10 largest cities in France




Boulogne-sur-Mer Listening is a French commune, sub-prefecture of the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region. Its inhabitants are called the Boulonnais. With 40,874 intramural inhabitants at the last census in 2017, the city is the second in the department by its population behind Calais, and first by its population density. Boulogne-sur-Mer is also the center of an agglomeration of about 132,000 inhabitants, the 61st most populous urban area in the country.

Located on the edge of the English Channel, facing the English coast, the town is known to be the first fishing port in France, for having been an important connecting port with England until the end of the twentieth century (place aujourd ' hui occupied by Calais) and for its 2000 years of eventful history, mainly marked by the desires of conquest of Julius Caesar and Napoleon I. Classified as a "tourist resort", the one commonly called the "capital of the Opal Coast" is one of the main tourist destinations in the region thanks to its rich historical heritage, its beach and those of the neighboring seaside resorts. as well as at the national center of the sea Nausicaá, one of the most visited tourist sites north of Paris, considered as “the largest aquarium in Europe” since its last extension in 2018.


Places and monuments

Listed historical monuments of the walled city
The fortified town (also called the old town or upper town) was built on the site of a Roman camp which became the Gallo-Roman town of Gesoriacum, one of the bases of the “Classis Britannica”. Built by Philippe Hurepel de Clermont, son of the King of France Philippe Auguste, the fortifications that surround it and the castle (now a museum) constitute one of the best preserved medieval architectural groups in France. The bases of these ramparts are those of the Gallo-Roman ramparts.

Today a district of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the fortified city retains the dimensions and the historical layout of the orthogonal roads (cardo, decumanus, forum), the last vestiges of the castrum. It is home to many historical monuments:


Belfry: MH inscription by decree of June 10, 1926, UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2005. This was originally the keep of the first castle known to the Counts of Boulogne, attributed to Renaud de Dammartin (late 12th century ). Its rooms host a lapidary museum (stained glass window by Godefroy de Bouillon, stone and cast iron balls, wells, etc.)
Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception: classification by decree of March 26, 1982. It was built by Father Benoît-Agathon Haffreingue between 1827 and 1866 on the site of the cathedral razed in 1798. Its dome, 101 cm high m, can be seen for miles around. Visitors can discover the splendid Torlonia altar, a masterpiece of Italian mosaic, made in the Vatican workshops. Weighing 16 tons, it is made up of 147 kinds of marble and ornamental stones. Many works by Eugène Delaplanche are also presented there (statue of Notre-Dame de Boulogne, cenotaph of Abbé Haffreingue, altar of the Sacred Heart, etc.)
Crypt of the basilica: classification with the basilica. Its foundations date from Roman times. This one is very impressive by its dimensions (one of the largest crypts in France and Northern Europe), its rooms (low crypt, dome crypt, chapel of the Virgin ...), its covered walls. of frescoes (nineteenth-century "grisailles" and medieval paintings), its sculptures and its treasury of sacred art (including the reliquary of the Holy Blood, donated by Philippe le Bel in 1308).
Château d'Aumont: registration by decree of June 10, 1926, classification by decree of October 6, 1977. Today a castle-museum, it includes various collections: masks from Alaska, fifth world collection of Egyptian antiquities (after the museum of Cairo, the British Museum, the Louvre and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Turin), objects from Africa and Oceania, Roman and medieval sculptures, paintings by Georges Mathieu. The visitor discovers at the same time the Roman foundations of the building as well as the room of the Barbière (Gothic room vaulted with ribs), the count's room and the chapel. The ramparts are inscribed with the castle.
Imperial Palace, or Hôtel Desandrouin or des Androuins: registration by decree of September 20, 1946, partially classified by decree of June 27, 1984. Built in 1777 by Giraud Sannier for Viscount François-Joseph-Théodore Desandrouin, the First Consul stayed there briefly then Emperor Napoleon, Empress Marie-Louise of Austria and Tsar Alexander I.
Saint-Wilmer Abbey and Church: buildings containing the remains of the abbey and the church: registration by decree of January 11, 1944.
Fontaine aux Dauphins, rue de Lille: registration by decree of January 16, 1947.
Louis XVI fountain and pavilion, behind the Gayole gate: fountain, with the facade of the pavilion which surmounts it and the wall on which it leans over a length of approximately 10 meters on each side of the monument: inscription by decree of October 5, 1945.
Maison du Croissant, rue de Lille, facade and porch: registration by decree of April 5, 1948.
Entrance structures to the fortified town: Porte des Degrés, Porte Gayole (facade of the two towers which form the door, excluding the interior premises), Porte Neuve (or Porte de Calais or Porte Flamengue) and Porte des Dunes classified in 1905.