10 Interesting Facts about La Rochelle

If you love to travel around the world, then these following facts about La Rochelle may probably help and recommend you the best place for you to visit. La Rochelle, as you know, is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. La Rochelle is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department. It’s connected to the Ile de Re by a 2.9 kilometers bridge which was completed on 19 May 1988. Its harbor opens into a protected strait, the Pertuis d’Antioche. To get to know more about the place, here are other facts about La Rochelle you may like.

Facts about La Rochelle 1: Antiquity

The area of La Rochelle was occupied in antiquity by the Gallic tribe of the Santones, who gave their name to the nearby region of Saintonge and the city of Saintes.

Facts about La Rochelle 2: Knights Templar

The Knights Templar had a strong presence in La Rochelle since before the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who exempted them from duties and gave them mills in 1139 Charter. La Rochelle was for the Templars their largest base on the Atlantic Ocean, and where they stationed their main fleet.

Facts about La Rochelle - La Rochelle Harbor

Facts about La Rochelle – La Rochelle Harbor

Facts about La Rochelle 3: Hundred Years’ War

During the Hundred Years’ War in 1360, following the Treaty of Bretigny, La Rochelle again became English. La Rochelle however expelled the English in June 1372, following the naval Battle of La Rochelle, between a Castilian-French and an English fleet. The Spanish had 60 ships and the English 40.

Facts about La Rochelle 4: 19th Century La Rochelle

In 1864, the harbor of La Rochelle (area of the “Bassin à flot” behind the water locks), was the site for the maiden dive experiments of the first mechanically-powered submarine in the World, “Plongeur”, commanded by Marie-Joseph-Camille Dore, a native of La Rochelle.

Facts about La Rochelle - Base La Pallice

Facts about La Rochelle – Base La Pallice

Facts about La Rochelle 5: Tourism

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.

Facts about La Rochelle 6: Transportation

La Rochelle and its region are served by the international La Rochelle – Ile de Re Airport, which has progressively developed over the last 5 years. Currently, it is the largest airport in the Poitou-Charentes region. The train station Gare de La Rochelle offers connections to Bordeaux, Nantes, Poitiers, Paris and several regional destinations.

Facts about La Rochelle - Faience Pot

Facts about La Rochelle – Faience Pot

Facts about La Rochelle 7: Education

The city has more than 10,000 students each year. The University of La Rochelle was established in 1993. It is, with Ecole superieure de commerce de la rochelle (La Rochelle Business School), the biggest universities in La Rochelle (7,000 and 2,000 students respectively).

Facts about La Rochelle 8: Sport

Atlantique Stade Rochelais are a professional rugby union team in the Pro D2 league. They play their home matches at Stade Marcel-Deflandre. Since 1991 the city has annually hosted the Marathon de La Rochelle (The second most popular Marathon of France), an international level race which featured 10,000 participants in 2010.

Facts about La Rochelle - La Rochelle Harbor 1762

Facts about La Rochelle – La Rochelle Harbor 1762

Facts about La Rochelle 9: Second World War

During the Second World War, Germany established a submarine naval base at La Pallice (the main port of La Rochelle). A German stronghold, La Rochelle was the last French city to be liberated at the end of the war. The Allied Siege of La Rochelle took place between 12 September 1944, and 7 May 1945.

Facts about La Rochelle 10: La Rochelle Faience

La Rochelle became one of the French centers for faience in the end of the 18th century. Bernard Palissy was born in the region and had some bearing in this development. During the 18th century, its style was greatly influenced by Chinese themes and Japanese Kakiemon-type designs.

Facts about La Rochelle - Towers

Facts about La Rochelle – Towers

Those facts about La Rochelle should hopefully be one of your reasons to visit the city. One of the most beautiful things in La Rochelle is its history and harbor. Hope those La Rochelle facts would be really interesting for you to read.

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