We had the idea the weather might be better at the coast. But tough luck, obviously it rains all over France. In the morning it looks like a few hours without rain – we hop on our bikes to do some sightseeing in La Rochelle.
The seaport of La Rochelle was the last remaining stronghold of the protestant hugenots. Cardinal Richelieu ordered the siege of the city. The English were called for help but couldn’t reach the city. After more than a year 15 000 of the 24 000 inhabitants had starved to death. The city capitulated and the king took over the abased city. He razed the fortification and spared only the towers in the harbour. They originated from the 15th and 16th century.
In the event of war a heavy chain was spanned between the round “Tour de la Chaine” and the square “Tour Saint-Nicolas” to keep aggresive ships out.
The “Tour de la Lanterne” was built as a lighthouse but later also used as watch tower.
Today there is a watchtower right between the houses.
The old quarter with its typical arcades is reached through the massive “Tour de la Grosse Horloge”.
Of the numerous old buildings the “Hotel de Ville” is one of the nicest.
In the afternoon it starts pouring again and we take refuge in the Aquarium of La Rochelle.