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

The Calais Dragon is a colossal construction made of steel and carved wood: the most imposing and the most technical ever imagined by François Delaroziere. Its spectacular mobility is inspired by reptiles. Very expressive, it spits fire, smoke and water in different forms. Mist escapes from its body through thirty vents. Its eyes, eyelids, ears, mouth, tongue are movable. It can lie down, get up, run at up to 4 km/h and beat its thick canvas wings. Its ocean-colored wooden skin covers an area of six hundred square meters. Forty-eight passengers have access to its back thanks to a staircase integrated into its tail.

You can visit the Calais Dragon in any weather condition in its shelter, or while traveling on the Calais seafront as soon as the weather allows. Travel aboard to experience its full dimension: climb along its tail and stroll on the covered panoramic platform integrated into its back. Discover a breathtaking view of Calais and its beach. The dragon awakens, a unique 45-minute journey begins, to the rhythm of this exceptional animal. 

Why a dragon in calais ?

This extraordinary creature comes from a myth – an imaginary tale telling the story of an original creation – written by François Delaroziere. For millennia, men have carried on  stories to give meaning to the world and to life. If the myth has lost its structuring function over time, it still serves the creation of a collective imagination and thus allows the introduction of a dragon in Calais. 

The animal is at the same time fire, air, earth and water dragon. By choosing to create a dragon, François Delaroziere captures a universal figure present in all civilizations. Often a symbol of power and associated with the four elements, it regularly adopts the posture of the guardian. The etymology of the word, ‘dragon’, means ‘to see’, ‘to have a sharp eye’. It is the dragon, who watches over a treasure trove in folklore. They also symbolise the union of opposites and embody the fascination for the unknown. The dragon is a chimera, which contains elements of several animals like the lion, eagle and reptiles. It is said that the world was created from the dreams of dragons. Dragons are certainly known in the Nord region of France and the traditional processions and parades of effigies of giants and dragons are now included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List. On the top of the belfry of Calais’ Town Hall, there is a dragon weathervane showing the direction of the wind. 

Identity sheet

Height : 10 àto12 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

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.“»

 On November 1, 2019, freed from the underground worlds, the Dragon of Calais woke up to enter the city during a great show by Compagnie La Machine.


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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