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


Calais, a fortified town and seaport of France, in the department of Pas-de-Calais, is situated on the Strait of Dover, which is here 21 miles in width. It is surrounded with forts and other defensive works, which are strengthened by the nature of the surrounding country, susceptible of being flooded in the event of invasion. It is regularly built, the houses being mainly of brick and the streets spacious and well paved. Among its notable structures are the Hotel Dessin, now a museum, the church of Notre Dame, and the Hotel de Ville. The importance of the town is chiefly derived from its being the chief landing-place for English travellers to the Continent, It has also extensive harbour accommodation, and does a large export trade. Among its industries are cotton and tulle manufactures. It was captured by Edward III. of England in 1374, and held by the English till 1558, being the last relic of the French territory under the sway of the Plantagenets.