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Tourist attractions La Rochelle

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  • 1 Gabut Quarter

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    quai Georges-Simenon

    Today this area is residential and commercial, but was once a place occupied by fishermen's storehouses. The brightly coloured wood-panelled façades give it a Nordic look.

  • 2 Cours des Dames

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    cours des Dames

    This quay lined with old shipowners' houses served as a berth for high vessels. The esplanade planted with lime trees is one of the liveliest places in town and is the point of departure for boat rides.

  • 3 La Coursive

    Religious buildings

    rue St-Jean-du-Pérot

    This theatre, once a Carmelite chapel, has a 17C doorway and an attractive arcaded courtyard.

  • 4 Rue sur les murs

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue Sur-les-Murs

    This street linking the Chain Tower to the Lantern Tower runs along the top of the medieval ramparts, the only section of the fortifications not destroyed by Richelieu.

  • 5 Mail

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Parc Charruyer

    This majestic alley of elm trees, which extends past Charruyer Park and ends at the war memorial created by Joaquim Costa, is a favourite walk for the inhabitants of La Rochelle. Orbigny Park and Delmas Park border it on the seaward side.

  • 6 Quai Duperré

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    quai Duperré

    The quayside, lined with cafes, is an excellent place to observe the harbour. The St Nicholas and Chain Towers frame the perspective, including a view of the pointed top of the Lantern Tower. Several streets inhabited by sailors lead down to the quay..

  • 7 Place des Petits-bancs

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    place des Petits-Bancs

    The square features an attractive 1654 house with a sculpted façade and a statue of La Rochelle native son Eugène Fromentin (1820-1876), a writer and orientalist painter (one should read his Dominique before visiting La Rochelle).

  • 8 Law Courts

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue du Palais

    The Palais de Justice has a majestic façade with cannelated Corinthian columns and a sculpted frieze.

  • 9 Venette House

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue de l’Escale

    A façade dotted with Latin phrases and the sculpted heads of great doctors from antiquity and the Middle Ages such as Avicenne, Hippocrates and Galen. It is hard to imagine how Mr Venette could have been anything other than a doctor.

  • 10 St Louis' Cathedral

    Religious buildings

    Rue Chaudrier

    The inhabitants of La Rochelle would like to tell us that their cathedral built by the architects Gabriel, father and son, is a masterpiece without compare. You must go in there however to see in the third chapel on the lower left side the votive off..

  • 11 Cafe de la Paix

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    54 rue Chaudrier

    A typical café from the early 20C: glass panels in the form of arcades decorated with frosted glass motifs, sculpted wood panels, gilding, large arch mirror, chandeliers and trompe-l'oeil medallions. One can easily imagine the shipowners sitting here..

  • 12 Rue du Minage

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue du Minage

    This street is lined by arcades in irregular shapes, a somewhat whimsical alignment that contributes to its charm. There are very old houses adorned with friezes and sculptures or windows with triangular dormers. It ends at Pilori Fountain.

  • 13 Protestant Temple of La Rochelle

    Religious buildings

    2 rue St-Michel

    This former Recollect Chapel, built in 1708, boasts a superb Classical façade sculpted with palms and draperies. In an adjacent room is La Rochelle's Museum of Protestant History (Musée Rochelais d'Histoire Protestante).

  • 14 Church of St Sauveur

    Religious buildings

    rue St-Sauveur

    This Classical church was built in the 17C and 18C, while the tall clock tower is from the 15C.

  • 15 La Rochelle Protestant Museum

    Museums and art

    2 rue St-Michel

    Protestantism is an important part of the history of La Rochelle, and the town was subjected to the terrible sieges of 1573 and 1627 due to support for it among the local population. The museum traces the history of Protestantism in the La Rochelle r..

  • 16 Wax Museum

    Archaeological and historical sites

    38 cours des Dames

    15 panels blending history and legend illustrate the finest hours of La Rochelle and the people who have left their mark on it, from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Richelieu and Jean Guiton.

  • 17 Perfume Bottle Museum

    Museums and art

    This museum on the first floor of a perfumery has a charming collection of bottles (some signed by Lalique and Dali), powder boxes and labels from 1920 to the present day.

  • 18 La Ville-en-Bois

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue de la Désirée

    These low wooden houses, former boat repair workshops, lent their name to the quarter that extends to the West of the large basin. After being destroyed by a fire, it was rebuilt and now houses craftsmen, the University and museums.

  • 19 Chain Tower

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Formerly used as a powder magazine, this tower owes its name to the large chains that once linked it at night to St Nicholas Tower. If Rabelais is to be believed, the chain was used to tie down Pantagruel in his cradle! Today the tower contains a mus..

  • 20 Prefecture

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    rue des Fagots

    The Prefecture is housed in the Hôtel Poupet, built in the time of Louis XVI and typical of private architecture from La Rochelle. A monumental porch crowned with balustrades opens onto the square.

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