The Cradle of the Hermione Frigate
Rochefort is a notable example of 17th-century "ville nouvelle" or new town, which means its design and building resulted from a political decree. The reason for building Rochefort was to a large extent that royal power could hardly depend on rebelliously Protestant La Rochelle, which Cardinal Richelieu had to besiege a few decades earlier. A symbolic place for maritime history, Rochefort is the birthplace of the Hermione frigate and its replica, right next to the Corderie Royale, a royal rope-making factory. In 1780, La Fayette sailed onboard the Hermione to assist the American revolutionaries in their fight for independence.
After its 4 month trip to the United States in 2015, the Hermione replica returned to Rochefort. Well into the 20th century, Rochefort remained primarily a garrison town. The tourist industry, which had long existed due to the town's spa, gained emphasis in the 1990s.The town is home to a unique style of bridge (built in 1900), named Pont transbordeur de Rochefort. Located just 20 minutes from Fouras-les-Bains and Port-des-Barques beaches, and 30 minutes from Royan and La Rochelle, Rochefort is the perfect place to stay during your trip.
Other sights include: