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Tourist Information Centre

Rochefort Office de tourisme
Ave Sadi Carnot Rochefort
17300

Tel:+33 (0)5 46 99 08 60
Fax:+33 (0)5 46 99 52 64

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Rochefort tourist information

where to go - what to see - what to do

If you've ever seen 'les Desmoiselles de Rochefort' with Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac you'll know that Rochefort's architecture has a certain sense of regularity and harmony to it.

Rochefort, lying 30km south of La Rochelle, was largely designed as a fortified port by Colbert hence the rectangular grid pattern of the roads.  However, it's the low rise limestone buildings and the private houses or 'maisons particulieres' with their wrought iron balconies which give Rochefort its elegance.

Rochefort is the town of Pierre Loti, a mariner and author who wrote about his travels in such novels as 'Pecheur d'islande' and Aziyade.  Today, Rochefort is a busy seaside town whose activities are largely centred around the port and beach (Fouras).

There are some interesting museums namely 'La Corderie Royale' which used to supply ropes to the Royal battalions until the Revolution.  La Corderie is an elegant building that's been restored and now houses 'Le Centre International de la mer' which charts the history of ropes and rigging throughout the ages. 

Rochefort is also known for its thermal springs which were discovered after Napoleon I's visit in 1808.  The hot spring or 'Source de L'Empereur' is said to cure all sorts of ailments including rheumatism and arthritis.

What to See - Rochefort Attractions

Chemin de Charente
Espace Nature, 35 rue Audry de Puyravault, 17300
Stroll alongside the Charente river from La Corderie Royale to Port Neuf to glimpse some local wildlife
| Tel: +33 (0)5 46 82 12 44

Maison du Curiste
Esplanade Pierre Soumet, 17300
Immerse yourself in the thermal baths which draw 12000 curists per year to its springs
| Admission charge | Opening Times: Daily | Tel: +33 (0)5 46 87 15 30

Ancienne ecole de medecine navale
25 rue Amiral Meyer, 17300
A stunning 18th-century building houses natural history exhibits plus surgical collections from the French navy - originally a French naval hospital
| Admission charge | Opening Times: Daily | Tel: +33 (0)5 46 99 86 57

Le Marche de plein air
Ave Charles de Gaulle, 17300
Visit Rochefort's market which assembles over 100 local producers of cheese, flowers, fruits, veg and more
| Opening Times: Tues, Thurs, Sat ams

Corderie Royale
Centre International de la Mer, BP 50108, 17303
Maritime museum which charts the history of the royal rope making industry
| Admission charge | Opening Times: Daily | Tel: +33 (0)5 46 87 01 90

Maison Pierre Loti
141 rue Pierre Loti, 17303
Visit the Asian inspired home of Pierre Loti - Rochefort's famous travel writer of the late 19th-century
| Admission charge | Opening Times: Daily Jul-Sept; Oct-Jun: Wed-Mon | Tel: +33 (0)5 46 99 16 88

Les Metiers de Mercure
12, rue Lesson, 17303
A reconstruction of the workshops, factories and bars of Rochefort around the turn of the century
| Admission charge | Opening Times: Jul/Aug: daily; Nov-Apr not Sun ams and Jan | Tel: +33 (0)5 46 83 91 50

Musee d'Art et d'Histoire
63, ave Charles de Gaulle, 17303
A modern art museum with works by Rubens, Roques, Belloc and Rouget
| Admission charge | Opening Times: Daily | Tel: +33 (0)5 46 99 83 99

Musee de la Marine
Place de la Galissonniere, 17303
With models of ships including navigational equipment, figureheads, masts etc. Some huge scale models will not fail to impress
| Admission charge | Opening Times: Tues-Sun. Not 1 May, mid Dec and Jan | Tel: +33 (0)5 46 99 86 57