Saturday, July 19, 2014

Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

Boulogne-sur-Mer in France is a port town on the English Channel. It was the main port to Britain for the Romans, originally founded by Julius Caesar for his invasion of the islands in 55 and 54 BC. The medieval walls stand on the stones laid by the Romans two thousand years ago.

The walls of the city

Roman rubble from the late 200s

The walls have four gates. We entered town near the church and the medieval castle.

City gate

The gate from inside

The castle dates from the 13th century and is now home to a fine museum. The children weren't up for a museum, so we had a picnic lunch down by the castle moat.

Approaching the castle from inside the city

The castle courtyard (not busy on a Saturday morning)

More of the courtyard

The moat as seen from the causeway to the castle

Moat's eye view of castle, causeway, and Notre-Dame Basilica

After lunch, we fed some crumbs to the fish in the moat, who were immensely entertaining to J and L. We were surprised to see a moat-level entrance to the castle which was no longer in use. We couldn't figure out the value, other than convenience for workers, of a downstairs exit.

Doors in the causeway supports

View through the doors--with one long plank we could have got into the museum for free!

We also saw a nice fountain and some fun buildings on our wanderings.


A sharp building

Following in Caesar's footsteps, Napoleon planned to invade England from here, but it didn't happen. The house where he stayed is still extant and a memorial to the Grand Army is near the town square, but we never made it that far into town. It probably would have been easy to find but we were on our way to the ferry in Calais and didn't have enough time to explore further.

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