It has retained its importance since Roman times, when it was known as Dubris, being the nearest town to the Continent.
The English Channel narrows here to a mere 17 miles, and is known as the Straits of Dover.
Richard I assembled his knights here in 1190, in preparation for the Third Crusade, and Hubert de Burgh withstood a siege by Louis, the French Dauphin, in 1216.
During Edward I`s reign, in the 13th century, Dover became one of the original five members of the Cinque Ports.
Charles II landed at Dover at the Restoration in 1660.
Two World Wars have caused a great deal of damage to the old town, this being widely known as "Hell Fire Corner".
Dover Castle, impressively situated on the White Cliffs, was completed in the 1180s, and substantially remodelled at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Roman Pharos, or Lighthouse, survives, and nearby is the Anglo-Saxon foundation of St. Mary de Castro Church.
Maison Dieu Hall was founded in 1220, and St. Mary`s Church has a Norman tower.
St. Edmund`s Chapel, founded in the 13th century, is said to be the smallest chapel in England in regular use.
Louis Bleriot, the first man to fly the Channel, landed at Dover in 1909, and the town is the usual destination of cross-Channel swimmers, although Captain Matthew Webb swam the other way in 1875. Hon. Charles Rolls completed the first two-way Channel flight in 1910.
Walter Hammond, captain of England at cricket, was born at Dover.
"The White Cliffs of Dover", written by Nat Burton, was a very popular song during the Second World War, with its message of hope. The best known version is by Vera Lynn. "There`ll be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover tomorrow, just you wait and see."
An edible flatfish is widely known as Dover sole.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Dover for groups.