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


Cherbourg, a town, fortress, and first-class naval arsenal in the department of Manche, lies a few miles to the eastward of Cape La Hague. The commencement of its development as a modern naval fortress took place in 1803, under Napoleon I., and the works were not finished until 1858. The place lies at the bottom of a broad bay, across which stretches a magnificent breakwater, with four heavily armed forts upon it. Between the western end of the breakwater and the shore lies a detached fort, and at the extremity of each arm of the bay is another powerful work. There are three fine basins for ships, and eight large dry docks. On the land side the place is fortified as strongly as towards the sea. It is in charge of a Prefet Maritime, who is usually a vice-admiral, and who is in command not only of Cherbourg but also of Dunkerque and Le Havre. Cherbourg was in 1758 seized and destroyed by the English. It is the Caesaris Burgum of the Romans.