Places to visit | Local area map | rail travel*
on Calais-Dunkerque line


River tours to Gravelines, Watten or along the Bourbourg Canal
bourbourg canal quay
Building boat-stop quay facilities by the canal as part of an adult training scheme

Historic fortified town
Bourbourg is a now a quiet small town on the Canal de Bourbourg which runs parallel to the coast between the River Aa, Dunkerque and the Belgian border.

A new boat-stop quay provides facilties for leisure boaters touring the region's canals and waterways to stop at the town. The 18th century canal was once important for carrying agricultural produce to Dunkerque, avoiding the hazards of the North Sea coast.

Country Walks
You can walk along the canal which skirts the old town walls - built by Spanish king Philip II as part of his border defences for Flanders. There are also footpaths and cycle routes out into the attractive flat countryside typical of the coastal area between Calais and Dunkerque.

bourbourg jail
Visit Bourbourg's 18th century jail

16th century Manoir du Withof

Town Jail
Originally built in 1539 under Spanish rule, the three-story 18th century prison building in the main square includes several dungeons and strongrooms. Above the entrance door is a sundial with the motto: "Qua hora non putatis" - "no-one knows the time."

Other interesting old buildings include the gothic church (Eglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste), parts of which date from the 13th century; the old Fishmarket (Halle au poisson) which dates from 1587 and has twice-weekly fresh fish markets; and a 16th century fortified farmhouse, the Manoir du Withof , now renovated as a Gite de France B&B (ref.:1123) - see 'where to stay'.

Details of places of interest and walks from the Tourist Office.

Bourbourg giants
Bourbourg's "giants" lead a festive processions in the town square

Town Giants
Gédéon, Arthurine and new Florentine lead the procession of visiting "giants" from other towns in their annual festival each June, when locals and visitors join in the festivities.

Weekly markets
The town's market day is Tuesday morning; fish markets are on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and there is a Christmas market in the Fishmarket.

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Weblinks and more information
Tourist Office
Place du Général-de-Gaulle
Tél : 00 33 (0)
Fax : 00 33 (0)

Local area map:

Click on places for more information

Places to visit
Port Museum - Dunkerque

Background Information:
Waterways - cruise the region's canals
Giants - background to this colourful tradition
Fishing - the North's fishermen and food from the sea
History of Flanders - Spanish rule in the region

Why not try this newfeature?
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QUICK TOUR round Flanders Côte d'Opale, starting with Dunkerque Port Museum...



Dunkerque Last updated 24th April 2002/ 7th March 2000 © Copyright Invicta Media 1999-2002