Dunkirk, or Dunkerque, the most northerly seaport of France, on the Strait of Dover, in the dep. of Nord, 189 miles N. of Paris by rail, and 67 W. of Ghent. It is a very strong place, as well from recent fortification works, as from the ease with which the surrounding country can all be laid under water. As a seaport, both naval and mercantile, it is also a place of much consequence; and great harbour-works have been carried out under the law of 1879, which authorised an expenditure of 2,000,000. The town itself is well built and cleanly, Flemish rather than French; its principal features, the Gothic church of St Eloi, the fine detached belfry (196 feet), and the statue of Jean Barth. Dunkirk has manufactures of linen, leather, cotton, soap, beet-root sugar, etc.; also metal-foundries, salt-refineries, great snipbuilding-yards, and cod and herring fisheries. Since becoming a free port in 1826, it has also carried on a good trade in wine and liqueurs. Pop. (1872) 34,342; (1901) 40,329. Dunkirk is said to owe its origin to the church built by St Eloi in the 7th century, in the midst of the dreary sand-hills or dunes, and hence its name, ' Church of the Dunes.' It was burned by the English in 1388, taken by Cromwell in 1658, but sold to Louis XIV. by Charles II. for 5,000,000 francs in 1662.


Dunkirk, a port of New York, on Lake Erie, 40 miles SW. of Buffalo by rail, with a good harbour and a busy lake traffic. Pop. 11,620.