The Office du tourisme de La Rochelle offers a visit to the old town. You can see La Grosse Horloge (Giant Clock) which watches over the passers-by as it did over the city when it was the old port of the medieval compound. Opposite, the towers are reflected in the basin. The three towers which guard the entrance to the city date from the 14th and 15th centuries. You can also appreciate the lively quay and terraces, the colours of its market and the peacefulness of its landscaped grounds.
Embark on a underwater walking tour of La Rochelle aquarium. From the smallest fish,
to the giants of the seas, beautiful aquatic encounters await visitors. From the waves of the Atlantic to the gentle waters of the Caribbean Sea, discover the sharks, jellyfish and starfish.
Children will be guided by Antioche, the aquarium's mascot. This little turtle will teach them all about the seas and its wonderful inhabitants in a fun tour!
The Old Port of La Rochelle has seen all kinds of ships come and go. Protected by its two towers, the Tour Saint-Nicolas and the Tour de la Chaîne, it has withstood the upheavals of history, including the siege of La Rochelle in 1628.
Today, sailors can moor their boats here, safe from the Atlantic currents. The port is also the starting point for many major international sailing events, recalling the role of the port in the history of France.
Dating from the XIIth to the fifteenth century, the Lantern Tower on La Rochelle's Old Port has a long history behind it. In the Middle Ages, the tower monitored and disarmed the boats entering the port, serving as a hub for keeping watch and guiding the boats with its lighthouse.
In the sixteenth century, the Lantern Tower was first used as a prison for priests, later on for Vendeans in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and for the English from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
It is the oldest lighthouse on the coastline.
The three towers have guarded over the entrance to the old port in La Rochelle since the 12th and 15th centuries. They are the vestiges of the fortifications of the city of La Rochelle. As well as being an important lookout and lighthouse, an important navigational reference point for ships on this part of the coast, the Tour de la lanterne or Lantern Tower also served as a prison for many years. You can see the ancient graffiti that bears witness to this, a testimony to those who were incarcerated here.
The La tour de la Chaîne owes its name to the chain which ran from here to the Tour Saint-Nicolas to block off the entrance of the port. The tour Saint-Nicolas shifted during construction, leaning slightly eastwards. Once straightened, it served as a prison and royal logis. It bears witness to the city's historical power. The site is now a national monument.