France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Museums & Theater in Calais, France
Calais has several museums and a beautiful historic theater.




Like most towns in Normandy, Calais has a World War II Museum, called Le Musée Mémoire 39-45. It is located in the Parc St-Pierre, just down from the Hôtel de Ville and the statue of the Burghers of Calais.

It is an unusual museum, in that it is housed in a former German bunker, built after Calais was taken on May 26, 1940. Wandering through the rooms visitors can see both military items and displays of everyday life.

Calais also has a Museum of Fine Arts, just across from the Richelieu Park in the center of the city. In addition to its collection of paintings, the Museum also has a collection of works by Rodin. Rodin did the famous statue of the Burghers of Calais, which you can visit near the Hôtel de Ville in Calais (and there is also a version at the Musée Rodin in Paris).

Normandy is known for fine lacework, and lace (dentelle) has been made in Calais since the early 19th century. La Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode (map) is the Lace & Fashion Museum, devoted to lace making and fashion. Housed in a 19th century factory (with modern addition), the Museum explains the history of lace making and the various techniques used, both historically and today. Demonstrations of lace making show how the different machiens worked and the variety they could produce.

The area around the Hôtel de Ville is the historic center of the lace making industry. The golden age of lace making in Calais included the late 19th century and the early 20th century, when the city had more than 500 lace makers!

Although not a museum, Calais is also known for its lovely theater, also in the lace making area. Le Grand Théâtre, a beautiful Italian-inspired building that dates from 1903. Along with the Gerard Philipe Cultural Center, it offers a variety of music, theater, and dance programs.

About Calais

What to See & Do in Calais

Calais Hotels

Calais Restaurants

Calais Tourist Information

Calais Transport

About Normandy

Normandy Food & Drink


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Lace Museum, Calais, France

Above, Cité Internationale de la Dentelle
et de la Mode (Lace Museum).

Below, Le Grand Théâtre.


Theater, Calais, France

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