France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   The Burghers of Calais, France
This beautiful sculpture by Rodin is a symbol of the city.




Do you remember the story of the Burghers of Calais? It commemorates an act of bravery and patriotism of six leaders of Calais in 1347, during the Hundred Years War. After the siege of Calais, Edward offered to spare the city if six of its leaders would surrender to him.

Auguste Rodin did the sculpture in 1889, and it stands in the gardens facing the Hôtel de Ville. It is one of Rodin's most famous works. I find it incredibly poignant and moving.

This sculpture depicts the six wealthy citizen leaders who offered to sacrifice themselves to save the city from England's Edward III during the Hundred Years War.

One of the town's wealthiest leaders, Eustache de Saint-Pierre, was the first volunteer, and five others joined him. The king insisted that they carry the keys to the city and have nooses around their necks, all of which is shown in the sculpture.

Burghers of Calais, France
Detail showing the agony and the dignity
of two of the burghers.

The sculpture captures the dignity, heroism, and sadness of these brave men (whose lives were spared when the Queen intervened). The Calais version was the first cast, but you can also see a statue of the Burghers of Calais at the Musée Rodin in Paris. More...

About Calais

What to See & Do in Calais

Calais Hotels

Calais Restaurants

Calais Transport

About Normandy

Normandy Food & Drink


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Burghers of Calais, France

Above, The Burghers of Calais, with the Hôtel de Ville in the background.


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