Cherbourg (Sher-boorg'), a French port and arsenal in the dep. of Manche, at the head of a deep bay on the N. extremity of the peninsula of Cotentin, 70 miles S. of the Isle of Wight, and 230 WNW. of Paris. Begun by Vauban in 1687, the harbour-works and fortifications were pushed on by the great Napoleon, and were supposed to have been completed in 1858 by Napoleon III. at a total outlay of 200 million francs; but less than thirty years after, the French government resolved to spend 49 millions more on the construction of fresh works between 1883 and 1894. The stupendous digue or breakwater (1853) is almost 2 1/2 miles long, encloses a space of nearly 2000 acres, and is connected with the strongest fortifications. The commercial harbour of Cherbourg consists of an outer harbour, 786 feet in length by 654 feet wide, and of an inner basin, 1338 feet long by 416 feet wide. The great inner naval floating-harbour was inaugurated by the Emperor Napoleon in 1858, in presence of Queen Victoria. Entirely cut out of the solid rock, it is 20 acres in area, and is surrounded by building-slips and capacious graving-docks. The town itself is insignificant, the streets being narrow and dirty. There are some manufactures of hosiery, chemicals, lace, and leather, sugar and salt refineries, sawing and flour mills; but the industrial energies of the great bulk of the population are absorbed in the arsenal and dockyards. Cherbourg is a very ancient place; originally Cœ;saris Burgum, in the 11th century it was known under the name of Camsbur. In 1758 it was taken by the English, who destroyed the naval and military works, and levied a contribution on the town. Pop. (1872) 34,785; (1901) 42,952; or, with the three suburbs of Tourlaville, Octeville, and Equeurdreville, 60,000.