With about 100,000 inhabitants, La Rochelle is a quiet town on the west coast of France, north of the Gironde, rated as one of the most attractive centers between the coasts of Brittany and the Bay of Biscay. Among these, stands St. Nicholas Tower, 42 meters high, built on oak pillars. The towers of San Nicolas and the chain guard the narrow entrance to the Old Port. The tour Saint-Nicolas, replaced an earlier one from the second half of the C14th. It has three rooms and a small octagonal overlapping maze of stairs and passages leading to the lookouts. Opposite is the tour de la Chaîne, the chain tower, founded in the fourteenth century and severely damaged in later conflicts, but restored in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A chain obstructed the entrance to the harbor. The port is no longer full of merchants, privateers or bourgeoisie. Today traffic has shifted more towards the Atlantic. But it retains a strong tourist atmosphere. At the same time, (Cour des Dames and quai Duperré) have opened souvenir stores and cafes, for colorful crowd of tourists. In the old town of La Rochelle the port is accessible from the door of La Grosse Horloge. At first it provided access to a fortified town.
Brilliantly prepared to enjoy and relax in this beautiful theme park. Don't go looking for scary attractions. It's another thing; strange visions of what may happen in the future, 3D movies, gorgeous evening shows. And all this, in a lovely park, with futuristic buildings, large ponds with fountains, relaxing green spaces, flowers, sculptures, restaurants, children's areas, hammocks in most corners. I recommend it as something different to experience.
The tourist office of Poitiers has a simple idea, but a great one: just follow the lines! From the magnificent church of Notre Dame la Grande in the center, there are three pedestrian routes that you can follow around the city. On the ground there are three colored lines for three tracks: the blue line leads to the old neighborhood with the Episcopal church with Sainte Radegonde and main road (Grand Rue). The yellow line from Notre Dame, will lead to another neighborhood, the church of Saint Jean de Montierneuf. And finally, the red line, perhaps my favorite, leads to the church of Saint Hilaire (there are many churches in Poitiers!) which is usually full of Compostela pilgrims. It will also take you to the beautiful Blossac park. Dorothy followed the yellow brick road to Oz, we have a choice of colours!
Of Cultural Interest in Saint-Clément-des-Baleines
The Ile de Ré in Brittany, France has a beautiful lighthouse and the opportunity to spot whales. When you climb the 257 steps of the lighthouse you get a splendid view. Here are the photos of the staircase of the lighthouse. I recommend the effort, definitely worthwhile.
"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.
The tower of St. Nicholas is located on the south coast port of La Rochelle, in front of the Torre de la Chaîne. The tower of St. Nicholas is the largest of the three La Rochelle towers. Its goal was to protect the port against the dangers of the sea. You can visit the tower from April 1st to September 30th, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and from October 1st to March 31st from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. There are only 3 days the tower is closed: January 1st, May 1st and December 25th. The visit costs 7.50 € (with the Matrix tower included).
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.
Always looking towards the Atlantic Ocean, the towers of Saint-Nicolas, the Chaîne and the Lanterne seem to be in love with the ocean. They guard with suspicion one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, La Rochelle. The top of the towers offer the visitor with great views over the city. From the roof of the Torre de la Lanterne, the old port is full of candles that light the way to the bay, and in the distance the fort Boyard and the islands of Aix, Oléron and Ré seem to be almost a beautiful mirage. Over the years, these towers have witnessed major sea battles: sieges, invasions and military strategies which, for centuries, have kept it in the spotlight. But ... there it stands, wanting to continue being the symbol of Rochelle for at least ten centuries.
Oléron is in size (30 miles long and 6 miles wide) the 2nd biggest island in France after Corsica. In this paradise island one can see a variety of landscapes, unique colors and smells. You can also enjoy a lovely setting with hundreds of faces, from endless beaches, to meadows, forests, vineyards, salt and channels. This island has everything! Oléron is also known for its oysters. The vivid colors of the huts of the oyster cut the landscape of the island. And what about the auction of fresh fish at the port of Cotinière ... is quite a sight! Here you leave aside shame, so do not be shy and buy some oysters! It uan opportunity to taste the most famous delicacy and aphrodisiac of the island. Ah! And it is essential to see the breathtaking views of the cliffs of Oléron and Antioche from atop the lighthouse Chassiron. Join three places not to be missed: the themed trails Port des Salines beach waves Vert-Bois (when the wind blows) and, of course, the longest bridge in France (3,027 meters), supported by 45 pillars, with a road and two bicycle lanes. Each island is unique.
With a unique and unmistakable style, the Ile de Ré is just one day from the mainland living their own adventure at sea. Among the waves, the seagulls dot this beautiful nature landscape with blue sky and sunshine. It has preserved its rural setting and maintained its charming with whitewashed villages. For its flat relief and its more than 100 kilometres of slopes, it's ideal for cycling. It's small size allows you to explore and discover the whole island in a day. If you seek the tranquility of the beaches and the simplicity of good local taste, this is your fate: dreams in the north, memories in the south. The island attracts many famous French cinema, entertainment, literature or political people. Don't miss the impressive forts of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. Magnificent views can be enjoyed from the lighthouse of Whales, and the Lilleau Nature Reserve des Niges hosts thousands of migratory birds. This island is for living!
Another pearl of Poitou-Charentes is the island of Aix. It lies at the mouth of the Charente River in the Forras area. It's very easy to get there on the year-round ferry that leaves from the point of Fumée or, in season, from La Rochelle, La Tranche-sur-Mer, Port-des-Barques, Ré and Oléron. With its forests of oak, pine and Tamarisk, its bays and sandy beaches guarded by fortifications, this small Mediterranean-like island lends itself to long walks along the bright ocean. But this island isn't just for relaxation and partying. Its lighthouses, walls and museums make the island an attractive cultural destination. Because the number of vehicles is very limited, it's best explored by foot, bicycle or horse-drawn carriage. Come on, Aix awaits you!
St. Peter's Cathedral is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Romanesque buildings in France. The Saint-Pierre Cathedral was built in the 12th century by Bishop Girard. The architect Paul Abadie was responsible for its future reforms. For example, Paul Abadie was was responsible for the reform of the six-story tower that rises at the end of the left arm of the transept and the huge Byzantine style dome. If you have time to count, on the facade of the cathedral you'll see more than 70 characters that depict biblical scenes carved in stone. As part of it, you'll see Christ and in the other levels you can see the apostles, the Virgin, scenes of Judgment or the famous epic of the Chanson de Roland (which recounts the capture of Saragossa). The interior of St. Peter's Cathedral is so huge that it'll absolutely overwhelm you. The succession of the three domes gives it a greater feeling of volume. The capitals are numerous figures of nature. One of the things I like is the 13th century body that's at the foot of the church. Their sound, hollow and deep, will touch anyone. It's 59 meters tall.
For two centuries, this silhouette had cuts the horizon of the Atlantic coast of Poitou-Charentes. For many cameras, a zoom lens was required to see this striking silhouette stone building perched on a rounded Firth in downtown Antioch Strait. Opposite the island of Oléron, Fort Boyard has seen numerous stories within its walls. It was built to guard the mouth of the Charente River. Construction began in 1804 and later was finished in 1859, with Napoleon III. However, the artillery was actually just recently completed. In 1871 he was imprisoned here. Many revolutionaries were later tried and deported to New Caledonia. In the early nineties, when the fort was abandoned so some television producers used it for their shows.
Roya reaches along the golden sandy coast Beauté. This summer resort became famous in the Belle Époque for its lovely structures. The city is an incredible example of modern architecture inspired by the Brazilian art and the work of Oscar Niemeyer, the architect of Brasilia. Its location on the banks of the Gironde river has created many coves protected from the wind. Between dunes and cliffs, forests of oak and pine trees. Those who knew Royan before the bombing of the Germans during WWII, remember the houses and cottages hidden in the green, huge facades of the Victorian hotels and casinos that mimic baroque palaces. Today the only preserved neighborhoods are in Pontaillac PARC: The House "Le Rêve" (which links legend Emile Zola), the House "Les Campaniles" (inspired by the house of medicine in Rome), the House "Ombre Blanche ", the imposing" Aigue Marine ", the Japanese" Kosiki ", Villa Tanagra, Villa California or The Mainaz. Contrasting follies in Royan. Sheltered Gironde estuary (the biggest in Europe. Royan offers diverse landscapes, from the beaches to the marsh. It is one of the most beautiful cities of the French Atlantic coast.
Located in Rochelle, the seaside city of some 80.000 habitants.
It's one of the characteristic buildings of this city, it attracts a lot of attention because of its décor. Protected by a wall, and with a spectacular rectangular indoor terrace.
The Lantern Tower called the tower of the 4 sergeants. It is located on the esplanade of Saint-Jean d'Acre in La Rochelle. You must pay € 7.50 for adults and 4.80 € for youths of 18 to 25. The ticket includes a visit of the Tour de la Chaine + a return. The Tower of the 4 sergeants served as a Serbian jail, so you can find hand prints on the walls. It is open every day from 10am to 19pm.
A town with an impressive history, with a river you can easily go along, if it's not raining of course. Although there you should be used to rain. Highly Recommended. Visit the Abbey of the ladies, and great music festival that program a lot From cultural events as well as hosting, youth orchestra Atlantic of which I have been part. Great eats and tyhe wine and cognac are memorable.