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La Rochelle

N 469.346', W 19.201'
2018-07-14
https://www.larochelle.fr/en/discover-the-city/tourism.html
Our rating: 8.20
Overall rating:
Medium-sized port city, a popular tourist destination. We arrived in La Rochelle on Bastille Day. Due to the concert and the preparation for the fireworks half of the center was blocked, so it was not possible to walk everywhere. If you arrive on a normal day, you will see much more.

In general, the city is very pleasant, with a lot of places near the water, which is always good for tourists. The total length of the embankment is about 4 kilometers.

La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak

The main tourist area of the city is located around Old Harbor. This is a medieval port, which has now become a marina and a huge public space. In the 17th and 18th centuries ships departed from here to colonial New France (eastern Canada and the USA).

There is an excellent ferris wheel.

La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak

Which offers good views of the harbor.

La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak

The entrance to the harbor is guarded by two medieval towers, which are the symbol of the city. From time to time the towers are included in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Cup.

Since there is no bridge between the towers, you can get to the other side on a mini-ferry. It costs a couple of euros and can be seen in the next photo.

La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak

These towers took part in many battles, the most famous of which is the siege of La Rochelle (1627-1628). It is known to everyone after the novel “Three Musketeers” by Alexander Dumas.

It was a civil war, where the French fought with the French. Catholics and the king from one side and nobility of La Rochelle, Protestants (Huguenots) from the other side. In the 16th century, there was a scientist or a historian in every European country who translated the New Testament into the language of that country. When people had the opportunity to read the Bible, they took a fresh look at religion and started to ask the church about the changes. In France La Rochelle  was the center of the Reformation and Protestantism.

If you did not understand from the novel, d'Artagnan fought on the side of Cardinal Richelieu, who led the siege. That means the famous musketeers fought for the "bad", against the progressive people of their time.

Cardinal Richelieu on the siege of La Rochelle (Henri Motte, 1881)
Cardinal Richelieu on the siege of La Rochelle (Henri Motte, 1881) wikipedia.org

From the ferry is visible how people gather on the banks in the evening, arrange picnics and meet the sunset. The place is really good.

La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak

Historic areas are preserved from one side of the harbor.

La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak


La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak

On the other side modern quarters with large public spaces and low-rise buildings have already been built.

La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak


La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak

In the evening, we came to see the firework. While waiting, walked around the harbor. The view of the Big Clock tower (Grosse Horloge).

La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak

The good location to view the fireworks is here N 46 09.433 W 1 09.085. Despite the relatively large number of people, there was no problem to find an empty place.

La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak


La Rochelle
La Rochelle Yuriy Buriak

We spent the night at the Hotel Première Classe La Rochelle Center (booking.com). The hotel is standard and was chosen for a big parking lot nearby, as in France it is always difficult to find an empty place.

Getting there: There is an airport, which is located just 3 kilometers from the center. Taxi 15 euros, bus 1B to Place de Verdun 1.5 euros. There is a railway station with direct high-speed trains to Paris (3 hours).
Tags, France: city, fireworks

Tags, all countries: city, fireworks
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