What a strange destiny that the town of Rochefort ... From the status of a small village in the marshes before 1665 to that of a large French war port, a town that would mix prestige and challenges? To better understand, one must first of all know that Rochefort was part of the line of defence of the coast of Aunis and Saintonge of the Charente valley. Louis XIV, then King of France, wanted to dominate the world, but his fleet was miserable: he asked Colbert to find a place on the Atlantic coast capable of hosting the largest arsenal of the Ponant. In 1666, the creation of the Military Arsenal begins and 4 years later, ships are already built and refitted. Thereafter, the city is surrounded by ramparts, which the numerous conflicts of the 17th and 18th centuries will incite to constantly improve. The arsenal will gradually die out before closing in 1927, no longer meeting the requirements of a modern war fleet. Rochefort was then heavily damaged during the Second World War and saw its activity decline. The reconstruction and the rehabilitation of the Corderie Royale, the main part of the arsenal, from 1976, marks the beginning of the revival of the city, labelled since City of Art and History and which, with nearly 27 000 inhabitants, allies today maritime and industrial tradition with tourism and thermalism.

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