Burghers of Calais
Beffroi de Calais
Gilded statues glint in the sun atop Calais' 78m-high belfry, inaugurated in 1925, which like the adjacent hôtel de ville melds Flemish...
Musée Mémoire 1939–1945
Housed in a massive concrete bunker built as a German naval headquarters, this WWII museum displays thousands of period artefacts,...
Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode
Innovative and surprisingly interesting exhibits trace the history of lace making – the industry that once made Calais a textile...
Bistro-style French dishes, made with fresh ingredients, are served in a classic dining room that feels like 1930s Paris. Our favourites...
place du Soldat Inconnu · interesting places nearby
Burghers of Calais information
In front of Calais' ornate city hall stands the first cast of Rodin's famous sculpture Les Bourgeois de Calais (The Burghers of Calais; 1895), which portrays six local leaders (burghers) as they surrender to besieging English forces (the year is 1347) knowing that they will soon be executed – but hoping that their sacrifice will mean their fellow Calaisiens will be spared.
Edward III's wife, Philippa of Hainault, persuaded the English king that killing the hostages would be bad karma, so in the end both the brave burghers and the people of Calais survived.