Berck, sometimes referred to as Berck-sur-Mer, is a commune of northern France, in the department of Pas-de-Calais.
"Berck" is the most southerly town in the Pas-de_Calais to have a name with Germanic roots. Originally called Bierk, possibly after the birch
tree; by the 13th century it was spelt “Berc”.
Situated just to the north of the estuary of the river Authie
, Berck has a huge expanse of sandy beach and impressive grassy-topped dunes facing north onto the English Channel
Berck comprises two parts – to the east, the old fishing town, Berck-Ville and to the west, the seaside area, Berck-sur-Mer.
Berck lies at the centre of the Marquenterre regional park.
A former fishing harbour, Berck took on a therapeutic role in the treatment of tuberculosis during the second Empire. The Maritime hospital was inaugurated in 1869 by Empress Eugenie. Other hospitals and benevolent institutes were soon created to cater for the sick and those in need of rest and recuperation.
Today, although the hospital sector remains economically important, the city has turned towards tourism. A seaside bathing station, with an immense beach of fine sand on the Opal Coast, Berck is a paradise for lovers of land yachting and surfboarding.
Places and monuments
- Église Saint Jean Baptiste – Listed choir and belfry.
- Église Notre-Dame des Sables – Wall paintings on the choir walls.
- Hôpital Cazin-Perrochaud - Chapel with wall-paintings by Albert Besnard
- The Lighthouse - In service from 1961, at 45 metres high, its light can be seen from a distance of .
People associated with the town
Communes of Pas-de-Calais
Berck on the Insee website