Built up an inlet off the Atlantic in the 10th century, 'Rochella' (Latin for 'small rock') is a city that looks to the future, and was one of the first to introduce non-polluting urban transport (yellow bikes, electric cars, etc.).
It is an Atlantic port with an impregnable old town, and is a real gem of architectural and historical interest. Many people get to know the town during its famous Francofolies music festival.
The Museum of Protestant History: At the heart of the city of La Rochelle, the Museum of Protestant History is essentially devoted to the city's Protestant history. There are numerous rooms to see and you can even find a unique copy of the Confession of Faith of the Reformed Churches of the Kingdom of France, printed in La Rochelle in 1572. Ceramics from the workshop of Bernard Palissy, rare books and manuscripts, handwritten letters, documents, prints and a tapestry of ?The Ten Commandments of God's Law? dating from the year 1779. It is a must for those who wish to discover the very soul of La Rochelle.
2 rue Saint Michel 1700 La Rochelle. Phone number: +33 (0)5 46 68 19 57
The Aquarium of La Rochelle: Facing the Old Port, the aquarium is definitely one of the largest in Europe and welcomes 800,000 visitors every year. During a 2 hour+ visit you will be transported to the depths of the oceans in discovery of some 12,000 animals, including sharks, jellyfish, eels, that will help you understand the universe of the sea. If you would like a guided tour to discover more of the aquarium, you can book your spots in advance at the local Tourist Office. Quai Louis Prunier BP 4 17000 La Rochelle. Phone number: +33 (0)5 46 34 00 00.
Maritime Museum: Welcome aboard the France 1, the last meteorological frigate, and the Angoumois, not to mention the bridge of the Saint Gilles tugboat. Games are organised for children. Ancien Bassin des Chalutiers BP 3053 17000 La Rochelle. Tel: +33 (0)5 46 28 03 00
Maison de la Baie du marais Poitevin: Take advantage of a day by the sea, at the heart of Aiguillon Bay, by visiting the 'Museum of Mussel Farming' and the Church of St. Martin. The church square 17137 Esnandes. Tel: +33 (0)5 46 01 34 64
The Automaton Museum: There are more than 300 automated figures to be discovered in this museum. Historical and contemporary figures, as well as historical scenes from the life of La Rochelle. You can also find animated windows that show the reconstruction of the Montmartre district during the 19th century. This is the sort of visit that will delight both young and old. 12614 rue de la Désirée La Ville en Bois 17000 La Rochelle
The Scale Model Museum: Come discover many models, cars, old boats and naval scenes recounting the history of navigation and railways. It is a perfect visit for children who are mesmerised by electric trains and is not only educational for them, but for the parents as well. 12-14 Rue de la Désirée La Ville en Boise 17000 La Rochelle. Tel: +33 (0)5 46 41 68 08 or +33 (0)5 46 41 68 82
The Town Hall of La Rochelle:The emblematic town hall allows visitors to better understand the history of the city.
Place de l'Hôtel de Ville 17000 La Rochelle. Phone number: +33 (0)5 46 41 14 68
The old port:The two towers dating from the 14th and 15th centuries are still present in the old port. They survived the destruction of the surrounding wall that occurred in 1628. The 42m high Tower of Saint Nicolas, at the entrance to the harbour, symbolises the power and the wealth of La Rochelle. The Chain Tower and the Lantern Tower are further away. Saint Louis Cathedral: The cathedral was turned into a Catholic Cathedral in the year 1648. It now houses a collection of ex-votos created by sailors from the 17th and 18th centuries. 17 rue Chaudrier 17000 La Rochelle. Phone number: +33 (0)5 46 41 16 70 or +33 (0)5 46 41 16 70
House of Henry II: Built in the middle of the 16th century, the house features a unique façade in the history of the French Renaissance that was created in 1555 by an anonymous source. The house is actually not really a house, as can be seen by the levels of galleries that are nothing but narrow corridors. 11 bis rue des Augustins 17000 La Rochelle. Phone number: +33 (0)5 46 34 88 59
St. Savior's Church: Built during the 12th century by the monks of Aix Island. Unfortunately, it was damaged by a fire in 1419 and then destroyed in 1568 by the Protestants of La Rochelle. The church's gate is the only vestige of the second fire that occurred in 1718. Quai Maubec 17000 La Rochelle. Phone number: +33 (0)5 46 41 16 70
The Palais de Justice: Almost nothing is left of the Palace other than a corridor made of bricks and stones as well as a few pediments dating from the year 1603. To this day you can still read the following inscription on the Corinthian style façade: ?Hall of Justice during the reign of Liberty and Equality, year II of the French Republic. " (translated from the French).
The Cloister of the White Women: The Franciscans who settled in la Rochelle in 1629 built a vast convent stretching from the Maubec canal to the current Amelot Street. In 1988, the town bought the convent and in 1993 the Communauté d'Agglomération set up offices in it. 6 rue Saint Michel 17000 La Rochelle
Take some money if you plan on doing some shopping in the boutiques in town, a windcheater.
Avoid using the car since traffic is heavy the summer season and parking is expensive.
Mouclade is a dish prepared with mussels, shallots, Charentes butter, egg yolks, Pineau Charentais, garlic, bouquet garni and crème fraîche.
Salt from Île de Ré, Pineau Charentais (a regioanl French apératif), a souvenir from the aquarium for ther children, etc.