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Culture and heritage

Culture and heritage

Rochefort Ocean, a unique space between land and ocean, a marshy territory, with islands and peninsulas, a space which is governed by the rhythm of the tide. Here on the riverbanks, activities were recorded well before 1666.

At the end of its winding path the Charente flows into the Atlantic Ocean between Fouras-les-Bains and Port-des-Barques.

Up until the 19th century the Charente river  was one of the principal commercial routes of the “Pays Rochefortais” – Rochefort area. The carrying of freight, in particular, wine and “eaux de vie” to North Europe was the base of a prosperous economy.


A Naval Dockyard protected by the estuary of the Charente river

Strategic point from the 17th century and onwards, the Charente river was a key factor in the choice of Louis XIV who chose to build in Rochefort “the most beautiful and the biggest Naval dockyards” in his kingdom. The “Corderie Royale”,was soon going to spread its 374 metres along the banks of the fluvial river.

The first vocation of Rochefort Ocean was the sea and everything around us are reminders of that fact. Thanks to an ambitious King, the incredible maritime destiny of France found its source and strength here.

Threatened by invasions of other countries, a system of fortifications was built to protect the dockyard called the “ceinture de feu” – the “ belt of fire” which consisted of a network of forts spread over the countryside such as Fort Enet, Fort Lupin, Fort Liedot…


On foot or by bicycle, come and discover the Naval Dockyard, the “Route des Forts”: a rich heritage that is varied and well protected.