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The Corderie Royale

Born from the Sun King's dream  

Rochefort the arsenal town of the Charente-Maritime was born from a dream of Louis 14th, "the Sun King" who wished to achieve his ambitions on land and on sea. He entrusted Colbert with the task of constructing the most beautiful and the biggest Naval Dockyard in the kingdom, on Rochefort's virgin and marshy land, on the banks of the Charente at 23 km from the Atlantic Ocean.

The first building constructed was the magnificent Corderie Royale (Royal Rope Works), started in 1666 and was completed in 1669.

The longest building in Europe of its time 

The building of 374m long, was built on a raft of oakwood to overcome the instability of the marshy ground. The navy needed to be supplied with ropes of 200 metres long, hence the great length of this building. The rope factory continued to manufacture ropes up until 1867 when the evolution of techniques came into operation and steel cables made the work at the Corderie Royal obsolete.

A new vocation dedicated to the sea

The rope factory almost disappeared after a fire which partially destroyed the building in 1944, during the occupation, at the departure of the German troops. 

Admiral Maurice Dupont , commanding officer of the navyin Rochefort, took in hand the cleaning up of the site in 1964, and in 1967 the building was classified a historical monument. Restoration work started in 1976 and was finished in 1988.

The south wing was opened in 1985 where the cultural centre“International Centre of the Sea” was installed to share with the public the maritime culture of France, and particularly Rochefort's.                                                                     In the building, you'll find a bookshop with an exceptionally  large collection of maritime books ! 

New in 2016 : " Facing the wind " ! 

In 2016, the Corderie Royale, welcomes a nex exhibition themed on the wind !

Created by Cap Science Bordeaux, the exhibition "Facing the wind", will give you all the knowledge there is to have on the phenomenon that is the wind. 

From February 6 to 31 December, at the Corderie Royale. 

If you want more information, visit the official website : Corderie Royale