Discover All La Rochelle Has To Offer by:Mick Cleare
La Rochelle in France's Charente-Maritime provinceis an ideal holiday destination on its own or can serve as a quick detour during a trip to Paris. The city has many Christian tourist sites so for religiously inclined people or scholars wanting to study Christianity-influenced architecture, La Rochelle is definitely one of the places to be.
The surroundings of the town are typically Romanesque, while the Town Hall approached by several scenic and tree-lined routes is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture. The town is peppered with towers and monuments most notable among which are the Tour Saint-Nicholas, Tour de la Chaine, and Tour de la Lanterne - three towers that were erected to serve as guard towers to the harbour.
These towers fall within "Vieux Port", or Old Port - fittingly named, as it is the oldest part of the town of La Rochelle. Old Port's streets are narrow and the buildings are made of pale stone which brings out the Mediterranean influences on the area. While travelling in Old Port keep an eye open for the several clocks and timepieces that are hundreds of years old, but impeccably maintained - a living, working reminder of a past that is still fresh and alive in the area.
Fairly close to the harbour lies the aquarium, an attraction for adults and children alike. Many varieties of aquatic fauna can be found there which are guaranteed to enthrall visitors for hours on end. On the harbour itself it is possible to hire a boat and go on a cruise taking in deep lungfuls of fresh air and soaking in the soothing scenery.
Hiring a car in La Rochelle is an excellent way of discovering this magnificent coastal area. Soak in the sunshine as you hit the open road. Make plans to suit the entire touring party as you are not tied to any public transport methods.
The Muse des Beaux Arts of La Rochelle offer a completely different glimpse into the past with its vast collection of paintings - Oriental, European, Christian and secular. The other museums in addition to this have exhibits of the botanical kind as well as those showcasing natural history.
If you time your visit well, La Rochelle has its share of festivals that take place every year. These are usually short festivals of the arts and are highly enjoyable for budding scholars, critics and anyone with an appreciation of beauty.
Of course like all European towns and cities worth visiting, La Rochelle has its fair share of cathedrals. Each cathedral has a unique legend and story behind it and exploring them makes for a fascinating experience.
Whether for two days or two weeks, the old-world charm of La Rochelle is guaranteed to keep you satisfied, your senses singing and your heart wanting to return to it again and again.
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