Rochefort, Charente-Maritime

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Rochefort
Port de Rochefort.JPG
Blason ville fr Rochefort (Charente-Maritime).svg
Coat of arms
Location of Rochefort
France location map-Regions and departements-2016.svg
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Rochefort
Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region location map.svg
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Rochefort
Coordinates: 45°56′32″N0°57′32″W / 45.9421°N 0.9588°W / 45.9421; -0.9588 Coordinates: 45°56′32″N0°57′32″W / 45.9421°N 0.9588°W / 45.9421; -0.9588
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Charente-Maritime
Arrondissement Rochefort
Canton Rochefort
Intercommunality Pays Rochefortais
Government
  Mayor (20082014) Bernard Grasset
Area
1
21.95 km2 (8.47 sq mi)
Population
 (2016-01-01)2 [1]
24,894
  Density1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
17299 /17300
Elevation0–29 m (0–95 ft)
(avg. 5 m or 16 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting : residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Rochefort (centre-right) seen from Spot Satellite Rochefort SPOT 1146.jpg
Rochefort (centre-right) seen from Spot Satellite
ArsenalDeRochefort1690.jpg
Rochefort arsenal, in 1690

Rochefort (French:  [ʁɔʃ.fɔʁ] ) is a commune in southwestern France, a port on the Charente estuary. It is a sub-prefecture of the Charente-Maritime department.

The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Port maritime commercial facility

A port is a maritime commercial facility which may comprise one or more wharves where ships may dock to load and discharge passengers and cargo. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, some ports, such as Hamburg, Manchester and Duluth, are many miles inland, with access from the sea via river or canal.

Contents

History

In December 1665, Rochefort was chosen by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as a place of "refuge, defence and supply" for the French Navy. The Arsenal de Rochefort served as a naval base and dockyard until it closed in 1926.

Jean-Baptiste Colbert French politician

Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1661 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV.

French Navy Maritime arm of the French Armed Forces

The French Navy, informally "La Royale", is the maritime arm of the French Armed Forces. Dating back to 1624, the French Navy is one of the world's oldest naval forces. It has participated in conflicts around the globe and played a key part in establishing the French colonial empire.

The Arsenal de Rochefort was a French naval base and dockyard in the town of Rochefort. It was founded in 1665 and it was closed in 1926.

In September 1757, Rochefort was the target of an ambitious British raid during the Seven Years' War.

Raid on Rochefort

The Raid on Rochefort was a British amphibious attempt to capture the French Atlantic port of Rochefort in September 1757 during the Seven Years' War. The raid pioneered a new tactic of "descents" on the French coast, championed by William Pitt who had taken office a few months earlier.

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, South Asia, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions: one was led by the Kingdom of Great Britain and included the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and other small German states; while the other was led by the Kingdom of France and included the Austrian-led Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal.

Another infrastructure of early Rochefort from 1766 was its bagne, a high-security penal colony involving hard labour. Bagnes were then common fixtures in military harbors and naval bases, such as Toulon or Brest, because they provided free labor. During the Jacobin period of the French Revolution (1790–95), over 800 Roman Catholic priests and other clergy who refused to take the anti-Papal oath of the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy" were put aboard a fleet of prison ships in Rochefort harbour, where most died due to inhumane conditions.

Penal colony remote settlement used to house convicts from the general population

A penal colony or exile colony is a settlement used to exile prisoners and separate them from the general population by placing them in a remote location, often an island or distant colonial territory. Although the term can be used to refer to a correctional facility located in a remote location it is more commonly used to refer to communities of prisoners overseen by wardens or governors having absolute authority.

Toulon Prefecture and commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Toulon is a city in southern France and a large port on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department.

Brest, France Subprefecture and commune in Brittany, France

Brest is a city in the Finistère département in Brittany. Located in a sheltered bay not far from the western tip of the peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon. The city is located on the western edge of continental Europe. With 142,722 inhabitants in a 2007 census, Brest is at the centre of Western Brittany's largest metropolitan area, ranking third behind only Nantes and Rennes in the whole of historic Brittany, and the 19th most populous city in France; moreover, Brest provides services to the one million inhabitants of Western Brittany. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture of the department is the much smaller Quimper.

Off Rochefort, from the island of Île-d'Aix where he had spent several days hoping to flee to America, Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered to Captain F. L. Maitland aboard HMS Bellerophon, on 17 July 1815, ending the "Hundred Days".

Île-dAix Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Île-d'Aix is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department off the west coast of France. It occupies the territory of small island of Île d'Aix in the Atlantic. It is a popular place for tourist day-trips during the summer months.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

HMS <i>Bellerophon</i> (1786) Royal Navy ship of the line

HMS Bellerophon was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. Launched in 1786, she served during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, mostly on blockades or convoy escort duties. Known to sailors as the "Billy Ruffian", she fought in three fleet actions, the Glorious First of June, the Battle of the Nile and the Battle of Trafalgar, and was the ship aboard which Napoleon finally surrendered, ending 22 years of nearly continuous war with France.

Rochefort is a notable example of 17th-century "ville nouvelle" or new town, which means its design and building resulted from a political decree. The reason for building Rochefort was to a large extent that royal power could hardly depend on rebellious Protestant La Rochelle, which Cardinal Richelieu had to besiege a few decades earlier. Well into the 20th century, Rochefort remained primarily a garrison town. The tourist industry, which had long existed due to the town's spa, gained emphasis in the 1990s.

Population

Historical population
YearPop.±%
180614,615    
182012,389−15.2%
187627,012+118.0%
190136,458+35.0%
191135,019−3.9%
192129,473−15.8%
193629,482+0.0%
194629,472−0.0%
YearPop.±%
195430,858+4.7%
196228,648−7.2%
196829,226+2.0%
197528,155−3.7%
198226,167−7.1%
199025,561−2.3%
199925,797+0.9%
200825,676−0.5%

Sights

The town is home to a unique style of bridge (built in 1900), named Pont transbordeur de Rochefort

Other sights include:

Notable inhabitants

Rochefort was the birthplace of:

International relations

Rochefort is twinned with:

See also

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References

  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE . Retrieved 25 April 2019.