France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   What to See & Do in Rochefort, France
Naval history is a strength in this former French naval city, as are the life and times of romantic novelist Pierre Loti, and—surprisingly—begonias.




Rochefort was formed by its French naval history which began in 1665 when it was chosen as a navy port, and 1926, when the naval base and dockyard closed.

Musée Nationale de la Marine

The Musée Nationale de la Marine is a branch of France's National Naval Museum centered in Paris.

Among its most interesting exhibits are models and paintings of the Plongeur, the world's first submarine (1863) to be mechanically powered (that is, by a compressed-air engine, not by human power).

Conservatoire du Bégonia

Rochefort's botanical garden specializes in begonias, with more than 500 species and 1000 hybrids. The begonia, discovered by a French expedition to the Americas in the late 1600s, is named for Michel Bégon, who organized the expedition.


Built in Rochefort between 1997 and 2014, L'Hermoine is a reproduction of the 1779 French frigate, also built in Rochefort, on which the Marquis de Lafayette sailed to America to serve as a general in the Revolutionary War.

In 2015 L'Hermoine sailed to the USA, retracing the voyage of Lafayette. Now returned to Rochefort, you can visit the frigate.

Musée Pierre Loti

Louis Marie-Julien Viaud (1850-1923), French naval officer and famous author of romantic novels, lived in this Rochefort house that is now the Pierre Loti Museum. Exotic treasures and works of art from around the world are gathered here, as are stories of the author's romantic exploits.

However, in 2012 the house was closed to the public to permit extensive renovation and restoration, and was still closed in 2016. It is not known when it will re-open, but you can learn about the amazing career of Pierre Loti at the Musée Hèbre nearby. More...

Hotels & Flats in Rochefort

Rochefort Transportation

About Rochefort

Tourist Information

Île d'Oléron


Poitou-Charentes Region


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


 Musée Hèbre, Rochefort, France

Musée Hèbre, Rochefort, France,
with exhibits of Pierre Loti.





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