CALAIS, ka-le, France, a seaport town and fortified place of the first class, in the depart ment of 20 miles northeast from Boulogne on the Strait of Dover, and about 21 miles east-southeast of the port of Dover. It is situated at the junction of several canals, and by railway is directly connected with Paris, from which it is distant 185 miles. The town con sists of two portions, almost entirely separated by basins or water areas connected with the harbor accommodation. These are Calais proper or the old town farther to the north, and Saint Pierre or the new town lying to the south, now a great manufacturing centre, and incor porated with the other portion only in 1885. The whole is enclosed by a new line of circuits vallation, and is also defended by a citadel and seven detached forts and batteries. On the land side the country is flat and marshy, and can be laid under water to strengthen the de fenses. The streets are broad and well paved, the houses substantially built of brick, and the hotels in general excellent. The chief square is the Place d'Armes, where the old Hotel de Ville, built in 1740 (restored in 1867), is situated. The new town hall is on Place Centrale. The principal church, Notre Dame, contains a fine altar-piece in Genoa marble. Other noteworthy objects are the Hotel de Guise, originally founded by Edward III of England; the column erected to commemorate the landing of Louis XVIII in 1814; barracks; and the Hotel Dessin. Calais is the seat of a commercial court and chamber of commerce, and has a college, a commercial school, school of design, school of hydrography, etc.
The harbor is accessible at all states of the tide, and is entered between two long piers. The works include extensive graving dock and wet dock accommodation. Calais is one of the principal ports for the debarkation of travelers from England, there being day and night com munication with Dover by steamboat. There is a submarine cable to England from this port. The manufactures of the town are important. The silk and cotton tulle or bobbinet trade em ploys thousands of hands. Various other in dustries are also carried on, such as flax spinning, lace-making, hosiery, engineering, net making, brewing, etc. Vessels are built here, and fitted out for the cod, mackerel and herring fisheries. It is the entrep6t for an important district, and a considerable trade is carried on in grain, wool, wine, sugar, timber, coal, etc., and not less than 55,000,000 of eggs are annually exported to England. Calais is a town of con siderable antiquity. In 1347 it was taken by Edward III of England, after a siege of 11 months. The famous incident of the six bur gesses having their lives saved at the inter cession of Queen Philippa belongs to this siege. In 1558 it was retaken by the Duke of Guise, being then the last relic of the French dominions of the Plantagenets, which at one time com prehended the half of France. Pop. 72,322.