The three mighty towers of La Rochelle are an enduring symbol of the city's rich seafaring heritage and power, which goes back to the 12th century. Flanking the city's harbor, these silent sentinels have served as lighthouses, fortified defenses, living quarters, and even political prisons. This is an unmissable opportunity to discover France's seafaring history.
The towers were designed to guide and control arriving ships, as well as to defend the city.
The Chain Tower is named for the huge chain which connected to its partner tower Saint Nicolas, blocking entry to the port. The Lantern Tower acted as a lighthouse, welcoming ships from the Atlantic Ocean. But there's much more to these towers than that.
The Lantern, Saint Nicolas, and Chain towers were built almost 1000 years ago, and have played a vital role in the history and development of La Rochelle ever since.
Wherever you turn you'll find fascinating stories about La Rochelle's history and learn all about the people who lived and worked in the towers.
On your visit you can see graffiti carved by the pirates and political prisoners who were locked in the dungeons. Some of it is surprisingly rude – some things never change!
Train to La Rochelle station + 10 minutes walking to Tour St Nicolas.
The Saint Nicolas tower is closed for renovation work until further notice.