La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal, and is named in English after the province of Biscay, in the Spanish...

, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime
Charente-Maritime is a department on the west coast of France named after the Charente River.- History :Previously a part of Saintonge, Charente-Inférieure was one of the 83 original departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790...


The city is connected to the Île de Ré
Île de Ré
Île de Ré is an island off the west coast of France near La Rochelle, on the northern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait....

 by a 2.9 km (1.8 mi) bridge completed on 19 May 1988. Its harbour opens into a protected strait, the Pertuis d'Antioche
Pertuis d'Antioche
The Pertuis d'Antioche is a strait on the Atlantic coast of Western France, located between the two islands Île de Ré and Île d'Oléron and the continental coast, between the cities of La Rochelle and the naval arsenal of Rochefort...



The area of La Rochelle was occupied in antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 by the Gallic
The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period. They mostly spoke the Continental Celtic language called Gaulish....

 tribe of the Santones
The Santones or Santoni were a tribe of ancient Gaul located in the modern region of Saintonge and around the city of Saintes, city to which they gave their name. The Romans occupied the territory of the Santones from the 1st century BC....

, who gave their name to the nearby region of Saintonge
Saintonge is a small region on the Atlantic coast of France within the département Charente-Maritime, west and south of Charente in the administrative region of Poitou-Charentes....

 and the city of Saintes
Saintes is a French commune located in Poitou-Charentes, in the southwestern Charente-Maritime department of which it is a sub-prefecture. Its inhabitants are called Saintaises and Saintais....


The Romans then occupied the area, where they developed salt production along the coast as well as wine production, which was then re-exported throughout the Empire. Roman villas have been found at Saint-Éloi and at Les Minimes
Les Minimes
Les Minimes, Port de plaisance des Minimes, is the largest marina in France for pleasure boats. It is located in the city of La Rochelle....

, as well as salt evaporation pond
Salt evaporation pond
Salt evaporation ponds, also called salterns or salt pans, are shallow artificial ponds designed to produce salts from sea water or other brines. The seawater or brine is fed into large ponds and water is drawn out through natural evaporation which allows the salt to be subsequently harvested...

s dating from the same period.


La Rochelle was founded during the 10th century and became an important harbour in the 12th century. The establishment of La Rochelle as a harbour was a consequence of the victory of Guillaume X, Duke of Aquitaine
William X of Aquitaine
William X , called the Saint, was Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, and Count of Poitou between 1126 and 1137. He was the son of William IX by his second wife, Philippa of Toulouse....

 over Isambert de Châtelaillon in 1130 and the subsequent destruction of his harbour of Châtelaillon. In 1137, Guillaume X to all intents and purposes made La Rochelle a free port and gave it the right to establish itself as a commune
Medieval commune
Medieval communes in the European Middle Ages had sworn allegiances of mutual defense among the citizens of a town or city. They took many forms, and varied widely in organization and makeup. Communes are first recorded in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, thereafter becoming a widespread...

. Fifty years later Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. As well as being Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she was queen consort of France and of England...

 upheld the communal charter promulgated by her father, and for the first time in France, a city mayor was appointed for La Rochelle, Guillaume de Montmirail
Guillaume de Montmirail
Guillaume de Montmirail was a French nobleman, who was elected the first mayor of La Rochelle in 1199. He was also the first mayor of French history. His nomination was the result of the right of La Rochelle to establish itself as a commune, granted by Guillaume X, Duke of Aquitaine, and upheld by...

. Guillaume was assisted in his responsibilities by 24 municipal magistrates, and 75 notables 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 entrepreuneurial middle-class (bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...


Plantagenet rule (1154–1224)

Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet in 1152, who became king of England as Henry II
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

 in 1154, thus putting La Rochelle under Plantagenet rule, until Louis VIII
Louis VIII of France
Louis VIII the Lion reigned as King of France from 1223 to 1226. He was a member of the House of Capet. Louis VIII was born in Paris, France, the son of Philip II Augustus and Isabelle of Hainaut. He was also Count of Artois, inheriting the county from his mother, from 1190–1226...

 recaptured it in the 1224 Siege of La Rochelle
Siege of La Rochelle (1224)
A Siege of La Rochelle occurred in 1224, when the French King Louis VIII recaptured the city of La Rochelle from the English.-Context:The city of La Rochelle had been under English rule since 1154, when Eleanor of Aquitaine's husband Henry Plantagenet became king of England as Henry II of England...

. During the Plantagenet control of the city in 1185, Henry II had the Vauclair castle
Vauclair castle
Vauclair castle, also Vauclerc castle was a castle built at La Rochelle, by Henry II of England in the 12th century....

 built, remains of which are still visible in the Place de Verdun.

The main activities of the city were in the areas of maritime commerce and trade, especially with England, the Netherlands and Spain. In 1196, a wealthy bourgeois named Alexandre Auffredi
Alexandre Auffredi
Alexandre Auffredi was a wealthy bourgeois of the city of La Rochelle in France, who in 1196 sent a fleet of seven ships to Africa to tap the riches of the continent. He went bankrupt and went into poverty as he waited for the return of his ships, but they finally returned seven years later filled...

 sent a fleet of seven ships to Africa to tap the riches of the continent. He went bankrupt and went into poverty as he waited for the return of his ships, but they finally returned seven years later filled with riches.

Knights Templar

The Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

 had a strong presence in La Rochelle since before the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. As well as being Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she was queen consort of France and of England...

, who exempted them from duties and gave them mill
Mill (grinding)
A grinding mill is a unit operation designed to break a solid material into smaller pieces. There are many different types of grinding mills and many types of materials processed in them. Historically mills were powered by hand , working animal , wind or water...

s in her 1139 Charter. La Rochelle was for the Templars their largest base on the Atlantic Ocean, and where they stationed their main fleet. From La Rochelle, they were able to act as intermediaries in trade between England and the Mediterranean. There is a legend that the Templars used the port of La Rochelle to escape from France with the fleet of 18 ships which had brought Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay was the 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, leading the Order from 20 April 1292 until it was dissolved by order of Pope Clement V in 1312...

 from Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 to La Rochelle. 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, and the legend continues that the Templars allegedly even left for America, burying a treasure in Oak Island
Oak Island
Oak Island is a island in Lunenburg County on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. The tree-covered island is one of about 360 small islands in Mahone Bay and rises to a maximum of 35 feet above sea level...

, Nova Scotia, Canada (a story taken up in the 2004 movie National Treasure
National Treasure (film)
National Treasure is a 2004 mystery adventure heist film from the Walt Disney Studios under Walt Disney Pictures. It was written by Jim Kouf, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Cormac Wibberley, and Marianne Wibberley, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and directed by Jon Turteltaub...

 starring Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage is an American actor, producer and director, having appeared in over 60 films including Raising Arizona , The Rock , Face/Off , Gone in 60 Seconds , Adaptation , National Treasure , Ghost Rider , Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans , and...


Hundred Years' War

During the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

 in 1360, following the Treaty of Bretigny
Treaty of Brétigny
The Treaty of Brétigny was a treaty signed on May 9, 1360, between King Edward III of England and King John II of France. In retrospect it is seen as having marked the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War —as well as the height of English hegemony on the Continent.It was signed...

 La Rochelle again became English. La Rochelle however expelled the English in June 1372, following the naval Battle of La Rochelle
Battle of La Rochelle
The naval Battle of La Rochelle took place on 22 and 23 June 1372 between a Castilian and French fleet commanded by the Genoese born Ambrosio Boccanegra and an English convoy commanded by John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. The Franco-Castilian fleet had been sent to attack the English at La...

, between a Castilian-French and an English fleet. The Spanish had 60 ships and the English 40. They also had more knights and men than the English. The French and Castilians decisively defeated the English, securing French control of the Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 for the first time since the Battle of Sluys
Battle of Sluys
The decisive naval Battle of Sluys , also called Battle of l'Ecluse was fought on 24 June 1340 as one of the opening conflicts of the Hundred Years' War...

 in 1340. The naval battle of La Rochelle was one of the first cases of the use of handgun
A handgun is a firearm designed to be held and operated by one hand. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from long guns such as rifles and shotguns ....

s on warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s, which were deployed by the French and Spanish against the English. Having recovered freedom, La Rochelle refused entry to Du Guesclin, until Charles V
Charles V of France
Charles V , called the Wise, was King of France from 1364 to his death in 1380 and a member of the House of Valois...

 recognized the privileges of the city in November 1372.

In 1402, the French adventurer Jean de Béthencourt
Jean de Béthencourt
Jean de Béthencourt was a French explorer who, in 1402, led an expedition to the Canary Islands, landing first on the north side of Lanzarote...

 left La Rochelle and sailed along the coast of Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 to conquer the Canary islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...


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

During the Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, La Rochelle progressively adopted Protestant ideas. Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 started to be propagated in the region of La Rochelle, resulting in its suppression through the establishment of Cours présidiaux tribunals by Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

. An early result of this was the burning at the stake of two "heretics" in La Rochelle in 1552. 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.

On the initiative of Gaspard de Coligny
Gaspard de Coligny
Gaspard de Coligny , Seigneur de Châtillon, was a French nobleman and admiral, best remembered as a disciplined Huguenot leader in the French Wars of Religion.-Ancestry:...

, the Calvinists attempted to colonize the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 to find a new home for their religion, with the likes of Pierre Richier
Pierre Richier
Pierre Richier, also Pierre Richer, dit de Lisle, was a French Calvinist theologian, who accompanied Philippe de Corguilleray on a French expedition to Brazil in 1556, to reinforce the colony of France Antarctique. He was a member of a contingent of 14 Calvinist people dispatched from Geneva...

 and Jean de Léry
Jean de Léry
Jean de Léry was an explorer, writer and Reformed Pastor born in Lamargelle, Côte-d'Or, France. Little is known of his early life; and he might have remained unknown had he not accompanied a group of Protestants to their new colony on an island in the Bay of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil...

. After the short-lived attempt of France Antarctique
France Antarctique
France Antarctique was a French colony south of the Equator, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which existed between 1555 and 1567, and had control over the coast from Rio de Janeiro to Cabo Frio...

, they failed to establish a colony in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, and finally resolved to make a stand in La Rochelle itself. Pierre Richier
Pierre Richier
Pierre Richier, also Pierre Richer, dit de Lisle, was a French Calvinist theologian, who accompanied Philippe de Corguilleray on a French expedition to Brazil in 1556, to reinforce the colony of France Antarctique. He was a member of a contingent of 14 Calvinist people dispatched from Geneva...

 became "Ministre de l'église de la Rochelle" ("Minister of the Church of La Rochelle") when he returned from Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 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 secretely educated in the Lutheran faith by Charles de Clermont
Charles de Clermont
Charles de Clermont, called la Fontaine, was a Protestant preacher who was active in La Rochelle in 1557.The arrival of Charles de Clermont followed a period of repression against Calvinist propagation, through the establishment of "Cours présidiaux" tribunals by Henry II...

 the previous year. He has been described, by Lancelot Voisin de La Popelinière
Lancelot Voisin de La Popelinière
Lancelot Voisin de La Popelinière , was a Gascon writer and historian. He was a Protestant, and took part in the Wars of Religion on the Huguenot side...

, as "le père de l'église de La Rochelle" ("The Father of the Church of La Rochelle").
La Rochelle was the first French city, with Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

, to experience iconoclastic riots in 1560, at the time of the suppression of the Amboise conspiracy
Amboise conspiracy
The Amboise conspiracy, also called Tumult of Amboise, was a failed attempt by Huguenots in 1560 to gain power of France by abducting the young king, Francis II and arresting Francis, Duke of Guise and his brother, the Cardinal of Lorraine...

, before the riots spread to many other cities. 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.

From 1568, La Rochelle became a centre for the Huguenots, and the city declared itself an independent Reformed Republic on the model of Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

. This led to numerous conflicts with the Catholic central government. The city supported the Protestant movement of William of Orange
William the Silent
William I, Prince of Orange , also widely known as William the Silent , or simply William of Orange , was the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that set off the Eighty Years' War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1648. He was born in the House of...

 in the Netherlands, and from La Rochelle the Dutch under Louis of Nassau
Louis of Nassau
Louis of Nassau was the third son of William, Count of Nassau and Juliana of Stolberg, and the younger brother of Prince William of Orange Nassau....

 and the Sea Beggars were able to raid Spanish shipping.

In 1571 the city of La Rochelle suffered a naval blockade by the French Navy under the command of Filippo di Piero Strozzi
Filippo di Piero Strozzi
Filippo di Piero Strozzi was an Italian condottiero, a member of the Florentine family of the Strozzi. He fought mainly for France.-Biography:...

 and Antoine Escalin des Aimars
Antoine Escalin des Aimars
Antoine Escalin des Aimars , also known as Captain Polin or Captain Paulin, later Baron de La Garde, was French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1541 to 1547, and "Général des Galères" from 1544.-Italian Wars:Polin was noticed by Guillaume du Bellay as a valuable officer of the French Army...

, a former protagonist of the Franco-Ottoman alliance
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

. The city was finally besieged during the Siege of La Rochelle (1572-1573)
Siege of La Rochelle (1572-1573)
The Siege of La Rochelle of 1572–1573 was a massive military assault on the Huguenot-held 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...

 during the French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

, following the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre
St. Bartholomew's Day massacre
The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572 was a targeted group of assassinations, followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against the Huguenots , during the French Wars of Religion...

 in August 1572, and occurred at the same time as other sieges of Protestant cities such as the Siege of Sancerre
Siege of Sancerre
The Siege of Sancerre was a siege of the fortified hilltop city of Sancerre in central France during the Wars of Religion where the Huguenot population held out for nearly eight months against the Catholic forces of the king.-Background:...

. The conflict ended with the 1573 Peace of La Rochelle, which restricted the Protestant worship to the three cities of Montauban
Montauban is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrénées region in southern France. It is the capital of the department and lies north of Toulouse....

, Nîmes
Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a popular tourist destination.-History:...

 and La Rochelle. Pierre Richier died in La Rochelle in 1580.

Huguenot rebellions

Under Henry IV, and under the regency of his son Louis XIII
Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority...

, 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. A fleet from La Rochelle fought a royal fleet of 35 ships under the Charles de Guise
Charles, Duke of Guise
Charles de Lorraine, 4th Duke of Guise was the son of Henry I, Duke of Guise and Catherine of Cleves.-Biography:...

 in front of Saint-Martin-de-Ré
Saint-Martin-de-Ré is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France.It is one of the 10 communes located on the Île de Ré.-History:Saint-Martin-de-Ré has extensive fortifications, reflecting the strategic importance of the Île de Ré...

, but was defeated on 27 October 1622, leading to the signing of the Peace of Montpellier.

Revolt of Soubise (1625)

In 1625, a new Huguenot revolt led by Duke Henri de Rohan and his brother Soubise
Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise
Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise , was a French Huguenot leader.The younger brother of Henri de Rohan, he inherited his title through his mother Catherine of Parthenay. He served his apprenticeship as a soldier under Maurice of Nassau in the Low Countries...

 led to the Capture of Ré island
Capture 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.-Background:The...

 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
Henri II de Montmorency
Henri II de Montmorency was a French nobleman and military commander.Born at Chantilly, Oise, he was the son of duke Henry I, whom he succeeded in 1614, having previously been made grand admiral...

, as was Soubise with 3,000 when he led a counter-attack against the royal troops who had landed on the island of Ré.

Siege of La Rochelle (1627–1628)

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 an Anglo-French War (1627-1629)
Anglo-French War (1627-1629)
The Anglo-French war of 1627-1629 was part of the Thirty Years' War. It mainly involved actions at sea. The centre of the conflict surrounded the Siege of La Rochelle, in which the English crown supported the French Huguenots in their fight against the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France in...

, by sending a major expedition under the Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham KG was the favourite, claimed by some to be the lover, of King James I of England. Despite a very patchy political and military record, he remained at the height of royal favour for the first two years of the reign of Charles I, until he was assassinated...

. The expedition however ended in a fiasco for England with the Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré (1627)
Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré (1627)
The Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, also Siege of St. Martin's , occurred in the French isle of Ile de Ré around the fortress of the city of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, when Duke of Buckingham tried to occupy the island in 1627...

. Meanwhile, cannon shots were exchanged on 10 September 1627 between La Rochelle and Royal troops. This resulted in the Siege of La Rochelle
Siege of La Rochelle
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 1627-1628...

 in which Cardinal Richelieu blockaded the city for 14 months, until the city surrendered and lost its mayor and its privileges.
The remaining Protestants of La Rochelle suffered new persecutions, when 300 hundred 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.

The growing persecution of the Huguenots culminated with the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 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
Alexandre Dumas, père
Alexandre Dumas, , born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world...

's classic novel, The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, first serialized in March–July 1844. Set in the 17th century, it recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to travel to Paris, to join the Musketeers of the Guard...


La Rochelle and the New World

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
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, 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
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

 ship-owning and merchant class prospered in the 16th century until the Wars of Religion devastated the city.

The period following the wars was a prosperous one, marked by intense exchanges with the New World (Nouvelle France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 in Canada, and the Antilles
The Antilles islands form the greater part of the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea. The Antilles are divided into two major groups: the "Greater Antilles" to the north and west, including the larger islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola , and Puerto Rico; and the smaller "Lesser Antilles" on the...

). La Rochelle became very active in triangular trade
Triangular trade
Triangular trade, or triangle trade, is a historical term indicating among three ports or regions. Triangular trade usually evolves when a region has export commodities that are not required in the region from which its major imports come...

 with the New World, dealing in the slave trade with Africa, sugar trade with plantations of the West Indies, and fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 with Canada. This was a period of high artistic, cultural and architectural achievements for the city.

Robert de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de LaSalle was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico...

 departed from La Rochelle, France, on 24 July 1684, with the aim of setting up a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, eventually establishing Fort Saint Louis in Texas.

The city eventually lost its trade and prominence during the decades spanning the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

, the French revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

. 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
Samuel de Missy
Samuel de Missy was a French trader and businessman, from the city of La Rochelle, were he was born...

, the slave trade of La Rochelle ended with 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
Gulf of Guinea
The Gulf of Guinea is the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia. The intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian is in the gulf....

. In February 1794, the National Assembly legislated the Universal Emancipation decree, which effectively freed all colonial slaves.

In 1809, the Battle of the Basque Roads
Battle of the Basque Roads
The Battle of the Basque Roads, also Battle of Aix Roads was a naval battle during the Napoleonic Wars off the Island of Aix...

 took place near La Rochelle, in which a British fleet defeated the French Atlantic Fleet.

La Rochelle faience

La Rochelle became one of the French centres for faience in the end of the 18th century. Bernard Palissy
Bernard Palissy
Bernard Palissy was a French Huguenot potter, hydraulics engineer and craftsman, famous for having struggled for sixteen years to imitate Chinese porcelain...

 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
Kakiemon wares were produced at the factories of Arita, Saga Prefecture, Japan from the mid-17th century, with much in common with the Chinese "Famille Verte" style...

-type designs. 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
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 in the World, Plongeur, commanded by Marie-Joseph-Camille Doré
Marie-Joseph-Camille Doré
Marie-Joseph-Camille Doré was a captain in the French Navy in the 19th century. He was born in La Rochelle in western France on January 14, 1831....

, a native of La Rochelle.

Second World War

During the Second World War, Germany established a submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 naval base at La Pallice (the main port of La Rochelle), which became the setting for the movie Das Boot
Das Boot
Das Boot is a 1981 German epic war film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Günter Rohrbach, and starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, and Klaus Wennemann...

. The U-Boat scenes in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and starring Harrison Ford. It is the first film in the Indiana Jones franchise...

 were also shot in 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
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 base on the Atlantic, especially a major submarine base from where U-Boat campaigns were launched...

 took place between 12 September 1944, and 7 May 1945, in which the stronghold, including the islands of
Île de Ré
Île de Ré is an island off the west coast of France near La Rochelle, on the northern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait....

 and Oléron
Île d'Oléron is an island off the Atlantic coast of France , on the southern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait....

, was held by 20,000 German troops under a German vice-admiral Ernst Schirlitz
Ernst Schirlitz
Ernst Schirlitz was a Vizeadmiral with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross...

. Following negotiations by the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

 frigate captain Meyer, and the general German capitulation on 7 May, French troops entered La Rochelle on 8 May.

This u-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 base is featured in a computer game called Commandos 2 men of courage, in which the Commandos have to rescue captured sailers.


The bedrock of La Rochelle and surrounding areas is composed of layers of limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 dating back to the Sequanian stage (upper Oxfordian stage
Oxfordian stage
The Oxfordian is, in the ICS' geologic timescale, the earliest age of the Late Jurassic epoch, or the lowest stage of the Upper Jurassic series. It spans the time between 161.2 ± 4 Ma and 155.7 ± 4 Ma...

) of the Jurassic
The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Mya to  Mya, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic era, also known as the age of reptiles. The start of the period is marked by...

 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 fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

s. 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. The limestone thus formed is traditionally used as the main building material throughout the region.

The area of La Pointe du Chay
La Pointe du Chay
La Pointe du Chay is a limestone promontory, about 5 kilometers from La Rochelle, France, between the seafront of Aytré and Angoulins. It is a popular cliff area for leisurely archaeological surveys....

, about 5 kilometres from La Rochelle is a popular cliff area for leisurely archaeological surveys.


Although at the same latitude as Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 in Canada or the Kuril islands
Kuril Islands
The Kuril Islands , in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast region, form a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately northeast from Hokkaidō, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many more minor rocks. It consists of Greater...

 in Russia, the area is quite warm throughout the year due to the influence of the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean...

 waters, and insolation
Insolation is a measure of solar radiation energy received on a given surface area in a given time. It is commonly expressed as average irradiance in watts per square meter or kilowatt-hours per square meter per day...

 is remarkably high, though far below the French Riviera
French Riviera
The Côte d'Azur, pronounced , often known in English as the French Riviera , is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco...

 on the Mediterranean Southern coast of France.



The city has beautifully maintained its past architecture, making it one of the most picturesque and historically rich cities on the Atlantic coast. This helped develop a strong tourism industry.

La Rochelle possesses a commercial deep water harbour, named La Pallice
La Pallice (harbour)
La Pallice is the industrial harbour of the city of La Rochelle, France. It is a commercial harbour in deep water, named after the French philosopher La Pallice. The large submarine base built during World War II still stands there, although it is not being used...

. The large submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 pens built during World War II still stand there, although it is 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 also maintains strong links with the sea by harbouring the largest marina for pleasure boats in Europe at Les Minimes
Les Minimes
Les Minimes, Port de plaisance des Minimes, is the largest marina in France for pleasure boats. It is located in the city of La Rochelle....

, and a rather rich boat-building industry.

La Rochelle has a very big aquarium, and a small botanical garden
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

 (the Jardin des plantes de La Rochelle
Jardin des plantes de La Rochelle
The Jardin des plantes de La Rochelle is a small botanical garden located behind the natural history museum at 28 rue Albert Ier, La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, France. It is open daily without charge....


The Calypso
Calypso (ship)
RV Calypso is a former British Royal Navy Minesweeper converted into a research vessel for the oceanographic researcher Jacques-Yves Cousteau, equipped with a mobile laboratory for underwater field research. She was severely damaged in 1996, and is undergoing a complete refurbishment in 2009-2011...

, the ship used by Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water...

 as a mobile laboratory for oceanography, and which was sunk after a collision in the port of Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 (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.

La Rochelle is the setting for the best-selling series of French language textbook
A textbook or coursebook is a manual of instruction in any branch of study. Textbooks are produced according to the demands of educational institutions...

s in the UK, titled Tricolore. The central character, Martine Domme, lives with her family at the fictional address of 12, rue de la République.


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. From the harbour, boating trips can be taken to the Île d'Aix and Fort Boyard
Fort Boyard
Fort Boyard is a fort located between the Île-d'Aix and the Île d'Oléron in the Pertuis d'Antioche straits, on the west coast of France. Though a fort on Boyard bank was suggested as early as the 17th century, it was not until the 1800s under Napoleon Bonaparte that work began.-Layout:Fort...

 (home to the internationally famous TV show of the same name). Nearby Île de Ré
Île de Ré
Île de Ré is an island off the west coast of France near La Rochelle, on the northern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait....

 is a short drive to the North. The countryside of the surrounding Charente-Maritime is very rural and full of history (Saintes
Saintes is a French commune located in Poitou-Charentes, in the southwestern Charente-Maritime department of which it is a sub-prefecture. Its inhabitants are called Saintaises and Saintais....

). To the North is Venise Verte, a marshy area of country, criss-crossed with tiny canals and a popular resort for inland boating. Inland is the country of Cognac
Cognac is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Cognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes. The majority of the town has been built on the river's left bank, with the smaller right...

 and Pineau. The attractive Île de Ré
Île de Ré
Île de Ré is an island off the west coast of France near La Rochelle, on the northern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait....

 is accessible via a bridge from La Rochelle.


La Rochelle and its region are served by the international La Rochelle - Île de Ré Airport
La Rochelle - Île de Ré Airport
La Rochelle - Île de Ré Airport is an airport located 2.5 km northwest of La Rochelle, a commune of the département of Charente-Maritime in France...

, which has progressively developed over the last 5 years. Currently, it is the largest airport in the Poitou-Charentes
Poitou-Charentes is an administrative region in central western France comprising four departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. The regional capital is Poitiers.-Politics:The regional council is composed of 56 members...

 region. The train station Gare de La Rochelle
Gare de La Rochelle
Gare de La Rochelle is the main station serving La Rochelle. The station building, which includes a 45-metre-tall clock tower, was built in 1922 by Pierre Esquié for the CF de l'Etat replacing the older building...

 offers connections to Bordeaux, Nantes, Poitiers, Paris and several regional destinations.

OFP La Rochelle
OFP La Rochelle
OFP La Rochelle is a rail freight company; a joint venture between Euro Cargo Rail and the port of La Rochelle. The company's first operations began in October 2010.-History:...

 is a freight railway serving the port.


The city has more than 10 000 students each year. The University of La Rochelle
University of La Rochelle
The University of La Rochelle is a French university, based in La Rochelle. It is under the Academy of Poitiers....

 was established in 1993. It is, with Ecole Supérieure de La Rochelle (La Rochelle Business School), the biggest universities in La Rochelle. (7 000 & 2 000 students)


  • Orbigny-Bernon Museum
    Orbigny-Bernon Museum
    The Orbigny-Bernon Museum is a history museum in the French city of La Rochelle.It was founded in 1917, and contains collections relating to the history of La Rochelle, as well as an important collection of porcelains of the city...

  • Muséum d'histoire naturelle de La Rochelle
    Muséum d'histoire naturelle de La Rochelle
    The Muséum d'histoire naturelle de La Rochelle is a natural historymuseum in the city of La Rochelle, France.The museum, reopened after a major renovation in 2007, displays about 10,000 artifacts from naturalists and ethnographers since the 18th century....

  • Saint-Louis Cathedral
    La Rochelle Cathedral
    La Rochelle Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and a national monument of France since 1906, located in the town of La Rochelle.-Present cathedral:...

Born in La Rochelle

  • Antoine Albeau
    Antoine Albeau
    Antoine Albeau is a French windsurfer who holds eleven Windsurfing World Championships in different disciplines since 1994.Born on June 17, 1972 in La Rochelle, France, Albeau set a new all–category world windpowered sailing speed record on March 5, 2008 with 49.09 knots on a 500 meter course at...

    , windsurfer
  • Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne
    Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne
    Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne , also known as Jean Nicolas, was a French personality of the Revolutionary period. Though not one of the most well known figures of the French Revolution, Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne was an instrumental figure of the period known as the Reign of Terror...

    , politician and revolutionary
  • Aimé Bonpland
    Aimé Bonpland
    Aimé Jacques Alexandre Bonpland was a French explorer and botanist.Bonpland's real name was Goujaud, and he was born in La Rochelle, a coastal city in France. After serving as a surgeon in the French army, and studying under J. N...

    , botanist
  • Natasha Nice
    Natasha Nice
    Natasha Nice is a French American pornographic actress.- Life and career :She was born in Fontenay-sous-Bois, France on July 28, 1988 and moved to Los Angeles, California when she was approximately three years old...

    , porn actress
  • William-Adolphe Bouguereau
    William-Adolphe Bouguereau
    William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a French academic painter. William Bouguereau was a traditionalist; in his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of Classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body.-Life and career :William-Adolphe...

    , painter
  • Jean-Loup Chrétien
    Jean-Loup Chrétien
    Jean-Loup Jacques Marie Chrétien, is a French engineer, a retired Général de Brigade in the Armée de l'Air , and a former CNES astronaut. He flew on two Franco-Soviet space missions and a NASA Space Shuttle mission...

    , astronaut
  • John Theophilus Desaguliers
    John Theophilus Desaguliers
    John Theophilus Desaguliers was a natural philosopher born in France. He was a member of the Royal Society of London beginning 29 July 1714. He was presented with the Royal Society's highest honour, the Copley Medal, in 1734, 1736 and 1741, with the 1741 award being for his discovery of the...

    , physician and mathematician
  • Guy-Victor Duperre
    Guy-Victor Duperré
    Guy-Victor Duperré was a French admiral, Peer of France and thrice Naval Minister....

    , admiral
  • Jean Duvignaud
    Jean Duvignaud
    Jean Duvignaud was a French novelist and sociologist.Duvignaud was a secondary school teacher at Abbeville then at Étampes where he taught Georges Perec. After submitting his doctoral thesis he taught at the University of Tours...

    , writer
  • Eugène Fromentin
    Eugène Fromentin
    Eugène Fromentin was a French painter and writer.He was born in La Rochelle. After leaving school he studied for some years under Louis Cabat, the landscape painter...

    , writer and painter
  • Nicolas Gargot de La Rochette, governor of Placentia
    Placentia may refer to:* Palace of Placentia, an English Royal Palace* Placentia, California, United States* Placentia, Italy* Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada* Battle of Placentia* Placentia Bay, the name of two ships of the Royal Navy...

  • Bernard Giraudeau
    Bernard Giraudeau
    Bernard Giraudeau was a French actor, film director, scriptwriter, producer and writer.-Life:Giraudeau was born in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime. In 1963 he enlisted in the French navy as a trainee engineer, qualifying as the first in his class a year later...

    , actor and director
  • Jean Guiton
    Jean Guiton
    Jean Guiton was born in La Rochelle where he followed the occupation of ship-owner.Having been nominated Admiral of the fleet of La Rochelle, Jean Guiton fought the Naval battle of Saint-Martin-de-Ré against Royal forces on 27 October 1622....

    , mayor during the Siege of La Rochelle
    Siege of La Rochelle
    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 1627-1628...

  • Grégory Havret
    Gregory Havret
    Grégory Havret is a French professional golfer.Havret won the French Amateur Championship three years in a row from 1997 to 1999, and in 1999 he won the European Amateur. He also won a minor professional tournament as an amateur, the 1998 Omnium National.Havret turned professional in 1999 and won...

    , professional golfer
  • Guy Laroche
    Guy Laroche
    Guy Laroche was a French fashion designer and founder of the eponymous company.Laroche began his career in millinery and, from 1949, Laroche worked for Jean Desses and eventually became his assistant. In 1955, he visited the US to investigate new ready-to-wear manufacturing methods...

    , fashion designer
  • Melissa Lauren
    Melissa Lauren
    Melissa Lauren is a French pornographic actress and director.Lauren started off studying as a cook for three years and worked in Paris as a pastry chef. After reading an ad in a newspaper from French porn director John B...

    , porn actress
  • Samuel de Missy
    Samuel de Missy
    Samuel de Missy was a French trader and businessman, from the city of La Rochelle, were he was born...

    , abolitionist
  • Fabrice Neaud
    Fabrice Neaud
    Fabrice Neaud is a French comics artist. He got his baccalaureate in literature in 1986. He studied philosophy during two years. Then he entered an art school and studied there four years. In 1991 he quit the school...

    , artist and cartoonist
  • Paul Ramadier
    Paul Ramadier
    Paul Ramadier was a prominent French politician of the Third and Fourth Republics. Mayor of Decazeville starting in 1919, he served as the first Prime Minister of the Fourth Republic in 1947. On 10 July 1940, he voted against the granting of the full powers to Marshal Philippe Pétain, who...

    , politician and member of the French Resistance
    French Resistance
    The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

  • René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, scientist
  • Winshluss, artist and cartoonist
  • Julien
    Julien Inc. is a stainless steel fabrication company. Through its residential, commercial and industrial subcontracting divisions, Julien has completed projects in 13 countries in a wide range of sectors, including transport, electrical and household appliances, agrifood, and the medical and food...

    , French actor and resident

Lived in La Rochelle

  • Colette Besson
    Colette Besson
    Colette Besson was a French athlete, the surprise winner of the 400 m at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.-Athletic career:...

    , sprinter
  • Saint Louis de Montfort
  • Alcide d'Orbigny
    Alcide d'Orbigny
    Alcide Charles Victor Marie Dessalines d'Orbigny was a French naturalist who made major contributions in many areas, including zoology , palaeontology, geology, archaeology and anthropology....

    , botanist
  • Marie Louise Trichet
    Marie Louise Trichet
    Blessed Marie Louise Trichet also known as Marie-Louise de Jésus was a French Catholic figure who, with Saint Louis de Montfort, founded the Congregation of religious women called Daughters of Wisdom and since the age of seventeen devoted her life to caring for the poor and the sick. She is also...

  • Georges Simenon
    Georges Simenon
    Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was a Belgian writer. A prolific author who published nearly 200 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known for the creation of the fictional detective Maigret.-Early life and education:...

    , author
  • Martin AuCoin, earliest known ancestor of U.S. Congressman Les AuCoin
    Les AuCoin
    Walter Leslie "Les" AuCoin , is an American politician and the first Democrat elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from since it was formed in 1882. The seat has been held by a Democrat ever since....


Atlantique Stade Rochelais
Atlantique Stade Rochelais
Stade Rochelais is a French rugby union club who compete in the Pro D2. They are often known simply as La Rochelle.They were founded in 1898 and play at Stade Marcel-Deflandre . They wear yellow and black...

 are a professional rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 team in the Top 14 league. They play their home matches at Stade Marcel-Deflandre
Stade Marcel-Deflandre
Stade Marcel-Deflandre is a sports stadium in La Rochelle, France. It is the home ground of rugby union team Atlantique Stade Rochelais of the Top 14 who have played there since it was opened in 1926. It has undergone significant redevelopment since 1995 and the present capacity is 12,500...

. Since 1991 the city has annually hosted the Marathon de La Rochelle
Marathon de La Rochelle
The Marathon de La Rochelle is an annual road running event which takes place in late November in La Rochelle, France. It features a full 42.195 km marathon race as well a 10 km race for amateur runners, a half marathon for wheelchair athletes, and a recreational 4 km jog around the...

, an international level race which featured 10,000 participants in 2010.

Twin towns – Sister cities

La Rochelle is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

, Germany, since 1988 New Rochelle, United States, since 1910 Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is a city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about south of Providence. Known as a New England summer resort and for the famous Newport Mansions, it is the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport which houses the United States Naval War...

, United States Acre, Israel
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

, since 1972 Essaouira
Mogador redirects here, for the hamlet in Surrey see Mogador, Surrey.Essaouira is a city in the western Moroccan economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, on the Atlantic coast. Since the 16th century, the city has also been known by its Portuguese name of Mogador or Mogadore...

, Morocco, since 1999 Santiago de Figueiró
Santiago de Figueiró
Santiago de Figueiró is a parish in the municipality of Amarante in Portugal....

, Portugal, since 2003 Petrozavodsk
Petrozavodsk is the capital city of the Republic of Karelia, Russia. It stretches along the western shore of the Lake Onega for some . The city is served by Petrozavodsk Airport. Municipally, it is incorporated as Petrozavodsky Urban Okrug . Population:...

, Russia, since 1973

External links

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