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Museums and tourist attractions

Whether you are in a distinctive hotel from the 18th century, on a boat, in one of the biggest private aquariums in Europe, in scenery recreated to size, in real bustling wineries or castles; La Rochelle’s museums and tourist attractions in the heart of La Rochelle and the surrounding area take you on incredible journeys to the heart of science, art, history and nature... Now boarding!

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Francis Giraudon
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Rebuilt in the 18th century on the site of the former Courthouse erected by Henry IV, it was completed at the beginning of the Revolution which, after scraping away the fleur-de-lys, inscribed the still visible inscription on the façade: "Temple of Justice under the reign of Liberty and Equality, year II of the French...

Francis Giraudon
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Since the 13th century, the port of La Rochelle has occupied this location. It is likely that from the beginning it was fortified. The remaining towers date from the 14th and 15th centuries. They survived the destruction of the enclosure after the siege of 1628. On either side of the entrance are the Saint-Nicolas Tower, the...

MUSEE DU NOUVEAU MONDE
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La Rochelle was one of the main ports for trade and emigration towards the New World: In the prestigious Fleuriau hotel, a former 18th century town house, the museum will take you on a journey through paintings, engravings, drawings, sculptures, old maps and objects of decorative art from the West Indies to New France, and you...

Francis Giraudon
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Built from 1910 to 1922 by the architect Esquier, it is the last great monumental station that French State Railways had built. At the time, the project was surprisingly large for a city with a population of just under 30 000 inhabitants. The exterior decoration displays a maritime inspiration: shellfish, fish and crustaceans.

CATHEDRALE ST LOUIS
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After the Siege of 1628, the Catholics saw fit to make the former Protestant stronghold the head of a diocese. So it needed a cathedral. Jacques Gabriel drew up the plans but died just before the first stone was laid in 1742. His son and successor, Jacques-Ange Gabriel, directed the construction from afar, helped in 1773 by the...

Francis Giraudon
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Headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce from 1760 to 2002. Building of the purest 18th century with two wings joined by a gallery with columns marking out a courtyard where the compass rose on the ground and bas-reliefs on the façade (trophies, anchors, oars, sextants) are tributes to maritime traffic, the source of La...

TOURS DE LA ROCHELLE
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Saint Nicolas Tower : This military building facing the ocean symbolises the power and wealth of La Rochelle. Both a true keep, 42 metres high, and a residence, it was constructed around a labyrinth of staircases and corridors built within its walls. Chain Tower : From this Tower, entry to the old port, movement of ships was...

Francis Giraudon
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On 28 June 2013 at 1.55pm, a serious fire broke out in the Town Hall building in La Rochelle. Behind its high Gothic wall topped by a belfry tower, this iconic building of the city held many souvenirs, including those relating to the Siege, the Aldermen's Hall, the Great Festival Hall and the Jean Guiton Office with its...

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