BIRTH OF CALAIS:
The invasion of Gaul by the Romans made Calais very important. Being the closet point to England, it became the assembly area for several attempts of landing in Britain. This is where Caesar gathered a fleet of 800 to 1000 sailing vessels that, with 5 legions and 2000 horses, launched the conquest of England.
Calais was organised in 997 to a municipality by the count of Flanders. Under the feudal control of the counts of Flanders, boulogne and Artois, the harbor was improved and it contained a fleet of corsairs which hunted the British boats that adventured in its waters. Later on 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 was fortified by the Count of Boulogne in 1224.
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. But negotiations were fruitless and they never became allies.
Calais was in English hands until 1558 when Francois De Guise conquered it.
The Spanish Armada anchored off-shore overnight at Calais in 1588, on their way to invade England. English ships here they took the opportunity to prepare fire-ships, set them ablaze to drift into the middle of the Spanish fleet. The Spanish fleet hastily set sail on a disastrous journey up the east coast of England. As they went round the north of Scotland and Ireland in terrible gales most of their galleons were sunk.
In less a half century, Calais accumulated immense riches that tempted the greed and became the prey of the army of Archduke Albert, the prince seized Calais by surprise in 1596. Subject then to the Spanish during 2 years, Calais didn't become French again until 2 years later at the treaty of Vervins. Under the reign of Henri 4 the fortifications of Calais were increased. These were completed by Cardinal Richelieu with the construction of the Citadel and later by Vauban with new defensive works.
In the beginning of the 18th century the English fleet continued to menace the Calais corsairs.
The revolution didn't disturb the City of Calais, always too well occupied with the war with England which was always a problem. In 1805, Napoléon the 1st made Camp at Boulogne making important preparations in order to invade England and solve the English problem. To further ruin England, Napoléon enacted in 1807 the Continental Blockade.
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. It was the beginning of a real English invasion, but it was peaceful this time and has not stopped since.
In 1816 looms for lace making were smuggled into Calais from Nottingham. Until then, the English exacted the death penalty on anyone exporting the means of production of lace. Calais is now known to produce the best lace in the world. At the same time big changes were made in Calais in the form of a modern harbour.
The Watch Tower next to the square used by Calais market was occupied by watchers until 1905 and was used as a lighthouse between 1818 and 1849.
The town hall was built between 1911 and 1925 in the neo-flemish style of the 15th century. It has a 75 metre belfry and can be seen for miles.
After the Second World War, Calais was in ruins. It now is undergoing new growth.
When returning from France Audrey & George DeLange crossed the English Channel on a ferry leaving the port of Calais, France. The ferry took us to Dover, England; where we took a Train to London.
We were there in August of 1999.
To go from London, England to Calais, France or visa versa would give you an option of flying into two different international airports
You could use a London, England UK airport; or a Brussels (Bruxelles), Belgium airport.
There is the Calais Airport, otherwise known as Calais-Dunkerque Airport, located 7Km east of Calais center, on the north east coast. But it does not serve international traffic.
The London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL), located in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the world's busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic. It is the world's second busiest airport in total passenger traffic and the United Kingdom's largest and busiest airport.
Heathrow is only one of six airports serving the London area, along with Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Southend and City although only Heathrow and City Airports are located within Greater London.
There are numerous hotels in the London area.
There are several Guided Tour Agencies offering standard city, and historical tours of London and the surrounding area.
Getting to Brussels (Bruxelles), Belgium:
The Brussels Airport (IATA: BRU, ICAO: EBBR) (also called Brussel Nationaal/Bruxelles-National (Brussels National)) is the international airport located in Zaventem, 6 NM (11 km; 6.9 mi) northeast of Brussels, Belgium.
There are numerous flights into Brussels, Belgium and numerous hotels in Brussels and the Brussels area.
There are several Guided Tour Agencies offering standard city, and historical tours of Brussels and the surrounding area.
After arranging your flight we would suggest getting your hotel and then letting them arrange tours of the area for you. If you call the hotels Concierge Services ahead of your arrival, all of this can be pre-arranged for you.
We do this all the time. It is safe and it works!!! We have never experienced a problem doing it this way!
We have links to Priceline.com on our page so that you can arrange your flight and hotel in London or Brussels and the Brussels area.
|Waiting For The Coach To Calais||In Just Two Hours We Say "Farewell"!|
|Our First View Of Land|
From Our Ferry
|Audrey And George|
I'm Looking Over [To]
The White Cliffs Of Dover"
|Boat Docks and Town; |
Dover Castle On Top Of Cliff.
WOW! A Closeup Of The Castle|
What A View They Must Have!
|Back In London|
Waiting For The Train
|Here Comes The Train!|
There's Tower Bridge!"
|"And There's The...|
Tower Of London!"
|"Next Time, We'll Go 'The Orient Express'|
There's Their Building"!"
"Remember The Crown Jewels|
In The Tower Of London...
We've Seen So Much!"
|Our Last Tour Of London|
Audrey And Big Ben
And Big Ben!
|Back To Europe Trip Page
|Back To DeLange Home Page