|• Mayor (2020–2026)||Hervé Blanché|
|21.95 km2 (8.47 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||0–29 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.|
Rochefort (Occitan : Ròchafòrt), unofficially Rochefort-sur-Mer (French pronunciation: [ʁɔʃfɔʁ syʁ mɛʁ] ; Occitan: Ròchafòrt de Mar) for disambiguation, is a city and commune in Southwestern France, a port on the Charente estuary. It is a subprefecture of the Charente-Maritime department, located in the administrative region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine (before 2015: Poitou-Charentes). In 2018, it had a population of 23,583.
Rochefort lies on the river Charente, close to its outflow into the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 30 km southeast of La Rochelle. Rochefort station has rail connections to La Rochelle, Nantes and Bordeaux.
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.
In September 1757, Rochefort was the target of an ambitious British raid during the Seven Years' War.
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.
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".
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.
|Source: EHESS and INSEE (1968-2017)|
Noteworthy buildings of the original naval establishment include:
Other sights include:
Rochefort was the birthplace of:
Rochefort is twinned with:
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 2019, it had a population of 651,358 with an area of 6,864 square kilometres.
The Isle of Oléron or Oléron Island is an island off the Atlantic coast of France, on the southern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait.
Poitou-Charentes is a former administrative region on the southwest coast of France. It is part of the new region Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It comprises four departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. Historical provinces are Angoumois, Aunis, Saintonge and Poitou.
Saintes is a commune and historic town in western France, in the Charente-Maritime department of which it is a sub-prefecture, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Its inhabitants are called Saintaises and Saintais. Saintes is the second-largest city in Charente-Maritime, with 26,470 inhabitants in 2008. The city's immediate surroundings form the second-most populous metropolitan area in the department, with 56,598 inhabitants. While a majority of the surrounding landscape consists of fertile, productive fields, a significant minority of the region remains forested, its natural state.
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.
The arrondissement of Rochefort is an arrondissement (district) in the Charente-Maritime department in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. It has 78 communes. Its population is 189,875 (2016), and its area is 1,534.6 km2 (592.5 sq mi).
The Arrondissement of La Rochelle is an arrondissement of France, located in the Charente-Maritime department, region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It has 58 communes. Its population is 215,707 (2016), and its area is 852.8 km2 (329.3 sq mi).
Aigrefeuille-d'Aunis is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France.
Ardillières is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France.
Anais is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France.
Sainte-Soulle is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France.
Andilly is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France.
Angoulins is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France.
Étaules is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department and Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France.
Surgères is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department, southwestern France. It is the home of the Surgères 48 Hour Race.
Angliers is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France.
Rochefort-Martrou Transporter Bridge is a transporter bridge built between 1898 and 1900. It is located in Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France and connects the towns of Rochefort and Échillais without hindering the navigation of shipping serving the ports of Rochefort and Tonnay-Charente. It is the last transporter bridge in operation in France. Crossing the river Charente, it has a maximum height of 66.5 metres (218 ft) and a total length of 175.5 metres (576 ft). It is a technical invention accomplished by the French engineer Ferdinand Arnodin. It was abandoned in 1967 in favour of a vertical lift bridge, which was in turn demolished in 1991 a few months after the opening of a new dual-carriageway road bridge, the Martrou viaduct. However, the transporter bridge was refurbished by 1994 and is now a historical monument (1976). Crossing on foot or by bicycle or moped is still possible today from April to the end of October. Crossings last 75 seconds, excluding boarding and disembarking time.
The Communauté d'agglomération de La Rochelle is the communauté d'agglomération, an intercommunal structure, centred on the city of La Rochelle. It is located in the Charente-Maritime department, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, South West France. Its area is 327.0 km2. Its population was 171,811 in 2018, of which 76,114 in La Rochelle proper.
Nouvelle-Aquitaine, is the largest administrative region in France, spanning the west and southwest of the mainland. The region was created by the territorial reform of French regions in 2014 through the merger of three regions: Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. It covers 84,036 km2 (32,446 sq mi) – or 1⁄8 of the country – and has 5,956,978 inhabitants. The new region was established on 1 January 2016, following the regional elections in December 2015.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of La Rochelle.
Movies: "Les Demoiselles De Rochefort" 1967 - Jacques Demy