Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Boulognesur Mer

Boulogne-sur-Mer, a seaport on the northwest coast of France, lat. 50° 43' N., long. 0° 43' W., in the department Pas-de-Calais, head of arrondissement and of canton, situated at the mouth of the Liane which flows into the Straits of Dover. It presents three great points of interest: 1st, it is the great seat of the French North Sea fishing trade; 2nd, as being one of the principal ports of debarkation from England; 3rd, as likely to be, when the new harbour is finished, a very important naval station.

The town, built upon the right bank of the Liane, is divided into the Upper and Lower towns. The Upper town is the ancient fortified Boulogne, and is surrounded by ramparts, through which you enter by a fine old gateway into the Place Godefroi, where are the Hotel de Ville, and the cathedral - modern - which, with its dome 300 feet high, contains a miraculous image of the Virgin. This image, according to tradition, arrived of its own accord in a boat at Boulogne, and has always been held in high veneration. The castle, built 1251, will be remembered as the prison of Louis Napoleon after the failure of his noted Boulogne expedition, in 1840. The ramparts have been planted with trees and form a pleasant promenade around the Upper town.

The Lower town contains the picturesque but somewhat dirty fishing-quarters, and the many hotels and shops which have grown out of the cross-channel traffic, and the great colony of English, who, for divers reasons - more in former times than now - wished to be out of England, and found Boulogne a pleasant spot, and one not too remote from their own shores. The fishing population form a striking feature in the daily life of Boulogne, and few can visit the town without admiring the springy walk and the quaint caps of the fishwives. One should not omit to visit the open market, by St. Nicholas' church, in the steep Grand' Rue which leads up to the ramparts, or the neighbouring village of Portaleis, with its distinct populace, who retain their own peculiar costume.

Three bridges over the Liane join Boulogne to its suburb of Capecure, where are the railway works and most of the factories. These are chiefly pottery, glass and tile works, salt and sugar refineries, spinning mills, steel pen factories, cement works, smelting furnaces, and iron foundries. There is an important iron foundry at a village a mile or two out of Boulogne. The new deep-sea harbour will be contained by a break-water of about 4,000 yards long, with a central mole of about 1,200 yards by 200 yards wide, and will accommodate the largest vessels at low water.

The sands of Boulogne make a pleasant bathing-ground and lounge; and of late a doctor has put them to a new use, by bringing scrofulous and rachitic children to the sands, and making them take a daily sand-bath (so to speak) in the sun. This has brought about some wonderful cures - whether they be the effect of the sand, or the sun, or the air, or all together. The Tintelleries make a pretty garden and recreation ground, and it is a pleasant walk out over the cliff to the Napoleon Column, erected partly to commemorate the first distribution (1804) of the cross of the Legion of Honour by Napoleon, and partly to commemorate the celebrated camp which was pitched on this spot when Napoleon formed the project of invading England by means of a flotilla of flat-bottomed boats. Boulogne is said to have been founded by Caligula, who built a lighthouse at Bononia. After different changes, it belonged, in 1435, to the Duke of Burgundy, and became a French possession in 1477, under Louis XL It was taken by Henry VIII. in 1544, but was restored to France in 1550. Godfrey de Bouillon was Count of Boulogne. The underground parts of the castle are of great archaeological interest.