La Rochelle

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La Rochelle

La Rochèla  (Occitan)
Vieux Port De La Rochelle Cote Ville (223237923).jpeg
Old harbour of La Rochelle
Arms of La Rochelle.svg
Coat of arms
Location of La Rochelle
La Rochelle
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La Rochelle
Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region location map.svg
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La Rochelle
Coordinates: 46°09′33″N1°09′06″W / 46.1591°N 1.1517°W / 46.1591; -1.1517 Coordinates: 46°09′33″N1°09′06″W / 46.1591°N 1.1517°W / 46.1591; -1.1517
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Charente-Maritime
Arrondissement La Rochelle
Intercommunality CA La Rochelle
Government
  Mayor (2020–2026) Jean-François Fountaine
Area
1
28.43 km2 (10.98 sq mi)
Population
 (Jan. 2018) [1]
76,114
  Density2,700/km2 (6,900/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
17300 /17000
Elevation0–28 m (0–92 ft)
(avg. 4 m or 13 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

La Rochelle ( UK: /ˌlærɒˈʃɛl/ , US: /ˌlɑːrˈʃɛl/ , French:  [la ʁɔʃɛl] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Poitevin-Saintongeais: La Rochéle; Occitan : La Rochèla [la ruˈtʃɛlɔ] ) is a city on the central west coast of France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department. With 75,735 inhabitants in 2017, La Rochelle is the most populated commune in the department and ranks fifth in the New Aquitaine region after Bordeaux, the regional capital, Limoges, Poitiers and Pau. Its inhabitants are called "les Rochelaises" and "les Rochelais".

Contents

Situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean the city is connected to the Île de Ré by a 2.9-kilometre-long (1+34-mile) bridge completed on 19 May 1988. Since the Middle-Ages the harbour has opened onto a protected strait, the Pertuis d'Antioche and is regarded as a "Door océane" or gateway to the ocean because of the presence of its three ports (fishing, trade and yachting). The city has a strong commercial tradition, having an active port from very early on in its history. La Rochelle underwent sustained development in the middle ages, and has maintained a standing in modern times because of its port, La Pallice, the only deep water port of the French Atlantic coast; it is ranked as the sixth most important port of France.

The city traces its origins to the Gallo-Roman period, attested by the remains of important salt marshes and villas.  The Dukes of Aquitaine granted it a charter as a free port in 1130. With the opening of the English market following the second marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152, the presence of the Knights Templar and the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem quickly made this small town the largest port on the Atlantic. [2]

To this day, the city still possesses a rich historical fabric, including the Saint-Nicholas tower, and an urban heritage. The capital of Aunis, it has become the most important coastal city between the Loire and Gironde estuaries. La Rochelle's urban activities are many in number and strongly differentiated, being a city with port and industrial functions that are still important, but also including a predominantly administrative and tertiary sector that is reinforced by the university and a rapidly developing tourism industry. In the early 21st century, the city has consistently been ranked among France's most liveable cities [3]

History

Antiquity

Coastline around La Rochelle in Roman times Carte du pays de Santones sous les Romains Pertuis d Antioche.jpg
Coastline around La Rochelle in Roman times

The area of La Rochelle was occupied in antiquity by the Gallic tribe of the Santones, who gave their name to the nearby region of Saintonge and the city of Saintes.[ citation needed ]

The Romans subsequently occupied the area, where they developed salt production along the coast. They also developed wine production, shipping its products throughout the Empire.[ citation needed ] Roman villas have been found at Saint-Éloi and at Les Minimes. Salt evaporation ponds dating from the same period have also been found.

Foundation

La Rochelle was founded during the 10th century and became an important harbour in the 12th century.[ citation needed ] The name was first recorded in 961 as Rupella, from a Latin diminutive meaning 'little rock'. It was later known as Rocella and Roscella before the name took on its current form. The establishment of La Rochelle as a harbour was a consequence of the victory of Duke Guillaume X of Aquitaine over Isambert de Châtelaillon in 1130, and the subsequent destruction of his harbour of Châtelaillon. [4] In 1137, Guillaume X to all intents and purposes made La Rochelle a free port and gave it the right to identify as a commune.

Fifty years later Eleanor of Aquitaine upheld the communal charter promulgated by her father. For the first time in France, a city mayor was appointed for La Rochelle, Guillaume de Montmirail. Guillaume was assisted in his responsibilities by 24 municipal magistrates, and 75 nobles who had jurisdiction over the inhabitants. Under the communal charter, the city obtained many privileges, such as the right to mint its own coins, and to operate some businesses free of royal taxes, factors which would favour the development of the entrepreneurial middle-class (bourgeoisie).[ citation needed ]

Plantagenet rule (1154–1224)

Chateau de Vauclerc.jpg
Vauclair fortifications.jpg
Left image: Vauclair castle was built by the English in 1185.
Right image: Remnants of Vauclair castle, Place de Verdun, La Rochelle.

Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet in 1152, who became king of England as Henry II in 1154, thus putting La Rochelle under Plantagenet rule, until Louis VIII captured it in the 1224 siege of La Rochelle. During the Plantagenet control of the city in 1185, Henry II had the Vauclair castle built, remains of which are still visible in the Place de Verdun. [5]

Court de la Commanderie.jpg
Templar cross Cour de la Commanderie La Rochelle.jpg
Left image: Cour de la Commanderie in La Rochelle, ancient location of the Templars' headquarters.
Right image: Original Templar cross, Cour de la Commanderie.

The main activities of the city were in the areas of maritime commerce and trade, especially with England, the Netherlands and Spain. In 1196, wealthy bourgeois Alexandre Auffredi sent a fleet of seven ships to Africa seeking wealth. He went bankrupt awaiting the return of his ships; they returned seven years later bearing riches.

Knights Templar

The Knights Templar had a strong presence in La Rochelle since before the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who exempted them from duties and gave them mills in her 1139 Charter. [6] La Rochelle was the Templars' largest base on the Atlantic Ocean, [7] and where they stationed their main fleet. [8] From La Rochelle, they were able to act as intermediaries in trade between England and the Mediterranean. [7] A popular thread of conspiracy theory originating with Holy Blood, Holy Grail has it that the Templars used a fleet of 18 ships which had brought Jacques de Molay from Cyprus to La Rochelle to escape arrest in France. The fleet allegedly left laden with knights and treasures just before the issue of the warrant for the arrest of the Order in October 1307. [9] [10]

Hundred Years' War

During the Hundred Years' War in 1360, following the Treaty of Brétigny La Rochelle again came under the rule of the English monarch. La Rochelle however expelled the English in June 1372, following the naval Battle of La Rochelle, between Castilian-French and English fleets. The French and Spanish decisively defeated the English, securing French control of the Channel for the first time since the Battle of Sluys in 1340. The naval battle of La Rochelle was one of the first cases of the use of handguns on warships, which were deployed by the French and Spanish against the English. [11] Having recovered freedom, La Rochelle refused entry to Du Guesclin, until Charles V recognized the privileges of the city in November 1372.

In 1402, the French adventurer Jean de Béthencourt left La Rochelle and sailed along the coast of Morocco to conquer the Canary Islands. [12]

Until the 15th century, La Rochelle was to be the largest French harbour on the Atlantic coast, dealing mainly in wine, salt and cheese.

French Wars of Religion

Iconoclasm Clocher Saint Barthelemy south side La Rochelle.jpg
Iconoclasm Eglise Saint Sauveur.jpg
Left image: Remains of Reformation iconoclasm, Clocher Saint-Barthélémy, La Rochelle.
Right image: Remains of iconoclasm, Eglise Saint-Sauveur, La Rochelle.

During the Renaissance, La Rochelle adopted Protestant ideas. Calvinism started to be propagated in the region of La Rochelle, resulting in its suppression through the establishment of Cours présidiaux tribunals by Henry II. An early result of this was the burning at the stake of two "heretics" in La Rochelle in 1552. [13] Conversions to Calvinism however continued, due to a change of religious beliefs, but also to a desire for political independence on the part of the local elite, and a popular opposition to royal expenses and requisitions in the building projects to fortify the coast against England. [13]

On the initiative of Gaspard de Coligny, the Calvinists attempted to colonise the New World to find a new home for their religion, with the likes of Pierre Richier and Jean de Léry. After the short-lived attempt of France Antarctique, they failed to establish a colony in Brazil, and finally resolved to make a stand in La Rochelle itself. [14] Pierre Richier became "Ministre de l'église de la Rochelle" ("Minister of the Church of La Rochelle") when he returned from Brazil in 1558, and was able to considerably increase the Huguenot presence in La Rochelle, from a small base of about 50 souls who had been secretly educated in the Lutheran faith by Charles de Clermont the previous year. He has been described, by Lancelot Voisin de La Popelinière, as "le père de l'église de La Rochelle" ("The Father of the Church of La Rochelle").

Protestant "Grand Temple" of La Rochelle, built on the Place du Chateau, modern Place de Verdun, in 1600-1603, accidentally burned down in 1687 Grand temple de La Rochelle.jpg
Protestant "Grand Temple" of La Rochelle, built on the Place du Château, modern Place de Verdun, in 1600–1603, accidentally burned down in 1687

La Rochelle was the first French city, with Rouen, to experience iconoclastic riots in 1560, at the time of the suppression of the Amboise conspiracy, before the riots spread to many other cities. [15] Further cases of Reformation iconoclasm were recorded in La Rochelle from 30 May 1562, following the Massacre of Vassy. Protestants pillaged churches, destroyed images and statues, and also assassinated 13 Catholic priests in the Tower of the Lantern. [16]

From 1568, La Rochelle became a centre for the Huguenots, and the city declared itself an independent Reformed Republic on the model of Geneva. [17] During the subsequent period, La Rochelle became an entity that has been described as a "state within a state". [18] This led to numerous conflicts with the Catholic central government. The city supported the Protestant movement of William of Orange in the Netherlands, and from La Rochelle the Dutch under Louis of Nassau and the Sea Beggars were able to raid Spanish shipping. [19] [20]

In 1571 the city of La Rochelle suffered a naval blockade by the French Navy under the command of Filippo di Piero Strozzi and Antoine Escalin des Aimars, a former protagonist of the Franco-Ottoman alliance. [21] The city was finally besieged during the siege of La Rochelle (1572–1573) during the French Wars of Religion, following the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in August 1572, and occurred at the same time as other sieges of Protestant cities such as the siege of Sancerre. The conflict ended with the 1573 Peace of La Rochelle, which restricted the Protestant worship to the three cities of Montauban, Nîmes and La Rochelle. Pierre Richier died in La Rochelle in 1580.

Huguenot rebellions

La Rochelle in 1628 - detail of Claude Lorrain Le siege de La Rochelle Entrance to La Rochelle harbour Claude Lorrain 1631.JPG
La Rochelle in 1628 – detail of Claude Lorrain Le siège de La Rochelle

Under Henry IV, and under the regency of his son Louis XIII, the city enjoyed a certain freedom and prosperity. However, La Rochelle entered into conflict with the authority of the adult Louis, beginning with a 1622 revolt. [22] A fleet from La Rochelle fought a royal fleet of 35 ships under Charles, Duke of Guise, in front of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, but was defeated on 27 October 1622, leading to the signing of the Peace of Montpellier. [22]

Revolt of Soubise (1625)

In 1625, a new Huguenot revolt led by Duke Henri de Rohan and his brother Soubise led to the Capture of Ré island by the forces of Louis XIII. Soubise conquered large parts of the Atlantic coast, but the supporting fleet of La Rochelle was finally defeated by Montmorency, as was Soubise with 3,000 when he led a counter-attack against the royal troops who had landed on the island of Ré. [23]

Siege of La Rochelle (1627–1628)

Cardinal Richelieu at the siege of La Rochelle, Henri Motte, 1881 Siege of La Rochelle 1881 Henri Motte.png
Cardinal Richelieu at the siege of La Rochelle, Henri Motte, 1881

Following these events, Louis XIII and his Chief Minister Cardinal Richelieu declared the suppression of the Huguenot revolt the first priority of the kingdom. The English came to the support of La Rochelle, starting the Anglo-French War, by sending a major expedition under the Duke of Buckingham. The expedition however ended in a fiasco for England with the siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. Meanwhile, cannon shots were exchanged on 10 September 1627 between La Rochelle and Royal troops. This resulted in the siege of La Rochelle in which Cardinal Richelieu blockaded the city for 14 months, until the city surrendered and lost its mayor and its privileges.

Expulsion from La Rochelle of 300 Protestant families in November 1661, Jan Luiken (1649-1712) Expulsion from La Rochelle of 300 Protestant famillies Nov 1661 Jan Luiken 1649 1712.jpg
Expulsion from La Rochelle of 300 Protestant families in November 1661, Jan Luiken (1649–1712)

The remaining Protestants of La Rochelle suffered new persecutions, when 300 families were again expelled in November 1661, the year Louis XIV came to power. The reason for the expulsions was that Catholics deeply resented a degree of revival of Protestant ownership of property within the city. [24]

The growing persecution of the Huguenots culminated with the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in 1685. Many Huguenots emigrated, founding such cities as New Rochelle in the vicinity of today's New York in 1689. La Rochelle, and the siege of 1627 form much of the backdrop to the later chapters of Alexandre Dumas, père's classic novel, The Three Musketeers .

La Rochelle and the New World

La Rochelle slave ship Le Saphir ex-voto, 1741 La Rochelle slave ship Le Saphir 1741.jpg
La Rochelle slave ship Le Saphir ex-voto , 1741
La Rochelle harbour in 1762 - Joseph Vernet; Musee de la Marine LaRochelleHarbour1762.jpg
La Rochelle harbour in 1762 – Joseph Vernet; Musée de la Marine

Because of its western location, which saved days of sailing time, La Rochelle enjoyed successful fishing in the western Atlantic and trading with the New World, which served to counterbalance the disadvantage of not being at the mouth of a river (useful for shipping goods to and from the interior). Its Protestant ship-owning and merchant class prospered in the 16th century until the Wars of Religion devastated the city. [25] The British navy in wartime were alert that shore watchers at La Rochelle were employed. [26]

The period following the wars was a prosperous one, marked by intense exchanges with the New World (Nouvelle France in Canada, and the Antilles). La Rochelle armateurs (shipowners) became very active [27] in triangular trade with the New World, dealing in the slave trade with Africa, sugar trade with plantations of the West Indies, and fur trade with Canada. This was a period of high artistic, cultural and architectural achievements for the city.[ citation needed ]

Robert de La Salle departed from La Rochelle, France, on 24 July 1684, with the aim of setting up a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi, eventually establishing Fort Saint Louis in Texas. [28]

The city eventually lost its trade and prominence during the decades spanning the Seven Years' War, the French revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. During that period France lost many of the territorial possessions which it had had in the new World, and also saw a strong decrease in its sea power in the continuing conflicts with Britain, ultimately diminishing the role of such harbours as La Rochelle. After abolitionist movements led by such people as Samuel de Missy, the slave trade of La Rochelle ended with the onset of the French Revolution and the war with England in the 1790s, the last La Rochelle slave ship, the Saint-Jacques being captured in 1793 in the Gulf of Guinea. [29] In February 1794, the National Convention passed the Law of 4 February 1794, which effectively freed all colonial slaves.[ citation needed ]

In 1809, the Battle of the Basque Roads took place near La Rochelle, in which a British fleet defeated the French Atlantic Fleet.[ citation needed ]

La Rochelle faience

La Rochelle became one of the French centres for faience at the end of the 18th century. [30] [31] Bernard Palissy was born in the region and had some bearing in this development. During the 18th century, its style was greatly influenced by Chinese themes and Japanese Kakiemon-type designs. [32] [33] Many of these ceramics can be viewed at the Musée d'Orbigny-Bernon.

19th century

In 1864, the harbour of La Rochelle (area of the "Bassin à flot" behind the water locks), was the site for the maiden dive experiments of the first mechanically-powered submarine in the World, Plongeur , commanded by Marie-Joseph-Camille Doré, a native of La Rochelle.

Second World War

U-boat pens at the harbor of La Rochelle (2007) Baselapallice08.jpg
U-boat pens at the harbor of La Rochelle (2007)

During the Second World War, Germany established a submarine naval base at La Pallice (the main port of La Rochelle).

A German stronghold, La Rochelle was the last French city to be liberated at the end of the war. The Allied siege of La Rochelle took place between 12 September 1944 and 7 May 1945. The stronghold, including the islands of and Oléron, was held by 20,000 German troops under German vice-admiral Ernst Schirlitz. Following negotiations by the French Navy frigate captain Meyer, the general German capitulation occurred on 7 May and French troops entered La Rochelle on 8 May.

The submarine base became the setting for parts of the movie Das Boot . The U-boat scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark were also shot in La Rochelle. The base is featured in the computer game Commandos 2: Men of Courage. It was also chosen in 2018 for the location shooting of the German television series Das Boot (a sequel to the 1981 classic).[ citation needed ]

Geography

Geology

La Rochelle seen from Spot Satellite La Rochelle SPOT 1250.jpg
La Rochelle seen from Spot Satellite
The limestone cliffs around La Rochelle reveal the Jurassic geology of the area La Rochelle 0004.jpg
The limestone cliffs around La Rochelle reveal the Jurassic geology of the area

The bedrock of La Rochelle and surrounding areas is composed of layers of limestone dating back to the Sequanian stage (upper Oxfordian stage) of the Jurassic period (circa 160 million years ago), when a large part of France was submerged. Many of these layers are visible in the white cliffs that border the sea, which contain many small marine fossils. Layers of thick white rock, formed during period of relatively warm seas, alternate with highly fragile layers containing sand and remains of mud, formed during colder periods, and with layers containing various corals, that were formed during warmer, tropical times. [34] The limestone thus formed is traditionally used as the main building material throughout the region.

The area of La Pointe du Chay about five kilometres (three miles) from La Rochelle is a cliff area visited for leisurely geological surveys.[ citation needed ]

Climate

Under Köppen’s climate classification, La Rochelle features an oceanic climate. Although at the same latitude as Montreal in Canada or the Kuril islands in Russia, the area experiences weather that is exceptionally mild throughout the year due to the influence of the Gulf Stream waters, the summers are relatively warm, and insolation is remarkably high—the highest in Western France, including sea resorts much further to the south such as Biarritz. La Rochelle seldom experiences very cold or very warm weather. These specific conditions – summer dry and sunny, winter mild and wet – have led to the establishment of a Mediterranean-type vegetation cohabiting with more continental and oceanic types of vegetation.

Climate data for La Rochelle, France (1981–2010 averages, extremes 1955–present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)16.3
(61.3)
21.2
(70.2)
25.0
(77.0)
29.1
(84.4)
33.6
(92.5)
40.5
(104.9)
39.0
(102.2)
38.2
(100.8)
34.6
(94.3)
30.1
(86.2)
22.2
(72.0)
18.7
(65.7)
40.5
(104.9)
Average high °C (°F)9.1
(48.4)
10.2
(50.4)
13.0
(55.4)
15.5
(59.9)
19.1
(66.4)
22.3
(72.1)
24.4
(75.9)
24.5
(76.1)
22.1
(71.8)
18.1
(64.6)
13.0
(55.4)
9.7
(49.5)
16.8
(62.2)
Daily mean °C (°F)6.6
(43.9)
7.1
(44.8)
9.6
(49.3)
11.8
(53.2)
15.4
(59.7)
18.5
(65.3)
20.5
(68.9)
20.5
(68.9)
18.1
(64.6)
14.7
(58.5)
10.0
(50.0)
7.1
(44.8)
13.4
(56.1)
Average low °C (°F)4.0
(39.2)
4.1
(39.4)
6.3
(43.3)
8.1
(46.6)
11.7
(53.1)
14.6
(58.3)
16.7
(62.1)
16.5
(61.7)
14.0
(57.2)
11.3
(52.3)
7.1
(44.8)
4.5
(40.1)
9.9
(49.8)
Record low °C (°F)−11.5
(11.3)
−13.6
(7.5)
−6.6
(20.1)
−1.2
(29.8)
1.9
(35.4)
4.9
(40.8)
8.1
(46.6)
8.8
(47.8)
5.4
(41.7)
−0.4
(31.3)
−5.4
(22.3)
−9.5
(14.9)
−13.6
(7.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches)74.0
(2.91)
56.8
(2.24)
53.9
(2.12)
64.9
(2.56)
55.8
(2.20)
39.1
(1.54)
43.9
(1.73)
45.0
(1.77)
60.3
(2.37)
91.9
(3.62)
93.5
(3.68)
87.9
(3.46)
767.0
(30.20)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)11.99.19.710.39.36.76.66.37.411.912.412.5114.1
Average snowy days1.00.90.50.20.00.00.00.00.00.00.20.93.7
Average relative humidity (%)87848078797776777983868881.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 84.3114.6165.8196.8231.3261.2271.0259.6212.1140.592.376.32,105.5
Source 1: Meteo France [35] [36] [37]
Source 2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity and snowy days 1961–1990) [38]

Population

The population data in the table and graph below refer to the commune of La Rochelle proper, in its geography at the given years. The commune of La Rochelle absorbed part of the former commune of Saint-Maurice in 1858 and Laleu in 1880. [39]

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1793 22,000    
1800 17,512−3.21%
1806 18,346+0.78%
1821 12,327−2.62%
1831 14,629+1.73%
1836 14,857+0.31%
1841 16,720+2.39%
1846 17,358+0.75%
1851 16,505−1.00%
1856 16,175−0.40%
1861 18,904+3.17%
1866 18,720−0.20%
1872 19,506+0.69%
1876 19,583+0.10%
1881 22,464+2.78%
1886 23,829+1.19%
1891 26,808+2.38%
1896 28,376+1.14%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1901 31,559+2.15%
1906 33,858+1.42%
1911 36,371+1.44%
1921 39,770+0.90%
1926 41,521+0.87%
1931 45,043+1.64%
1936 47,737+1.17%
1946 48,923+0.25%
1954 58,799+2.33%
1962 66,590+1.57%
1968 73,347+1.62%
1975 79,757+1.20%
1982 75,840−0.72%
1990 71,094−0.80%
1999 76,584+0.83%
2007 76,848+0.04%
2012 74,123−0.72%
2017 75,735+0.43%
Source: EHESS [39] and INSEE (1968-2017) [40]

Today

Panoramique des tours de La Rochelle de nuit.jpg
Panoramic picture of the harbour towers at night.

La Rochelle possesses a commercial deep water harbour, named La Pallice. The large submarine pens built during World War II still stand there, although they are not in use. La Pallice is equipped with oil unloading equipment, and mainly handles tropical wood. It is also the location of the fishing fleet, which was moved from the old harbour in the centre of the city during the 1980s.

La Rochelle harbour by Vernet in 1762 and the same view 2019 La Rochelle 1762-2019.jpg
La Rochelle harbour by Vernet in 1762 and the same view 2019

La Rochelle also maintains strong links with the sea by harbouring the largest marina for pleasure boats in Europe at Les Minimes, and a rather rich boat-building industry which includes Amel Yachts. [41]

La Rochelle has a very big aquarium, and a small botanical garden (the Jardin des plantes de La Rochelle ).

The Calypso , the ship used by Jacques-Yves Cousteau as a mobile laboratory for oceanography, and which was sunk after a collision in the port of Singapore (1996) is now on display (sadly rotting) at the Maritime Museum of La Rochelle.

One of the biggest music festivals in France, "FrancoFolies", takes place each summer in La Rochelle, where Francophone musicians come together for a week of concerts and celebration. 2004 marked the 20th anniversary of this event. The French Socialist Party has held its annual summer convention (Université d'été) in La Rochelle since 1983.

La Rochelle is the setting for the best-selling series of French language textbooks in the UK, titled Tricolore . The central character, Martine Dhome, [42] lives with her family at the fictional address of 12, rue de la République.

Tourism

Harbour towers at night La rochelle de nuit.jpg
Harbour towers at night

La Rochelle's main feature is the "Vieux Port" ("Old Harbour"), which is at the heart of the city, picturesque and lined with seafood restaurants. The city walls are open to an evening promenade. The old town has been well preserved. Three medieval towers are a prominent tourist attraction at the entrance to the harbor: The Chain Tower, The Lantern Tower and Saint Nicolas Tower. From the harbour, boating trips can be taken to the Île d'Aix and Fort Boyard (home to the TV show of the same name). Nearby Île de Ré is a short drive to the North. The countryside of the surrounding Charente-Maritime is very rural and full of history (Saintes). To the North is Venise Verte, a marshy area of country, crisscrossed with tiny canals and a resort for inland boating. Inland is the country of Cognac and Pineau. The nearby Île de Ré is accessible via a bridge from La Rochelle. [43]

"Grosse Horloge" tower F07.LaRochelle.0013.JPG
"Grosse Horloge" tower
Fort Boyard Fort Boyard.jpg
Fort Boyard

Transport

La Rochelle and its region are served by the international La Rochelle - Île de Ré Airport, which has progressively developed over the last 5 years. The train station Gare de La Rochelle offers connections to Bordeaux, Nantes, Poitiers, Paris and several regional destinations.

OFP La Rochelle is a freight railway serving the port. [44]

La Rochelle launched one of the first successful bicycle sharing systems in 1974. [ citation needed ]

Education

The city has more than 10,000 students each year. The University of La Rochelle was established in 1993. Together with the Excelia Group (La Rochelle Business School), they are the largest institutions of higher education of La Rochelle (7,000 and 3,500 students respectively).

Landmarks

The Tour de la Lanterne in La Rochelle, fully under scaffolding. 1 January 2015 Echafaudage Tour de la Lanterne La Rochelle.jpg
The Tour de la Lanterne in La Rochelle, fully under scaffolding. 1 January 2015

Notable people

Born in La Rochelle

Lived in La Rochelle

Sport

Stade Rochelais are a professional rugby union team in the Top 14 league. They play their home matches at Stade Marcel-Deflandre.

Since 1991 the city has annually hosted the Marathon de La Rochelle, the second-most popular marathon of France and an international-level race which featured 10,000 participants in 2010. [45]

Twin towns – sister cities

La Rochelle is twinned with: [46]

See also

Related Research Articles

Île de Ré Island off the coast of France

Île de Ré is an island off the west coast of France near La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, on the northern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait. Its highest point has an elevation of 20 metres. It is 30 kilometres long and five kilometres wide. The 2.9 km (1.8 mi) Île de Ré bridge, completed in 1988, connects it to La Rochelle on the mainland.

Charente-Maritime Department of France

Charente-Maritime is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region on the southwestern coast of France. Named after the river Charente, its prefecture is La Rochelle. As of 2016, it had a population of 642,191 with an area of 6,864 square kilometres.

Siege of La Rochelle Height of the struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants in France

The siege of La Rochelle was a result of a war between the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France and the Huguenots of La Rochelle in 1627–28. The siege marked the height of the struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants in France, and ended with a complete victory for King Louis XIII and the Catholics.

Jean Guiton

Jean Guiton was born in La Rochelle, where he followed the occupation of ship-owner. He became a notable Huguenot leader during the Naval battle of Saint-Martin-de-Ré and siege of La Rochelle.

Aunis Place in France

Aunis is a historical province of France, situated in the north-west of the department of Charente-Maritime. Its historic capital is La Rochelle, which took over from Castrum Allionis (Châtelaillon) the historic capital which gives its name to the province.

Saint-Martin-de-Ré Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Saint-Martin-de-Ré is a commune in the western French department of Charente-Maritime.

Isaac de Razilly was a member of the French nobility appointed a knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem at the age of 18. He was born at the Château d'Oiseaumelle in the Province of Touraine, France. A member of the French navy, he served for many years during which he played an important role in the French colony of Acadia in New France. He was the son of François de Razilly and Catherine de Villiers, brother of Claude de Razilly and François de Razilly. Commandeur de la Commanderie de l'Ile Bouchard (Touraine)

Siege of La Rochelle (1572–1573) 1572-73 military offensive during the French wars of religion

The siege of La Rochelle of 1572–1573 was a massive military assault on the Huguenot city of La Rochelle by Catholic troops during the fourth phase of the French Wars of Religion, following the August 1572 St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. The conflict began in November 1572 when inhabitants of the city refused to receive Armand de Gontaut, baron de Biron, as royal governor. Beginning on 11 February 1573, the siege was led by the Duke of Anjou. Political considerations following the duke's election to the throne of Poland in May 1573 resulted in negotiations, culminating on 24 June 1573, that lifted the siege on 6 July 1573. The Edict of Boulogne signed shortly thereafter brought an end to this phase of the civil war.

La Pallice Port in La Rochelle, France

La Pallice is the commercial deep-water port of La Rochelle, France.

Rivedoux-Plage Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Rivedoux-Plage is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France. It is situated on the Île de Ré.

Recovery of Ré island

The Recovery of Ré Island was accomplished by the army of Louis XIII in September 1625, against the troops of the Protestant admiral Soubise and the Huguenot forces of La Rochelle, who had been occupying the Island of Ré since February 1625 as part of the Huguenot rebellions.

Anglo-French War (1627–1629) Conflict between the Kingdoms of France and England from 1627-29

The Anglo-French War was a military conflict fought between the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of England between 1627 and 1629. It mainly involved actions at sea. The centrepiece of the conflict was the siege of La Rochelle (1627–28), in which the English crown supported the French Huguenots in their fight against the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France. La Rochelle had become the stronghold of the French Huguenots, under its own governance. It was the centre of Huguenot seapower and the strongest centre of resistance against the central government. The English also launched a campaign against France's new colony in North America which led to much of the territory including Quebec being seized.

Huguenot rebellions Rebellions in the Kingdom of France

The Huguenot rebellions, sometimes called the Rohan Wars after the Huguenot leader Henri de Rohan, were a series of rebellions of the 1620s in which French Calvinist Protestants (Huguenots), mainly located in southwestern France, revolted against royal authority. The uprising occurred a decade after the death of Henry IV who, himself originally a Huguenot before converting to Catholicism, had protected Protestants through the Edict of Nantes. His successor Louis XIII, under the regency of his Italian Catholic mother Marie de' Medici, became more intolerant of Protestantism. The Huguenots tried to respond by defending themselves, establishing independent political and military structures, establishing diplomatic contacts with foreign powers, and openly revolting against central power. The Huguenot rebellions came after two decades of internal peace under Henry IV, following the intermittent French Wars of Religion of 1562–1598.

Siege of Saint-Jean-dAngély (1621)

The siege of Saint-Jean-d'Angély was a siege, accomplished by the young French king Louis XIII in 1621, against the Protestant stronghold of Saint-Jean-d'Angély led by Rohan's brother Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise. Saint-Jean-d'Angély was a strategic city controlling the approach to the Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle.

Blockade of La Rochelle

The Blockade of La Rochelle took place in 1621-1622 during the repression of the Huguenot rebellion by the French king Louis XIII.

Battle of Blavet

The Battle of Blavet was an encounter between the Huguenot forces of Soubise and a French fleet under the Duke of Nevers in Blavet harbour, Brittany in January 1625, triggering the Second Huguenot rebellion against the Crown of France.

Allied siege of La Rochelle

The Allied siege of La Rochelle occurred during the Second World War in 1944–45, when Allied troops invaded France. La Rochelle was an important German naval base on the Atlantic for surface ships and submarines, from which U-boat campaigns were launched.

Siege of La Rochelle (1224)

The Siege of La Rochelle of 1224 was the decisive engagement in the campaign between the Capetians and the Plantagenets for control of Poitou. French royal forces commanded by Capetian king Louis VIII laid siege to the strategic port of La Rochelle and its garrison of Poitevin and English soldiers commanded by Savari de Mauléon. The port had long been a staging ground for Plantagenet efforts to regain their continental lands lost to the French crown since 1203. The siege lasted from July to August 1224, and resulted in La Rochelle's citizens surrendering the city to Louis after the failure of English relief to emerge. The siege of La Rochelle was the crowning event of the Capetian conquest of Poitou from the Plantagenets. With Poitou in Capetian hands, only Gascony remained under Plantagenet rule on the continent.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of La Rochelle.

Events from the year 1622 in France.

References

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Bibliography