Not just a building - it’s a landmark!
This church always seems to have been part of the surroundings. St Nicholas Church, located on the picturesque Place Dalton in Boulogne-sur-Mer, holds a special place in the hearts of inhabitants. Firstly, this is because it is the oldest church in the lower city, but it is also and more importantly because St Nicholas is the patron saint of children, merchants, travellers...and sailors.
In the front lines
The church is mentioned for the first time in written records in 1208. That’s right...1208! This place of worship has played an important role in the life of the community from the beginning of time, including during the great plague in 1596 and the two World Wars. It is also rumoured to have been used as a base for the Legion of Honour by Napoleon during the Camp of Boulogne.
A complete guide to architecture
Don't be fooled by appearances. The style of St Nicholas Church, although very simple, is actually teeming with small details that will delight fans of architecture. Almost every century has left its mark! The façade and nave date from the 18th century, but extend from a transept and choir which date back to the Gothic era. The cross-over point of the transept is topped by a low lantern tower crowned with a huge slate-covered spire. The 19th century sculptor, John Hopkins has depicted St Nicholas and the three children escaping the salting tub on the façade. Inside, you can also admire a 17th century high altar and attractive statues which to this day are the subject of many prayers and offerings.
A place to meet
St Nicholas Church is the ideal place to meet up, to go shopping in the pedestrian streets or to enjoy a drink with friends in one of the many bars and restaurants nearby. Twice a week, the church looks out over the large market which takes place on the Place Dalton every Wednesday and Saturday morning.