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A beachhead towards England for Caesar, then Napoleon, Boulogne has one of the best preserved fortified structures in France.
The Romans built a rectangular enclosure here in the 2nd century, on the base of which Philippe Auguste’s son built the ramparts in the 13th century.
He also built a strong polygonal castle in one of the corners. This enclosure still separates the upper and lower parts of the town today and has become a pleasantly shady place for a stroll.
The castle was transformed in the 17th and 18th centuries ad currently houses a museum with, among other things, the largest collection of Eskimo masks in Europe.
Do not miss the chance to end your visit in the old town of Boulogne by climbing the belfry, the former keep of long-gone castle. From above, you can admire the town and port, and gain a direct point of view on the curious Notre-Dame basilica, an eclectic mix built in the 19th century.
Audio-guides are available for tourists every day at the Château-museum from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.