The Duchess Anne is the biggest of the tall ships you can visit in France. This full-rigged ship with three masts was built in 1901 to serve as a sailing school, training officers and sailors in the German merchant marine. After more than 30 years spent tracking around the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic, she was finally given to France in 1946 as compensation for the damages of war. First based in Lorient and in Brest, she escaped demolition when she was acquired by Dunkirk in 1982, and classed as an "Historical Monument". It underwent major restoration before opening for the public in 2001, in time to celebrate its centenary. A visit to the Duchess Anne gives you a glimpse of the harsh apprenticeship and living conditions and of the cadets.