Index | Calais

Calais: in Middle Latin Calalea or Calesis. A noted seaport and fortress of France, situated on the strait of Dover near its narrowest part. While only a fishing village in the ninth century, it was greatly enlarged and improved by Baldwin IV. in 997 and by the count of Boulogne in 1224. In 1347 it was captured by the English who developed it into an important trade center, retaining possession until its recapture by the French in 1558.