Due to its proximate location to the English port of Dover, Calais usually only receives a visit from tourists disembarking lumbering ferries and rushing south in search or warmer climates and traditional chateaus. Calais is however, a thriving city with an enthralling array of monuments and museums guaranteed to capture the interest of the cultural traveller; its rich historical heritage, beautiful sandy beach and convenient location beside Cap Blanc Nez makes Calais much more than a simple starting point.
Calais is home to some sublime landmarks that warrant sufficient attention; the Town Hall is an exquisite example of architectural creativity with its filigreed bell tower and elaborate façade. The decorative detail of the building is usually something reserved for only ecclesiastical buildings, and the commanding craftsmanship makes the Town Hall an arresting vision.
Steeped in historical heritage, Calais’ most iconic monument is undoubtedly Rodin’s Six Burghers; erected to commemorate the final year of the Hundred Years War, the surreal statues depicts prominent citizens and men awaiting execution. It’s an emotionally charged piece that is guaranteed to elicit emotion and intrigue.
Enjoy an alternative cultural experience at the Cite Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode; this unique museum allows visitors to gain a fascinating insight into the world of lace-making, an industry that made Calais a thriving industrial centre in times gone by. The informative and intriguing exhibit follows the journey of this intricate material and culminates in 100 year old machine noisily create a lacy specimen.
The innovative and international cuisine served within the elegant walls of Le Channel is unanimously hailed as some of the regions finest; French charm is combined with culinary proficiency and the architectural centre piece gives the restaurant an additional element of style. Stare down the transparent circular section at the entrance at over 1000 bottles of fine wine before savouring the delicate flavours of sublime turbot and langoustine dishes.(3 Boulevard de la Résistance, Calais)