"Historical Port with Atlantic views" Top 5 Page for this destination La Rochelle by iris2002

La Rochelle Travel Guide: 151 reviews and 472 photos

La Rocelle - Charente-Maritime

Bordering the Atlantic, the agriculture and the rural economy remain essential components of the socio-economic framework of the region. In agricultural terms, the region is one of the leading producers in France: first in sunflower production, third in production of cereals as well as the second largest exporter of cereals via the port of La Rochelle. Being a maritime region, it has a rich and diverse history making it the second most popular region as a tourist destination in France. This diversity is also reflected in the range of agricultural products from the region: cheeses, cognac and wines along with niche products such as oyster and mussel farming, rabbit fur and marine salt production as well as specialty branded food products ...

Fotogallery of the region Charente

l'histoire I

LA ROCHELLE, a seaport of western France, capital of the department of Charente-Infrieure, 90 m. S. by E. of Nantes on the railway to Bordeaux. Pop. (1906) town 24,524, commune 33,858. La Rochelle is situated on the Atlantic coast on an inlet opening off the great bay in which lie the islands of Re and Olron. Its fortifications, constructed by Vauban, have a circuit of 31/2 m. with seven gates. Towards the sea are three towers, of which the oldest (1384) is that of St Nicholas. The apartment in the first storey was formerly used as a chapel. The Chain Tower, built towards the enl of the 14th century, is so called from the chain which guarded the harbour at this point; the entrance to the tidal basin was at one time spanned by a great pointed arch between the two towers. The lantern tower (1445-1476), seven storeys high, is surmounted by a lofty spire and was once used as a lighthouse. Of the ancient gateways only one has been preserved in its entirety, that of the Grosse Horloge, a huge square tower of the 14th or 15th century, the corner turrets of which have been surmounted with trophies since 1746. The cathedral of La Rochelle (St Louis or St Bartholomew) is a heavy Grecian building (1742-1762) with a dome above the transept, erected on the site of the old church of St Bartholomew, destroyed in the 16th century and now represented by a solitary tower dating from the I4th century. Externally the town-house is in the Gothic style of the latter years of the 15th century and has the appearance of a fortress, though its severity is much relieved by the beautiful carving of the two entrances, of the machicolations and of the two belfries. The buildings looking into the inner court are in the Renaissance style (16th and early 17th centuries) and contain several fine apartments. In the old episcopal palace (which was in turn the residence of Sully, the prince of Cond, Louis XIII., and Anne of Austria, and the scene of the marriage of Aiphonso VI. of Portugal with a princess of Savoy) accommodation has been provided for a library, a collection of records and a museum of art and antiquities. Other buildings of note are an arsenal with an artillery museum, a large hospital, a special Protestant hospital, a military hospital and a lunatic asylum for the department. In the botanical gardens there are museums of natural history. Medieval and Renaissance houses give a peculiar character to certain districts: several have French, Latin or Greek inscriptions of a moral or religious turn and in general of Protestant origin. Of these old houses the most interesting is one built in the midddle of the 16th century and wrongly known as that of Henry II. The parade-ground, which forms the principal public square, occupies the site of the castle demolished in 1590. Some of the streets have side-arcades; the public wells are fed from a large reservoir in the Champ de Mars; and among the promenades are the Cours des Dames with the statue of Admiral Duperr, and outside the Charruyer Park on the west front of the ramparts, and the Mail, a beautiful piece of greensward. In this direction are the sea-bathing establishments.

The rearing of oysters and mussels and the exploitation of salt marshes is carried on in the vicinity.

The inlet of La Rochelle is protected by a stone mole conS structed by Richelieu and visible at low tide.

L'histoire II

At the extremity of the breakwater is a wharf where ships may discharge without entering the basin. A lock connects with the inner basin, which has an area of 27 acres, with 5900 ft. of quayage, a minimum depth of 28 ft., and depths of 291/2 ft. and 36 ft. at high, neap and spring tides. Connected with the basin are two graving docks. La Pallice has regular communication with South America by the vessels of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company and by those of other companies with London, America, West Africa, Egypt and the Far East. The port has petroleum refineries and chemical manure works.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:great harbour flair!
  • Cons:Gale Force winds ... rather nippy in December
  • In a nutshell:Must come back during spring or summer !
  • Last visit to La Rochelle: Dec 2004
  • Intro Updated Apr 15, 2006
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Reviews (2)

Comments (4)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2007 at 12:50 PM

    I do love France!and your lovely photos!

  • diosh's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2007 at 10:23 AM

    That evocative cafe photo.Could be in any of my favourite places in France.Love it:-)Diana

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Dec 4, 2006 at 9:48 PM

    Have you tasted the freshly cooked (still warm!) shrimps at the market? It is delicious!

  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2006 at 1:32 AM

    Jeez....so many new pages! La Rochelle is a gorgeous place! Blu


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