The Calais Dragon

Guardian of the balance of worlds, the Dragon of Calais is a lasting creation that accompanies the rehabilitation of the city’s seafront. This saurian is imagined as a structuring element of the city. By its movements, it creates emotions and interacts with locals and visitors..

A monumental machine flying over Calais Beach

The Calais Dragon is a colossal construction made of steel and carved wood: the most imposing and technical construction ever imagined by François Delaroziere. Its spectacular mobility is inspired by reptiles. Highly expressive, it spits fire, smoke and water in different forms. Mist pours out of its body through thirty vents. Its eyes, eyelids, ears, mouth, tongue and fins are mobile. It can lie down, stand up, run up to four kilometres per hour and flap its thick canvas wings. Its opal-coloured wooden skin covers an area of six hundred square metres. Forty-eight passengers can climb up to its back by means of a staircase built into its tail.

The Dragon of Calais can be seen in its nave at all times, or while traveling on the Calais seafront. It is by embarking on board that the experience takes on its full dimension: climb along its tail and stroll on the covered panoramic platform integrated into its back. Discover a breathtaking view of Calais the beach and the Côte d'Opale. The dragon awakens, a unique 45-minute journey begins, to the rhythm of this exceptional animal. 

Identity sheet

Height : 10 to 12 meters
Width :  5 to 17,5 meters with outstretched wings
Length : 25 meters
Weight : 72 tons
Speed : 0 to 4 km / h
Propulsion : Hybrid
Materials :  wood, metal, leather, canvas, copper
Manipulations :  4 to 6 pilots
Capacity :  50 passengers
Travel duration : 45 minutes

Why a dragon in calais ?

This unusual creature is based on a myth - an imaginary fresco telling the story of an original creation - written by François Delaroziere. For thousands of years, people have passed on these stories to give meaning to the world and to life. Although the myth has now lost its structuring function, it still serves to create a collective imagination, thereby making it possible to introduce a dragon into Calais.

The animal is simultaneously fire, air, earth and water. It is like a great strait of the world, a territory stirred by wind and sea spray, where the border between water and land is porous. By choosing to create a dragon, François Delaroziere has taken on a universal figure that is present in all civilisations. Often a symbol of power and associated with the four elements, it regularly takes on the role of a guardian. The etymology of the word dragon means «to see», «to look with acuity», he is the one who watches over a treasure. Representing the union of opposites, it also embodies the fascination of the unknown. It is said that the world comes from their dreams. In the North, this is a well-established notion as the traditional processions of giant effigies are now listed UNESCO World Heritage. 

A permanent creation that forms part of the rehabilitation of the city’s seafront, this saurian is designed to be a structuring element within the territory. Through its movements, it meshes the city together, interacts with passers-by and creates a collective and unifying imaginary heritage. It is the first stage of a project conceived in four phases that will accompany the urban transformation of Calais over fifteen years.

Find out more about François Delaroziere's project

The Calais Dragon MYTH

"Beneath the thick crust of the earth runs a maze of deep galleries which connect the seas and the continents. Sometimes, these galleries branch out and widen until they create worlds. Fantastical creatures inhabit these galleries. Large human settlements are the gateways out of this subterranean labyrinth, they open up the passages that connect the underground world to our world.

Since the dawn of time, these «gateways» have been sealed and held shut by sacred stones. The Dragons are the world’s gatekeepers. It is they who maintain balance. Dragons exist in all shapes and colours, they possess enormous powers and every dragon is unique. Le Dragon de Calais is fire, air, earth and water… he has always watched over the lands and seas of thenorth. 

Dragons only appear to humans in situations of extreme need, to settle a conflict or to allay an evil. They are naturally benevolent but can also be wild and unpredictable."



Ready for an exceptional journey? Book your trip aboard the Calais Dragon, an unusual outing on the Opal Coast, to the rhythm of this exceptional animal! Stroll on the panoramic terrace built on its back and discover the new Calais seafront ! 

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