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Boulogne-sur-Mer or Boulogne is a city and port in the Côte d'Opale region of Hauts-de-France. It is the second largest place on the Cote D'Opale after Calais. It is the estuary of the Liane river. The city's origins are as a medieval port protected by a castle up on the hill, which stands to this day, now a museum. After extensive allied bombing during World War II the city and the port were rebuilt post-war thus creating what is now known as the Old Town (inside the castle walls which largely escaped the destruction) and the New Town at the riverside and on the seafront. Today Boulogne is the principal fishing port for all of France, where fish is auctioned, frozen, salted, smoked and processed for distribution across the whole country in the commercial port district. The place used to be a very touristy place, and having once had a direct ferry service from Dover and Folkestone, it used to be popular with British day-trippers and, later, booze cruisers. After the opening of the Channel Tunnel, however, ferry services were reduced and then stopped altogether. Since then various companies have tried and failed to run profitable ferry services. Nevertheless though not as swamped with tourists as it once was, Boulogne remains popular with visitors, mainly British and Belgian, as it remains only 30 minutes' drive from Calais, 20 from the Channel Tunnel, and is still considered by many to be prettier and more interesting than Calais.

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