A Town Named La Rochelle

| June 28, 2012

A Town Named La RochelleLa Rochelle is a city in South-West France on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is an unspoilt and historic seaside town and it is also a good base to use for visits to the Bordeaux wine country or to Cognac. La Rochelle’s weather is dominated by a Gulf Stream which moderates temperatures and keeps La Rochelle warm through the year. In the centre of La Rochelle is an old port, called the Vieux Port.

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. The large submarine pens built during World War II still stand there, although they are 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, and a rather rich boat-building industry. La Rochelle has a very big aquarium, and a small botanical garden (the Jardin des plantes de 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 textbooks 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 (home to the internationally famous TV show of the same name). Nearby Île de Ré is a short drive to the North. The countryside of the surrounding Charente-Maritime is very rural and full of history (Saintes). 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 and Pineau. The attractive Île de Ré is accessible via a bridge from La Rochelle.

 

Credit: Google Images

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Category: Europe

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