The Burghers of Calais, Calais

#5 of 45 in Things to do in Calais
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
One of the most famous sculptures by Auguste Rodin, The Burghers of Calais serves as a monument to an event in 1347 during the Hundred Years' War, when Calais, an important French port on the English Channel, was under siege by the English. Edward III offered to spare the people of the city if its top leaders would surrender themselves to him. One of the wealthiest, Eustache de Saint Pierre, volunteered first, and five others joined him. It was this moment, and this poignant mix of defeat and heroic self-sacrifice, that Rodin captured in his sculpture, scaled somewhat larger than life. The burghers expected to be executed, but their lives were spared by the intervention of England's queen. By using our Calais driving holiday planner, you can arrange your visit to The Burghers of Calais and other attractions in Calais.
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The Burghers of Calais reviews

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340 reviews
  • It is the only work of art I think I have being able to touch, beautiful sculpture and a hell of a story. Read up on it and you can see the English are not popular in them olden days.  more »
  • We were there for about a second honestly it was pretty disappointment, we stood in front of the statue for 2 seconds without any awe etc which we kind of expected seeing as in its meant to be such a....  more »
  • Rodin's statues (a group of 6) are well worth delaying your autoroute journey for. Easy and free access on a plinth in the car park outside the town hall. A tribute to the town leaders of Calais who bravely resisted invasion and then had to surrender themselves in full expectation of death. Rodin portrays a range of emotional responses in their facial expressions and body language. The hands and feet are proportionally large to draw your attention to what they are expressing - anger, fear, despair, resignation.
  • You have to visit it!You'll love it like we did!

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