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Europe 2017

Rochefort - Home of the Hermione and Much More!

FRANCE | Thursday, 17 August 2017 | Views [255]

I'm willing to bet that if you ask most people coming into Rochefort today, they'll tell you that a visit to the Hermione brought them. But, the town has much more to offer tourists. We first visited before the construction of the Hermione was begun. And we really enjoyed our visit. King Louis the XIV, the "Sun King", built Versailles and decided that he needed an equally grand and ostentatious building to construct a powerful navy. Rochefort was selected because its location on the Charente River also provides a secure and secluded location.
The King gave orders for "the most exceptional naval dockyard" to be constructed. Some 550 ships were built and totally outfitted there. The "Corderie Royal" is still there today and it is very, very impressive. In the 17th century it was the longest industrial building in all of Europe. (see photo) It produced rope which was an essential ship's tool. And they still have rope making demonstrations today. 
Rochefort has done a great job preserving their past and building for the future of the city. For example, their are new apartments which have been built and although very modern, they are in keeping with the old architecture in the city. Also, there is remodeling of a 300 year old building that will maintain the exterior while constructing modern apartments in the old section of town.
The city also has the School of Naval Medicine. It was founded in 1722 to train physicians for dealing with shipboard emergencies during times of war. And, the city is is great for walking too. So much to see and all of it within an area that is easy to reach.   


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