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Straight of Dover and Lille
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Straight of Dover and Lille

September 11, 2005
The Straight of Dover separates the United Kingdom (left) from continental Europe (right) by a scant 39 km (24 miles). The Channel Tunnel (“Chunnel”), connecting Dover, England and Calais, France, opened in 1994, offering passenger and automobile shuttle services. The city of Lille, France, is located just below the center of the image. Above the city and to the East (on the right side of the image) is the darker green of Belgium's coastal plain. Lille is the fourth largest city in France, behind Paris, Lyon, and Marseille, not counting inhabitants on the Belgian side of the border. Lille used to be a center for textile manufacturing, although currently its major industry is telecommunications. Throughout its history, Lille has been famous as an artistic center. The city is a major river port and is connected to the rest of Europe by the Rivers Deûle, Scarpe, Escaut, and Lys.