In Le Nord, part of the Opal Coast is the region of Pas-de-Calias. It is home to the resort town of Le Touquet. Tourquet’s major attractions include the racecourse, the casino and the various seaside amusements. Some travelers head to the hilltop community of Montreuil with its lime-washed homes dating from the 17th century. People also visit the beach and Boullogne-sur-Mer. This is a busy marina. Boullogne sights include the Basilica Notre Dame from the 19th century and its moated 13th century castle. Other Boullogne activities include visits to the Sea Center/Aquarium.
In quieter Aire-sur-Lys, attractions vary from the Baroque Chapel of St. Jacques to the fortifications and dams instituted by Louis XIV’s master military architect – Louis Vauban. Aire history is greatly influenced by his work. The Bastion Vauban reflects part of his plan to strengthen the town’s defenses. The former arsenal now houses residences. However, Aire has more interesting sights than walls. Aire sights include several churches. The Collegiate church of Saint Pierre, dating from the 12th -19th centuries houses a 17th century organ once property of the Abby of Clairmarais near St. Omer. Also worth looking at are the finely sculpted four cardinal virtues, three theological virtues and four elements on the medieval structure of La Bailliage.
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