The Arsenal des Mers

Step into the legend maker ! It is here, in Rochefort, that your maritime adventure begins.

An ocean of history in Rochefort...

Embark on a maritime adventure and discover the world of stevedores, engineers, captains, shipwrights... 

As the birthplace of the Hermione and the Grand Arsenal designed by Louis XIV, Rochefort invites you on an extraordinary expedition. The Arsenal des Mers offers a touristic adventure along the banks of the Charente! 

As a natural setting for an exceptional heritage dating back over 350 years, the Arsenal des Mers is a must for visitors to Rochefort Océan. It offers a range of experiences not to be missed.


Discover the Arsenal des mers

The Arsenal des mers, is : 

  • a wink towards the Charente and its estuary; a reminder of the importance of the Navy and the maritime world anchored in Rochefort. This arsenal has always been oriented towards the sea, voyages and expeditions...
  • experiencing the sea through the different trades practised in this naval arsenal and inspiring people to become "seamen, deckhands, captains"... When history gives you a taste of adventure, you go there, you return there, you talk about it...

To better understand why the king Louis XIV chose Rochefort, continue your visit along the estuary and discover the Forts' Road.

Poster of the Arsenal des mers

The Arsenal Factory

Visit the Noé, a 61-metre-long former mortar boat in the Napoleon III dry dock. Discover the trades and skills of Rochefort's naval arsenal through the story of the rebuilding of the Hermione frigate and the renovation of the NOE, and have fun in the giant periscope, to see without being seen!  Morse code, camouflage and bulwark... the perfect spy's kit.

The giant periscope

Set up on the Arsenal's central breakwater, this spectacularly large attraction shows you how sailors can see without being seen!

Le Noé, the ship with 1001 lives

Now in place in the Napoléon III dry dock to begin its new life... Le Noé is the new boat in the Arsenal des Mers at Rochefort!

The Hermione's journey

From its entry into history in the 18th century to the major refit currently taking place in Bayonne, experience the major stages in its construction and its adventures on all the world's seas!

The Arsenal des Mers sites and activities

Follow the guide through the Arsenal of the Seas...

La Fayette, hero of 2 worlds

Take part in this dramatised tour in the company of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, on his return to Rochefort from the Americas, where this young man, still bubbling with energy, set off on the Hermione to deliver the American people from the yoke of England.

More information to come for 2024 year.

Rochefort Ocean, door of the Arsenal

Rochefort, the dream of King Louis XIV

This guided tour with a tour guide will help you better understand the ambitions of the young King Louis XIV, who dreamed of becoming master of the oceans!

More information to come for 2024 year.

Oceana Lumina

In July and August, the Arsenal des Mers presents its unmissable night-time show. This show will amaze young and old alike.

La Corderie Royale: the Arsenal's flagship

Let us tell you the extraordinary story of this royal factory, created by Louis XIV and built in just 3 years! From workshop to workshop, discover the secrets of ropemaking, from growing the hemp to processing it. The Corderie's passionate sailors will share their expertise with you, transforming the ropes into fittings and decorative objects: a royal stopover, a jewel in the Arsenal's crown.

Musée de la Marine, take the keys to the Arsenal!

Set course for Rochefort's oldest private mansion, once the home of naval commanders. The museum hoasts a rich collection of models, paintings and tools from the heyday of the French navy. The secrets of shipbuilding are yours to discover. An essential visit to understand the history of the Rochefort Arsenal.

Take to the skies with L'accro-mât (mast-climbing)

If you're a thrill-seeker, the mast-climbing experience is for you. Come and twirl from mast to mast, more than 30 metres above the ground. Built in the Louis XV dry dock, where the Hermione was rebuilt, this activity is based on the same concept as the accrobranches parks: climb the ropes and slide, thanks to zip lines, up to 30m high. All with a breathtaking view over the Charente and the town.

To continue the Arsenal des Mers adventure