"The Corderie Royale" is a unique place in France. This Arsenal was created by Louis XIV and his minister Colbert. It measures 374 meters long and is used for making ropes (strings to a length of 200 meters) About 500 warships have been built here. In 1944, there was a fire, but "The Corderie" was renewed between 1976-1988. Opening hours in April, May, June and September are 9.00 to 19.00 and from 9:00 to 20:00 in July and August. From October to March it´s open from 10:00 to 12:30, and 14:00 to 18. The price ranges from 2.50 € for children under 18 to 6 € for adults.
Saving a part of history and pride of Rochefort, in the Arsenal shipyard there is a model of the Hermione, which was the ship that the Marquis de Lafayette visited the United States in, in 1780 in aid of the Founding Fathers of America. It was a transoceanic adventure that forever marked this city. Now, more than two centuries later, you can visit the bowels of the ship and imagine the great work that led to its construction at the shipyard. L'Hermione was a frigate of enormous dimensions, whose replica was built in 1997 to repeat the feat. It's looking to do the same route its mother ship accomplished more than 230 years ago. It's an overambitious work that ties this region to the sea and to the spirit of cooperation among all the region's residents. Its beams, varnishing, and interior furnishings are slowly coming together to restart a fantastic adventure that you too can be a part of by visiting.
The Maritime Museum is situated near the royal gate at the Cheusses hotel. This is a Naval Museum which houses collections of models and sculptures from Arsenal, boats and paintings depicting the work of Rochefort. The museum was opened in 1936, and it is part of the National Maritime Museum. I visited the museum in the Heritage Fair and found it to be very interesting. We saw the boats from the past and how was things used to be in Rochefort. I really liked the windmills. It is open daily from May to September from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and from September to April between the hours of 13 h 30-18 h 30.
With 110 years of history behind it, this black iron colossus is still found on the river Charentes. tourism at that time did not permit the building of a normal a bridge between the two shores of the region, therefore this bridge flourished to act as a ferry between the two sides. Since 1900 this great work of 19th Century industrial engineering has been a steady part of Rochefort´s landscape. It measures some 66 meters high and 176 long (like a 11-storey building). Nowadays, the cars pass from one side to another via a viaduct. Of the five bridges of this type that the engineer Ferdinand Arnodin constructed in France (Marseille, Brest, Rouen, Nantes and Rochefort), only this one is still in use. Whether walking or cycling, you can enjoy the experience of traveling along this iron colossus.
Behind the banal facade of No. 141 rue Pierre Loti lies the extravagant house of a famous French writer. A visit to Pierre Loti's house is an exotic journey through this great adventurer's life. Inside the mansion, the walls are covered with tapestries and it shares the morbid genius of Luis of Bavaria's Neuschwanstein Castle. The first thing you see is the red room, a gallery of family portraits, there is one of Loti in a beautiful Turkish warrior dress. After that is a blue room, which has stylish furnishings and is full of Louis XVI style figurines. With coffered ceiling, the XVII century Flemish tapestries contrast with the monumental fireplace, the stage and the Renaissance room impresses with its eclecticism. Another surprise is the paint shop of Loti's sister was transformed into a Gothic hall, which was the scene of a memorable dinner for Louis XI in April 1888. Here's a room to surprise yourself, austerity seems to betray the writer's complexity the Turkish and Syrian style mosque is recreated through Loti's imagination of an exotic universe. In the Turkish room notice the couches, cushions, curtains and stucco ceiling and the Arabian room is decorated with enamels and a typical lattice enclosed balcony. I don't know if you've already realized, but this house is divine madness!
Colbert Square is the centre of Rochefort. Created in 1670, it became a public place in the 18th century. In 1966, the musical "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort" was filmed there, which was a great success. On each side of the square, there are terraces where you can soak up the sun with a drink. It's been entirely renovated, as there used to be a large fountain in the middle. I like going there because it has great historical significance and it's a nice place to read a book or drink.
Rochefort is a city full of extraordinary stories of the sea and travel. The scene of the legendary film "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort," this city has been a first class tourist destination. The close ties with the sea have earned this city major feats throughout history. The best example of this tradition is the Cordaleria Real, a place where they made the ropes for the ships that explored the world. In the yard of the Arsenal, the old frigate Hermione slowly revives the spirit of adventure with its reconstruction: it will soon sail to America!! A short walk away is where you´ll find the house-museum of writer Pierre Loti, an interesting place where you´ll find the mysterious treasures of the life of this great traveler. Start anywhere you want in Rochefort because there is so much to see!!
The City of Rochefort is near the Colbert Square. You can not miss it if you're in town. I love the facade and clock and the top of city hall. I think that it is something that characterizes the building and is useful to locate when you're at a point from the city.
The Termas de Rochefort are unique in France for its water fluvio-marine clay rich sediment micro-algae that are taken from the estuary of the Charente and lie in pools of thermal water that are as hot as 40°C. You have, for example, back care for 230€. The station is at the entrance of Rochefort, at the roundabout. I found this station with facilities and original decor.