Rochefort sur Mer was chosen as the site for the 2nd Arsenal, which was built by Louis XIV and began construction in 1666.
The Corderie Royale is the emblem of the King's magnificence. The feat of engineer and architect François Blondel, who built it on an oak raft buried in the mud.
The arsenal des mers, with its dry docks for building and repairing ships, including the oldest masonry dry dock in the world, and its food shops for supplying the fleet, which now house cafés and restaurants on the quays along the Charente, the first naval hospital (guided tours of the naval medical school), the "accro-mats", where young and old alike can climb up to 30 metres above the Charente, and the Musée National de la Marine, where you can travel back in time through the navy from Louis XIV to the present day. Don't forget the Hermione workshops, a visit to the Hermione if she's in her refit, and the rope-making workshops.
By night, Océana Lumina will take you to the heart of the arsenal of the seas, 20,000 places in a magical landscape.
But Rochefort is also :
- the transporter bridge. Its principle: a gondola at road level moves from one bank to the other. It is suspended from a carriage located some 50m higher, which moves on rails placed under the bridge deck, thus not obstructing the passage of ships. Inaugurated in 1900, it has since been listed as a historic monument, and renovated for the second time between 2016 and 2022. It is the only survivor of these impressive engineering structures. Let yourself be transported back in time on a dramatised tour.
- the House of Pierre Loti, currently undergoing renovation. Its 3D reconstruction of the Musée Hèbre will give you an insight into the world of Pierre Loti while you wait for the museum to reopen.
- The Musée Hebre, where you can see the 3D exhibition of Pierre Loti's house, as well as a number of magnificent exhibitions, including one on the history of the construction of Rochefort.
- The museum of the shops of yesteryear, a journey back in time to our childhood for some. An enchanting journey back to the 1900s.
- its Market, on Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings where you can discover local products and producers located in the area.