boulogne, Dunkirk and Paris, Calais is well supported by the French rail network.


Cars can be taken to the South of France, destinations such as Narbonne, Marseille and Lyon can be reached by train (your car is carried with you).

Get around

Most people travel by car around the town, but there is a comprehensive network of buses running from the town centre to the suburbs and Cité Europe. The port is served by a special shuttle bus - although via a footbridge the centre and the harbour terminal are only 15 mins apart. Bus #5 is useful for reaching the large Auchan and Carrefour hypermarkets and the Cite Europe shopping mall and #6 goes to Calais Frethun Eurostar station. Services run every 30 minutes during the day and cost between 80c and €1 (board through the front door and pay the driver) and all terminate outside the Gare D'Ville.

  • Rodin’s Artwork outside the town hall
  • The 2 parcs : Have a look around the Parc Saint-Pierre to see nice typical bow windows houses
  • The town Hall : Get in, and upstairs through the majestous staircase leading to the first floor and the wedding room, the ballroom, and the "parlement" room. Self visit (signs to read) or guided tour by Opale Tour. End 2010 it will be possible to climb the Belfry with an elevator.
  • Light Tower to visit and climb up to the light. Wonderful view. Little museum.
  • Cité Internationale de la dentelles et de la mode : open in june 2009 . / 0321 00 42 30: old manufactury refurbished in a "living" museum. All about the story of the lace, and especially the mechanic lace made in Calais on leavers . You can see 2 machines working for real. Restaurant, bar and lace shop. Really worth to do. You need at least 2 hours to see the main expo.
  • Modern Art museum : 25 rue Richelieu ... Permanent and temporary exhibitions. Sculpture, paintings. Great expo from George Rousse untill end of January. To be seen !
  • War museum : Parc Saint Pierre in front the Town Hall, located in a real bunker
  • Theater : place Albert 1er : guided tours by Opale Tour
  • Le Channel, Scène Nationale : Shows, Library, restaurant, .. in former slaughtery house. Really worth a visit for the archictecture /
  • Notre-Dame Church : unfortunaltely in refurbishment. End in. From 1300's. Tudor Style.
  • Courgain Maritime and fish market : former fishermen quarter out of the walls of the city. Rebuild after the war, but nice palce to buy fresh fish and have a drink. Guided Tour buy Opale Tour
  • The beach and the Jetty to have a look on the ferries playing the route between France and Britain
  • The White Cliffs of Dover – in the faint distance
  • Citadelle and Fort Nieulay : 15-1700's fort . Guided Tours
  • See above
  • You can also do to the swimming pool (Piscine Ranson or ICEO complex), to the skating rink (Iceo)
  • Char à voile, base des Hemmes de Marck
  • Sailing school : Base de voile, Blériot-Plage (coast road to Sangatte)
  • Cinemas : Alhambra (beside Town Hall, VOSTF films !) or Gaumont Multiplex (Cité Europe)
  • Bowlings : Bowling de Calais , avecnue de St6exupéry or Bowling quai 121, (Cité Europe)
  • Visit the Coast up to "Cap Blanc Nez" (White Nose Cap), Unesco Classified site - If you don't have a car, you can take the bus (double deck) at the theater or Railway station. it will cost you 1 € to go there along the see road. Really cool.
  • Exhibitions :
  * La cours d'artistes : 294 grande rue du petit courghain, 62100 Calais   0660846363,
  * Mondiavision : galerie de photos , rue du Vauxhall, Calais
  • Cite Europe - Large shopping centre containing 147 shops, 20 restaurants, and a cinema. Located next to the Channel Tunnel terminal (Junction 41 or 42 on the A16). Note that the shops are closed on Sundays and none of them sell tobacco.
  • Alcohol – since France has slightly lower taxes on alcohol than the UK various establishments have set up to cater for day trippers, although often it is a little cheaper to go to a local hypermarket (and you can pick up other stuff). The main hypermarkets are Auchan and Carrefour - the latter is located within the Cite Europe shopping mall and can both be reached on bus #5.
  • Markets - Place Crevecoeur on Thursdays and Saturdays - Place d'Armes on Saturdays
  • Lace : 3 places worth a visit :
  * - Museum shop
  * - Boutique Noyon : 85 rue de Vic - 62100 Calais Tel : 0321 46 78 04, / old factory turned into a designer shop
  * - Les dessous de Calais : Boulevard Lafayette - 62100 Calais tel :0321 xxxxx : outlet design shop for lingery and clothes ... Great discounts !


There is a fantastic crepe restaurant called La Chênaie in Rue Jean de Vienne.

For a lot more infos, have a look on the Couchsurfing Wiki Page of Calais :


A lot as you can imagine ... too close to UK ! ;-)

Have a look on the Couchsurfing Wiki page of Calais :


If unfortunately, you don't find a couch, here are 2 cheap but serious adresses :

  • Auberge de Jeunesse de Calais - Avenue du Maréchal DeLattre de Tassigny - 62100 Calais Tel :0321 34 70 20 / email : .... Youth hostel, but no age limit with private room. really close to the beach. Nice place
  • Au mouton Blanc - 44 rue du Vauxhall - 62100 Calais - Tel :0321 34 71 52 / near the theater and 4B shopping center ... family owned ... Guide du routard recommended

Get out

To hitchhike to Belgium or the Netherlands, if you leave the terminal, you must walk 500m through a large car park, after which you will see roundabout and an on-ramp to the motorway. That is the place to hitch a ride: there is enough space even for a big lorry.

For a more 'traditional' experience of France, Saint Omer is a mere 26 miles (43 kilometres) down the road from Calais. The Saturday morning market on its main square, the Place Foch, can be enjoyable. There are also good affordable restaurants and friendly bars, as well as interesting architecture.

Worth a visit in the surroundings :

  • Guines And its marshes, Forest and old tower
  • Ardres Old city and its lakes
  • Wissant and Le site des 2 Caps on the see side
  • Le Platier d'Oye  : natural reserve in Oye Plage

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

(There is currently no text in this page)


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun


  1. A town in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, in the north of France.



Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Cladus: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Cladus: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Coleopterida
Ordo: Coleoptera
Subordo: Polyphaga
Infraordo: Elateriformia
Superfamilia: Elateroidea
Familia: Elateridae
Subfamilia: Agrypninae
Tribus: Hemirhipini
Genus: Calais
Species: C. afghanicus - C. brandti - C. parreysii - C. persicus - C. sulcicollis - C. wittmeri


Calais Laporte de Castelnau, 1836


  • Cryptalaus Ohira, 1967


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address