We were in La Rochelle on Monday, October 22, a month ago today. We'd been trying to get to La Rochelle for 10 years, and we finally made it. When we were staying in a gîte on the nearby Île d'Oléron in 2008, all the ports and bridges were closed by striking marins-pêcheurs (commercial fishermen). Our excursions were limited to seeing places on the island.
Above is the Tour de l'Horloge in La Rochelle. It's a Gothic-era tower but the top section was added on in the 18th century. The tower is actually an old city gate called La Port de la Grosse Horloge that leads into the old town from the port.
Originally, La Rochelle was a fortified city, but it outgrew the old walls a long time ago. The city used to have a tramway, with streetcars passing through the old gate. The man whose statue you see in the first photo is Guy-Victor Duperré, a La Rochelle native who was a naval officer and French admiral in the first half of the 19th century, during the Napoleonic era.