Boulogne-sur-Mer (French pronunciation: [bulɔɲ syʁ mɛʁ] (listen)), often called Boulogne (UK: /bəˈlɔɪn/, Latin: Gesoriacum or Bononia, Picard: Boulonne-su-Mér, Dutch: Bonen), is a coastal city in Northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department of Pas-de-Calais. Boulogne lies on the Côte d'Opale, a touristic stretch of French coast on the English Channel between Calais and Normandy, and the most visited location in the region after Lille conurbation. Boulogne is its department's second-largest city after Calais, and the 60th-largest in France. It is also the country's largest fishing port, specialising in herring.
Boulogne is an ancient town, and was the major Roman port for trade and communication with its Province of Britain. After a period of Germanic presence following the collapse of the Empire, Boulogne was at the centre of the County of Boulogne of the Kingdom of France during the Middle Ages, and was occupied by the Kingdom of England numerous times due to conflict between the two nations. In 1805 it was a staging area for Napoleon's troops for several months during his planned invasion of the United Kingdom.
A general view from the Brecquerecque Quarter:
The lighthouse, the bell tower and the English Channel
Location of Boulogne-sur-Mer
|Canton||Boulogne-sur-Mer-1 and 2|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Frédéric Cuvillier (PS)|
|8.42 km2 (3.25 sq mi)|
|• Rank||2nd in the department, 11th in the region and 60th in France|
|• Density||5,100/km2 (13,000/sq mi)|
| • Metro|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||0–110 m (0–361 ft)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
The French name Boulogne derives from the Latin Bononia, which was also the Roman name for Bologna in Italy. Both places—and Vindobona (Vienna)—are thought to have derived from native Celtic placenames, with bona possibly meaning "foundation", "citadel", or "granary". The French epithet sur-Mer ("on-the-sea") distinguishes the city from Boulogne-Billancourt on the edge of Paris. In turn, the Boulogne in Boulogne-Billancourt originates from a church there dedicated to Notre-Dame de Boulogne, "Our Lady of Boulogne[-sur-Mer]".
Boulogne-sur-Mer is in Northern France, at the edge of the Channel and in the mouth of the river "Liane". As the crow flies, Boulogne is approximately at 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Calais, 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Folkestone, 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Lille and Amiens, 150 kilometres (93 miles) from Rouen and 215 kilometres (134 miles) from Paris.
Boulogne is a relatively important city of the North, exercising an influence on the "Boulonnais" territory (74 towns and villages which surround Boulogne). The coast consists of important tourist natural sites, like the capes Gris Nez and Blanc Nez (which are the closest points of France to England), and attractive seaside resorts like Wimereux, Wissant, Hardelot and Le Touquet. The hinterland is mainly rural and agricultural.
Boulogne is close to the A16 motorway (Paris-Amiens-Calais-Dunkerque). Metropolitan bus services are operated by "Marinéo". The company Flixbus propose a bus line connecting Paris to Boulogne. There are coach services to Calais and Dunkerque.
The city has railway stations, which the most important is Boulogne-Ville station, located in the south of the city. Boulogne-Tintelleries station is used by regional trains. It is located near the university and the city centre. The former Boulogne-Maritime and Boulogne-Aéroglisseurs stations served as a boat connection (to England) for the railway.
The city is divided into several parts :
Boulogne-sur-Mer has an oceanic climate that has chilly winters not far above freezing and cool summers tempered by its exposure to the sea. Considering its position, the climate is quite cold in relation to south and east coast locations in England year round. Precipitation is also higher than in said southern English locations.
|Climate data for Boulogne-sur-Mer (1981–2010 averages)|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.0
|Average high °C (°F)||6.8
|Average low °C (°F)||2.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−13.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||67.9
|Average precipitation days||13.0||9.5||10.3||9.4||9.3||8.5||8.3||7.9||10.2||12.7||13.3||12.9||125.3|
|Average snowy days||3.4||3.3||2.4||0.8||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.0||1.8||12.7|
|Average relative humidity (%)||87||85||84||81||81||81||82||81||82||83||85||87||83.3|
|Source #1: Météo France|
|Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity and snowy days, 1961–1990)|
The foundation of the city known to the Romans as Gesoriacum is credited to the Celtic Boii. In the past,it was sometimes conflated with Caesar's Portus Itius, but that is now thought to have been a site near Calais which has since silted up. From the time of Claudius's invasion in AD 43, Gesoriacum formed the major port connecting the rest of the empire to Britain. It was the chief base of the Roman navy's Britannic fleet until the rebellion of its admiral Carausius in 286. As part of the imperial response, the junior emperor Constantius Chlorus successfully besieged it by land and sea in 293. The name of the settlement was changed to Bononia at some point between the sack of Gesoriacum and 310, possibly as a consequence of its refounding or possibly by the replacement of the sacked and lower-lying city by another nearby community.
In the Middle Ages Boulogne was the capital of an eponymous county, founded in the mid-9th century. An important Count, Eustace II, assisted William the Conqueror in his conquest of England. His wife founded the city's Notre Dame cathedral, which became a site of pilgrimage from the 12th century onwards, attended by fourteen French kings and five of England. It was an important whaling center prior to 1121. The city survived on herring fishing and received its municipal charter from Count Renaud of Dammartin in 1203.
The area was fought over by the French and the English, including several English occupations during the course of the Hundred Years War. In 1492 Henry VII laid siege to Boulogne before the conflict was ended by the Peace of Étaples. Boulogne was again occupied by the English from 1544 to 1550. In 1550, The Peace of Boulogne ended the war of England with Scotland and France. France bought back Boulogne for 400,000 crowns. A culture of smuggling was present in the city until 1659, when French gains in Flanders from the Treaty of the Pyrenees moved the border northwards.
Boulogne received its current status as a subprefecture of the Pas-de-Calais department in 1800 due to the territorial re-organisation in Revolutionary France. Three years later, it was given the title of an Imperial City (Ville Impériale).
The 19th century was a prosperous one for Boulogne, which became a bathing resort for wealthy Parisians after the completion of a railway line to the French capital. In the 19th century, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne was reconstructed by the priest Benoit Haffreingue, who claimed to have received a call from God to reconstruct the town's ruined basilica. During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon amassed La Grande Armée in Boulogne to invade the United Kingdom in 1805. However, his plans were halted by other European matters and the supremacy of the Royal Navy.
A nephew of Bonaparte, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, later Napoleon III, returned to France in secret from his exile in Britain, passing through Boulogne in August 1840. He was later jailed for trying to lead a revolt in Strasbourg.
Boulogne, was one of the three base ports most extensively used by the Commonwealth armies on the Western Front throughout the First World War. It was closed and cleared on 27 August 1914 when the Allies were forced to fall back ahead of the German advance, but was opened again in October and from that month to the end of the war, Boulogne and Wimereux formed one of the chief hospital areas.
Until June 1918, the dead from the hospitals at Boulogne itself were buried in the Cimetiere de L'Est, one of the town's cemeteries, the Commonwealth graves forming a long, narrow strip along the right hand edge of the cemetery. In the spring of 1918, it was found that space was running short in the Eastern Cemetery in spite of repeated extensions to the south, and the site of the new cemetery at Terlincthun was chosen.
It also was the site of an Allied (French and British) armaments production conference.
On 22 May 1940 during the Battle of France, two British Guards battalions and some pioneers attempted to defend Boulogne against an attack by the German 2nd Panzer Division. Despite fierce fighting, the British were overwhelmed and the survivors were evacuated by Royal Navy destroyers while under direct German gunfire. On 15 June 1944, 297 planes (155 Avro Lancasters, 130 Handley Page Halifaxes, and 12 De Havilland Mosquitos) of the Royal Air Force bombed Boulogne harbour to suppress German naval activity following D-Day. Some of the Lancasters carried Tallboy bombs, and as a result, the harbour and the surrounding area were completely destroyed. In August 1944 the town was declared a "fortress" by Adolf Hitler, but it succumbed to assault and liberation by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division in September. In one incident, a French civilian guided the Canadians to a "secret passage" leading into the walled old town and by-passing the German defenders.
To replace the destroyed urban infrastructure, affordable housing and public facility projects in functional, brutalist building styles were carried out in the 1950s and 60s.
Boulogne's 12th-century belfry is one of 56 in northeastern France and Belgium with shared World Heritage Site status. It is the oldest building in the upper city, and currently serves as the home to a museum of Celtic remains from the Roman occupation. Founded as the Count's dungeon, the top floor was added in the 13th century. Damage by a fire in 1712 was built over by 1734.
Other than the belfry there are also the following sights:
Boulogne-sur-Mer is an important fishing port, with 7,000 inhabitants deriving part, or all, of their livelihoods from fishing.
IFREMER (the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea) and the Pasteur Institute are located in Boulogne Port.
In 1905, the first World Esperanto Congress was held in Boulogne-sur-Mer, where the historic Declaration of Boulogne was ratified. L. L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, was among the attendees. In 2005, there was an anniversary celebration to mark the centenary with more than 500 attendees.
|2014–2020||Frédéric Cuvillier||PS||Deputy, Minister|
|2004–2012||Frédéric Cuvillier||PS||Deputy, Minister|
|1996–2004||Guy Lengagne||PS||Deputy, Minister|
|1977–1989||Guy Lengagne||PS||Deputy, Minister|
|Past mayors are unknown.|
Boulogne-sur-Mer hosts one of the oldest Universités de l'été - summer courses in French language and culture. It is known as the Université d'été de Boulogne-sur-Mer.
The Saint-Louis building of the University of the Côte d'Opale's Boulogne campus opened its doors in 1991, on the site of the former St. Louis Hospital, the front entrance to which remains a predominant architectural feature. Its 6 major specialisms are Modern Languages, French Literature, Sport, Law, History and Economics. The university is situated in the town centre, about 5 minutes from the Boulogne Tintelleries railway station.
Two health centres are located in Boulogne, the public Hospital Duchenne and the private Clinique de la côte d'opale.
Boulogne's football club, US Boulogne Côte d'Opale (US refers to Union Sportive), is one of the oldest in France due to the city's proximity to England, founded in 1898. The club currently play in the third tier, the Championnat National, and host home matches at the 14,500-capacity Stade de la Libération. Boulogne native and FIFA World Cup finalist Franck Ribéry began his career at the club.
As an international maritime port on the English Channel (La Manche), the town of Boulogne-sur-Mer has European and American influences in local cuisine. They include:
Boulogne-sur-Mer is twinned with:
The A16 autoroute – also known as L'Européenne and forming between Abbeville and Dunkirk a part of the larger Autoroute des estuaires – is a motorway in northern France.
The motorway, which has a total length of 319 km (198 mi), starts at L'Isle-Adam in Île-de-France and ends at the Belgian frontier near Bray-Dunes, serving en route Beauvais, Amiens and Abbeville in Picardy, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais and Dunkirk in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. From Abbeville, the A16 runs parallel to the English Channel and then the North Sea coast.
The motorway was built in the 1990s to relieve the congested RN1 between Paris and the Côte d'Opale (Boulogne and Calais). Between L'Isle-Adam and Boulogne it is operated by the Société des Autoroutes du Nord et de l'Est de la France (SANEF) and is tolled. From Boulogne to the Belgian border the road is managed by the Direction Départementale de l'Équipement (DDE), which does not impose a toll.Ancient Diocese of Boulogne
The former French Catholic diocese of Boulogne existed from 1567 to the French Revolution. It was created after the diocese of Thérouanne was suppressed because of war damage to the see; effectively this was a renaming. The Concordat of 1801 suppressed the diocese of Boulogne, transferring its territory to the diocese of Arras. The seat was the Boulogne Cathedral, demolished in 1793.Arrondissement of Boulogne-sur-Mer
The arrondissement of Boulogne-sur-Mer is an arrondissement of France in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region. Since the January 2017 reorganization of the arrondissements of Pas-de-Calais, it has 74 communes.Arrondissements of the Pas-de-Calais department
The 7 arrondissements of the Pas-de-Calais department are:
Arrondissement of Arras, (prefecture of the Pas-de-Calais department: Arras) with 358 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 263,144 in 2013.
Arrondissement of Béthune, (subprefecture: Béthune) with 104 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 285,789 in 2013.
Arrondissement of Boulogne-sur-Mer, (subprefecture: Boulogne-sur-Mer) with 74 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 161,821 in 2013.
Arrondissement of Calais, (subprefecture: Calais) with 52 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 118,248 in 2013.
Arrondissement of Lens, (subprefecture: Lens) with 50 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 358,694 in 2013.
Arrondissement of Montreuil, (subprefecture: Montreuil) with 164 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 112,709 in 2013.
Arrondissement of Saint-Omer, (subprefecture: Saint-Omer) with 89 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 164,800 in 2013.Augustin Gensse
Augustin Gensse (born 10 August 1983) is a French professional tennis player.Boulogne Sur Mer
Boulogne Sur Mer is a town in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. It is in San Isidro Partido and forms part of the Greater Buenos Aires urban conurbation, 26 km (16,25 mi) north of Buenos Aires. It has a population of 89,046 (2001 INDEC census). The town is named after the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France, where the Argentine general José de San Martín died in 1850.Boulonnais (land area)
The Boulonnais (French pronunciation: [bu.lɔ.nɛ]) is a coastal area of northern France, around Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer. It has a curved belt of chalk downs which run into the sea at both ends, and geologically is the east end of the Weald-Artois Anticline.Canton of Boulogne-sur-Mer-1
The canton of Boulogne-sur-Mer-1 is an administrative division of the Pas-de-Calais department, in northern France. It was created at the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015. Its seat is in Boulogne-sur-Mer.It consists of the following communes:
WimilleCanton of Boulogne-sur-Mer-2
The canton of Boulogne-sur-Mer-2 is an administrative division of the Pas-de-Calais department, in northern France. It was created at the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015. Its seat is in Boulogne-sur-Mer.It consists of the following communes:
Christophe Lattaignant (born 18 September 1971 in Boulogne-sur-Mer) is a French rowing cox. He competed for France at the 2004 Summer Olympics and won four medals at World Rowing Championships from 1995 through 2001.Gare de Boulogne-Ville
Gare de Boulogne-Ville is one of the railway stations serving the town Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais department, northern France. The other station is Gare de Boulogne-Tintelleries.Henri Émile Sauvage
Henri Émile Sauvage (22 September 1842 in Boulogne-sur-Mer – 3 January 1917 in Boulogne-sur-Mer) was a French paleontologist, ichthyologist, and herpetologist. He was a leading expert on Mesozoic fish and reptiles.He worked as a curator at the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle in Boulogne-sur-Mer, and published extensively on Late Jurassic dinosaurs and other vertebrates from the Boulonnais region of northern France. He made important contributions involving vertebrate palaeontology in Portugal, describing in 1897, Suchosaurus girardi from jaw fragments found in that country.From 1883 to 1896 he served as director of the station aquicole in Boulogne-sur-Mer. He was a member of the Société géologique de France.
In 1893 Philippe Thomas published the palaeontology results of the Tunisian Scientific Exploration Mission (1885–86) in six instalments plus an atlas, giving the work of Victor-Auguste Gauthier (sea urchins), Arnould Locard (Mollusca), Auguste Péron (Brachiopods, Bryozoa and Pentacrinitess) and Henri Émile Sauvage (fish).The plesiosaurid species Lusonectes sauvagei commemorates his name, as do the crustacean species Pseudanthessius sauvagei and the gecko species Bavayia sauvagii.Mickaël Bourgain
Mickaël Bourgain (born 28 May 1980 in Boulogne-sur-Mer) is a French track cyclist, who won a bronze medal in the men's team sprint race at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens together with Laurent Gané and Arnaud Tournant, and a bronze medal in the men's individual sprint at the 2008 Summer Olympics.Operation J V
Operation J V was a British Commando raid over the night of 11/12 April 1942, during the Second World War. It was carried out by two men Captain Gerald Montanaro, accompanied by Trooper Preece of 101 (Folbot) Troop, No. 6 Commando. The two men paddled a two-man canoe into Boulogne harbour, planted a limpet mine on a German tanker and withdrew unseen.S.O.M.B.
Stade Olympique Maritime Boulonnais, commonly known as SOMB, is a French professional basketball club based in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. The team currently plays in the French third division, the Nationale Masculine 1.Stéphane Lannoy
Stéphane Laurent Lannoy (born 18 September 1969 in Boulogne-sur-Mer) is a French football referee. Lannoy played football at an early age before moving into officiating matches. He has been a FIFA international referee since 2006. He lives in Sailly-sur-la-Lys and works as a video games distributor. He has refereed games at the 2008 Olympics, in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup and qualifiers for the UEFA Euro 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup.He was selected as a referee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Lannoy refereed the group stage match between The Netherlands and Denmark and the match between Brazil and Ivory Coast. He was also picked as one of the referees for Euro 2012. On 28 June 2012, Lannoy refereed the Euro 2012 semifinal between Italy and Germany, won 2-1 by Italy. He booked Mario Balotelli, in accordance with UEFA guidelines, for taking his shirt off after a goal celebration.US Boulogne
Union Sportive de Boulogne-sur-Mer Côte d'Opale (commonly referred to as US Boulogne or simply Boulogne) is a French association football club based in the commune of Boulogne-sur-Mer. The club was founded in 1898 and currently plays in Championnat National, the third division of French football, having been relegated from Ligue 2 during the 2011–12 season.
The club was formed in 1898 and its achievements are minor with their biggest feat consisting of reaching the semi-finals during the 1936–37 edition of the Coupe de France. Boulogne play their home matches at the Stade de la Libération, which seats 15,004 having previously seated only 7,000 prior to its renovation in 2007.Vieux-Boulogne
Vieux-Boulogne (also known as Sablé du Boulonnais) is an unpasteurized, unpressed cow's-milk cheese made in the Pas-de-Calais département around the town of Boulogne-sur-Mer in France. It was developed in 1982 by Antoine Bernard and Philippe Olivier .
This artisanal cheese is square in shape, at around 11 cm (4.3 in) across and 4 cm (1.6 in) high, and weighs up to 500 g (18 oz). It has a soft, elastic central pâte, surrounded by a moist, red-orange washed rind that is washed in beer during production. The cheese is pre-salé (pre-salted).
Vieux-Boulogne is famed for its strong smell, and in November 2004 was found by researchers at Cranfield University to be the "smelliest" of 15 French and British cheeses that they tested. A follow-up test done by the same institution using "electronic nose" sensors in March 2007 reaffirmed Vieux-Boulogne's status as the world's "smelliest" cheese.