What to visit in Rochefort: our top 5
A rich heritage to discover
In the heart of the Charente Maritime region, Rochefort is a lively city that flourished under the reign of Louis XIV and has been awarded the "Ville d'art et d'histoire" (City of Art and History) label. Here are 5 not-to-be-missed places to visit in Rochefort!
The Arsenal des Mers: an immersion in maritime history
It was built by Colbert in accordance with the wishes of King Louis XIV: to make the Rochefort arsenal "the most beautiful and largest arsenal on the seas".
It was nicknamed "the Versailles of the sea". Between 1666 and 1927, more than 550 warships were designed here, including the famous Hermione. Enter the Corderie Royale, an impressive 374m-long building, and the giant periscope. In summer, enjoy the Oceana Lumina night show.
The National Maritime Museum
Housed in the Hôtel de Cheusses, Rochefort's oldest civilian building, the Musée National de la Mer takes you on a journey through the naval world from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. A fascinating tour featuring models, sculptures, navigational instruments, paintings and machinery.
The Begonia Conservatory
Admire a collection of over 1,500 botanical and hybrid begonias from all over the world. Why begonias in Rochefort?
This plant was discovered in the West Indies by the botanist Charles Plumier during a mission to the West Indies. The mission was organised by Michel Bégon, the King's steward based in Rochefort in the 17th century. The botanist dedicated the plant to him.
The Musée des Commerces d'Autrefois
If you're a nostalgic or vintage enthusiast, this is the museum for you! On four floors, stroll through shops from the early 20th century, faithfully reconstructed from antique furniture.
An apothecary's shop, a grocer's, a bistro... A real trip back in time! In July and August, children can take part in an "old-fashioned dictation" activity, using a feather and another violet.
The Naval Aviation Museum
In addition to the navy, Rochefort has also made a name for itself in the aeronautics industry. Huge hangars were built during the World Wars to house the army's airships.
Today, they house 33 aircraft and numerous scale models. It is the only museum in France dedicated solely to naval aviation.
Your group gîte near Rochefort
Just a 20-minute drive from Rochefort, La Garenne Saint-Germain offers tastefully decorated gîtes and chambres d'hôtes.
Set in four hectares of parkland, they can accommodate 2 to 10 people. It's the ideal option for a holiday with family or friends near Rochefort! Prefer something a little more unusual? Opt for the Roulotte and enjoy a timeless experience with all the modern comforts.
To relax, head for the outdoor swimming pool. You can also hire bikes, which will be delivered directly to La Garenne Saint-Germain.