CALAIS (ka-la'), FRANCE. This seaport of France, on the Strait of Dover, was an outpost of English power during the time of the Hundred Years' War.
It was captured by Edward III of England, in 1347, after a siege of 11 months, and came to be regarded as the brightest jewel in the English crown. This boast was written over one of its own gates : Then shall Frenchmen Calais win, When iron and lead like cork shall swim.
However, it was recaptured by France in 1558, in the time of Queen Mary Tudor, who declared as she lay on her death-bed that Calais would be found graven on her heart.
Calais today has a good harbor and is connected with Dover by steamer and by a submarine tele graph. It is one of the chief ports for passengers coming from or going to England, and it is also a manufacturing center. It is defended by a ring of forts and regions of marshy ground on the south and east, which can be easily flooded.
In the World War of 1914-18, Calais was one of the French" Chan nel ports" which the Germans tried again and again to capture. Had they succeeded they could have hindered the ship ment of English troops and supplies to France, and even bombarded English coast towns with their long-range guns.
Population, about 75,000.