Le Portel

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Le Portel
Fort de l'Heurt
Fort de l'Heurt
Le Portel is located in France
Le Portel
Le Portel
Coordinates: 50°42′27″N 1°34′28″E / 50.7075°N 1.5744°E / 50.7075; 1.5744Coordinates: 50°42′27″N 1°34′28″E / 50.7075°N 1.5744°E / 50.7075; 1.5744
Country France
Region Hauts-de-France
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Boulogne-sur-Mer
Canton Boulogne-sur-Mer-2
Intercommunality Boulonnais
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Laurent Feutry
Area1 3.85 km2 (1.49 sq mi)
Population (2010)2 9,569
 • Density 2,500/km2 (6,400/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 62667 /62480
Elevation 0–59 m (0–194 ft)
(avg. 27 m or 89 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.

Le Portel is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region of France.


Le Portel is a tourist, fishing and light industrial town situated about 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of Boulogne town centre, at the junction of the D236 and D119 roads. It has a beach and the white cliffs of the English coast can be seen across the sea on clear days.


Le Portel translates as "the little port." The original Le Portel was a hamlet east of the town of Outreau. It became an independent municipality on June 13, 1856 by an imperial decree of Napoleon III.
In the 19th century, flint tools were discovered in the centre of the village, by the river near the Hamel Bridge, evidence of the long occupation of the site. A Gallo-Roman cemetery has been excavated in the hamlet of Châtillon.

Of agricultural origin, it grew rapidly during the 19th century because of fishing, along with the nearby port of Boulogne-sur-Mer. Sailors of Portel were as numerous as those of Boulogne before World War I. In 1841, two Le Portel sailors were on the ship Belle Poule, that brought back the remains of Napoleon.

During the Second World War, on 8 and 9 September 1943, Le Portel suffered as part of Operation Cockade, a diversionary manoeuvre by the Allies to fool the Germans into believing the possibility of a landing on the English Channel. The bombings, which destroyed 93% of the village, also killed 376 civilians.[1] On 12 August 1944, Charles de Gaulle was at Le Portel for its liberation. The town received the Croix de guerre with silver star for its sacrifice.


Historical population of Le Portel
Year 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2010
Population 11,198 11,379 11,112 10,984 10,615 10,720 9,569
From the year 1962 on: No double counting—residents of multiple communes (e.g. students and military personnel) are counted only once.

Places of interest[edit]

  • Two twentieth century churches.
  • Fort de l'Heurt, built from 1803/1805 by order of Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Fort d'Alprech, built in 1883.
  • The lighthouse.
  • The Fort de Couppes 1883 .
  • The Atlantic Wall German fortress.

Notable people[edit]

Twin towns[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Talty (2012), pg. 146


External links[edit]