Things to do

The Dragon of Calais: La Machine’s new spectacle

A fantastical creature has managed to cross the threshold and enter our world.

At the beginning of November 2019, in a world exclusive, the town of Calais celebrated the arrival of The Dragon with a unique and exciting show.

Created by La Machine, The Dragon was designed especially for Calais and is the largest and most advanced machine ever built by the urban project company.

La Machine

La Machine is a non-profit organisation dedicated to developing projects in the field of urban development. The company, led by François Delarozière, comprises of artists, technicians and theatre designers who work together to construct unusual theatre objects. Their work has appeared in many cities around the world, including Nantes, Ottowa and Liverpool.

Learn more about La Machine here.

The show

The Dragon, made of steel and carved wood, was paraded during three days of celebration for all the visitors and residents of Calais and the region. Each day, a spectacular inaugural show took place through the streets of Calais and featured actors, musicians and lights in a sensational display for all to see. This spectacle culminated on the Sunday with a breath-taking display and performance on the Seafront.

The Future

The Dragon of Calais now resides at La Cité provisoire, on the newly renovated Seafront. From December 17th 2019 onwards, the public will be able to enjoy rides in a carriage on the back of The Dragon through the city. Each ride will take about 30 minutes and can have up to 50 passengers at a time.

La Cité provisoire will have a food court and souvenir shop and will also offer a fascinating, ‘behind the scenes’ guided tour of The Dragon’s mechanics and technology.

A man assembles a giant wooden Dragon’s head

Useful Information

Calais city centre can be accessed via the A16 motorway, interchanges 43, 44 and 46.

Don’t stop at Calais, explore the wider Cote d’Opale region, here’s 5 ideas to get your road trip started.

Open a My Eurotunnel account to stay up-to-date with travel information, holiday inspiration and special offers.

About the Author

I love to travel and after taking a gap year travelling further afield after university I still want to explore as much as possible. Europe will be my next adventure but having visited capital cities I'm now more interested in hidden gems and cultural hotspots. With France just 35 minutes away, travelling by car is a new and exciting way to travel for me!