|Intercommunality||Communauté d'agglomération du Boulonnais|
|• Land1||7.71 km2 (2.98 sq mi)|
|• Population2 Density||980/km2 (2,500/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||62893 / 62930|
|Elevation||0–71 m (0–233 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Wimereux is a coastal town situated some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of Boulogne, at the junction of the D233 and the D940 roads, on the banks of the river Wimereux. The river Slack forms the northern boundary of the commune, the English Channel the western. Farming and tourism are its principal activities.
Vauban built a coastal fort at the mouth of the river Wimereux, the ruins showed at low-tide until the 1940s, when they disappeared completely. Napoleon ordered a port to be built here between 1803 and 1804, taking its name from the river. In 1840, the future Napoleon III, first president (and last monarch) of France, landed at Pointe aux Oies.
The territory of Wimereux originally belonged to the commune of Wimille, from which it separated on May 28, 1899. In the same year, the first radio link between France and England was established at Wimereux in April by Guglielmo Marconi and Édouard Branly.
In the First World War, a Red Cross hospital was set up and run here by Lady Hadfield at her own expense for the treatment of wounded and sick servicemen. In 1916, Solomon J Solomon set up a Royal Engineers establishment, the Special Works Park, in a disused feldspar factory. Here were developed new camouflage techniques and equipment for the British Army.
The seaside development was started during the Second Empire, resulting in a remarkable architectural ensemble of houses and buildings typical of the Belle Epoque, which are still very well maintained to this day. Originally the secondary residence of wealthy families of Lille and Paris, Wimereux has become, in the last twenty years or so, a residential suburb of the town of Boulogne-sur-Mer. Wimereux also attracts Britons, Belgians and Russians who come to buy holiday homes or settle permanently.
Places of interest
- The church of the Immaculate Conception, dating from the twentieth century.
- The nineteenth century chapel of Notre-Dame.
- The Villa ‘Les Mauriciens’
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery.
- A golf course.
- Lionel Percy Smythe, English landscape artist, lived here from 1879-1918.
- Alfred Mathieu Giard, zoologist and director of the marine research establishment at Wimereux.
- John McCrae, author of "In Flanders Fields", is buried in the CWGC cemetery.
- Jack Lang, politician and one-time government minister.
- Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, aviation pioneer, crashed to his death from a balloon here.
- Maurice Boitel, artist, exhibited here in the 1980s and 1990s.
Wimereux is twinned with the following cities:
Plaque commemorating the link-up of France-England by wireless
- Official town website (French only)
- Official Tourist website
- Official website: Tourism in Boulogne and the Boulonnais region
- Wimereux - Unofficial website
- The CWGC cemetery
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