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Calais(kälā`), city (1990 pop. 78,836), Pas-de-Calais dept., N France, in Picardy, on the Straits of Dover. An industrial center with a great variety of manufactures, it has been a major commercial seaport and a communications center with England since the Middle Ages. A major cross-channel ferry and hovercraft port, it is near the site of the Channel TunnelChannel Tunnel,
popularly called the "Chunnel," a three-tunnel railroad connection running under the English Channel, connecting Folkestone, England, and Calais, France. The tunnels are 31 mi (50 km) long. There are two rail tunnels, each 25 ft (7.
..... Click the link for more information. linking France with England. It was fortified (13th cent.) by the counts of Boulogne. In 1347, after a siege of 11 months, Calais fell to Edward III of England. A bronze monument by Rodin commemorates the famous episode of the six burghers who offered their lives to save the town; they were spared when Edward's queen, Philippa, interceded. The city remained in English hands until it was recovered (1558) by the French under François de Lorraine, the duke of Guise. It was the scene of much fighting (1940, 1944) in World War II. A Gothic church survived.
a city and port in northern France, on the Strait of Dover. Administrative center of the department of Pas-de-Calais. Population, 75, 000 (1968).
Calais is a transportation center of international importance, through which passes maritime passenger traffic to Dover in Great Britain. It is also a fishing and commercial center. There are metallurgical, ship-repair, electrotechnical, and chemical enterprises in the city. Calais also produces its traditional lace, tulle, and embroidery.
The city grew out of a fishing village in the late ninth and the tenth century. In the 13th century it was fortified by the Count of Boulogne. From the 13th century it played a significant role in the trade between France and England. In 1347, during the Hundred Years’ War, Calais was captured by the English after a lengthy siege; it remained a stronghold of the English in their later struggle against France. In 1558, Calais was captured by the Duke of Guise and reunited with France. The Cateau-Cam-bresis Peace of 1559 confirmed Calais as French.