The City of Boulogne is a popular destination, especially for travelers from England, where visitors find excellent seafood restaurants, a cobbled square, the ancient Church of St. Nicolas (protector of sailors), and Haute Ville, the Port of Boulogne-sur-Mer’s oldest section. Behind the old city walls, visitors will find a 13th Century bell tower, law courts, chateau, and town hall.
The old town is still the religious and administrative center of the Port of Boulogne-sur-Mer. The Rue de Lille begins at the square and goes to the Town Hall. On the way are many trendy shops and great restaurants. Visitors will find stone cannon balls launched by Henry VIII in the Cathedral’s crypt.
The 13th Century ramparts and foundations of the ancient Roman walls, including four gates, surround old town. In the corner of old town is the 13th Century Chateau, complete with moats and water lilies. Visitors will also enjoy the gardens and cloisters at the City Library in the Annunciates and the Maison de la Beuriere that, being an actual fisherman’s home, portrays the life of the fishermen of old.
The NAUSICAA Aquarium has interactive displays and scenery from the Mediterranean area. The NAUSICAA is an adventure in under-water exploration, with giant aquaria, special effects, and attractions that take visitors to the heart of the world’s oceans. Activities include ever-changing exhibitions, live shows, films, workshops, and a multi-media library. The Port of Boulogne-sur-Mer’s La Matelote is the best place to go for great food and walks down the beach.
The Colonne de la Grande Armee boasts a statue of Napoleon and panoramic views of the city and, on clear days, Dover Castle across the channel. Also remaining from the days of Napoleon’s great plan to invade England is a powder magazine, a square brick building with air holes where 120 powder kegs were stored.