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 this, wanted by Colbert, it marked the magnificence of the King. It was the achievement of the engineer and architect François Blondel who built it on an oak raft buried in the mud.
The arsenal of the seas with its dry docks (the oldest masonry dry dock in the world), its food shops to supply 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 can climb up to 30m above the Charente, the national museum of the Navy where you can travel through time with the Navy from Louis XIV to today. Don't forget the Hermione's workshops, the visit of the Hermione, if she is in her refit, and the rope workshops.
By night, Océana Lumina will take you to the heart of the arsenal of the sea, 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 about 50m higher and which moves on rails placed under the bridge deck, thus not hindering the passage of ships. Inaugurated in 1900, it has since been classified as a historical monument, renovated for the second time from 2016 to 2022. It is the only survivor of these impressive structures. Let yourself be carried back in time during a dramatised visit.
- the House of Pierre Loti, currently still being renovated. Its 3D reconstruction of the Hèbre museum will allow you to discover, while waiting for its reopening, the world of Pierre Loti.
- The Hebre Museum where you can see the 3D exhibition of Pierre Loti's house but also magnificent exhibitions including the history of the construction of Rochefort.
- The museum of old-time shops, a journey into the past or our childhood for some. An enchanting journey to the 1900s.
- its Market, on Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings where you can discover local products and producers located in the area.