Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Today, the steeply sloping streets behind Boulogne's Quai Gambetta no longer have the character of a closely-knit fishing community. hidden europe visits a little museum that recalls the former life of this distinctive part of the French port city.

article summary —

In the port city of Boulogne there is one small area, sadly missed by many visitors, that has iconic status within the history of the town. As we have seen in the preceding feature, Boulogne is first and foremost a community of the sea. The town’s most celebrated concentration of seafarers was in and around the Beurière district. It was a place to hear snippets of the local Patois boulonnais and to catch the smell of kippers being smoked. Almost every house in the Beurière had its own corèse — a special chimney that allowed each family to prepare kippers or bloaters.

Charles Dickens remarked on how the steep, narrow alleys of the Beurière were “cobweb hung with great brown nets”.

This is just an excerpt. If you are a subscriber to hidden europe magazine, you can log in to read the full text online. Of course you can also read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 36.

About the authors

hidden europe

and manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 36.