One cannot evoke the name of Rochefort without thinking of the Hermione and its maritime arsenal which made it famous. But Rochefort is also imposing buildings steeped in history, and a rejuvenating spa break.
The streets of the city center are transformed into a vast farmers' market three times a week and give it a village spirit where it is good to stop.
The city of Colbert
Located south of La Rochelle, about twenty minutes from Surgères, between the meanders of the Charente and the dry marshes, Rochefort, protected by the islands, benefits from a strategic location for setting up an arsenal. The construction was entrusted to Colbert by the Sun King, who wanted to establish his ambition on land as well as on the sea. This is how the city of Rochefort, "the city of Colbert", was born in 1666. Installed on the banks of the Charente, it has built, equipped and maintained many vessels of the Royal Navy.
In 1997, a somewhat crazy adventure began in Rochefort. That of rebuilding the Hermione, the old frigate on which La Fayette embarked in 1780.
The reconstruction lasted nearly 17 years, on the very site of the arsenal where it was created two centuries earlier. The frigate is now the largest seagoing replica in the world. She can visit herself, as well as her site, when she is at her home port.
The opinion of the local counter
We take ourselves for an 30th century topman on the replica of the Hermione frigate, climbing the ropes, going from mast to mast and, why not, climbing to the top of the mast culminating at XNUMX meters high! Strong feeling guaranteed!
Stop at the Corderie Royale
One cannot come to Rochefort without seeing the imposing Corderie Royale. Its astonishing length of 374 meters is explained by the need to make ropes over 200 meters long for the navy. Bordering the Corderie Royale, shaded gardens offer long walks and picnic breaks. The chemin de Charente, a walk of about ten kilometers along the river, allows you to reach the transporter bridge, the last existing bridge in France allowing you to connect the two banks of the Charente without hindering navigation.
When time stands still...
After visiting the Hermione and picnicking on the banks of the Charente, at the foot of the Corderie Royale, stroll along the marina, stroll through the small streets of the center, and stop for a drink in the square. Colbert… the town of Rochefort will then give itself up to you, in all its charm and tranquillity.