L'Hôtel de ville - Renaissance style
The contrast between the enclosure wall style and the main part of the building will strike you.
Don't hesitate, enter the gates to admire the inner court. It is simply breathtakingly beautiful. Just in front of you, the Italian Renaissance style, built under Henri IV rule. An arch gallery on the basement. Don't forget to look at the ceiling of the gallery with monographs of both Henri IV and Marie de Médicis. They are part of the ceiling adornment as well as trophies, medals...
On the pic, find details of the first level of the main building. Pilasters with statues that symbolize cardinal virtues sush as Justice, Strength, Cautiousness, Temperance.
At your left, find the statue of Richelieu, on top of the entry of first floor... See in next tip the role he played in La Rochelle history.
Far left, stands a beautiful balustrade staircase, from where you could take pictures of the Renaissance beauty.
For more of this Hôtel de ville, check (in French): http://www.larochelle-info.com/larochelle/srubs.php?rub=4&srub=9&id=4 One of fondest memories visiting La Rochelle Old quarter is the contrast between interior design and enclosure wall architecture of this Hôtel de ville. At a time, while admiring this Renaissance building, I completely forgot about the enclosure wall. Seemed as if I were just dropped by a helicopter in the inner court. I was dreaming away, looking at the arches, the patterns on the gallery ceiling. Too different those parts were!
Don't forget to visit the interior. It contains some pieces of collection, proper to La Rochelle history, including many rooms and the famous marble table in Jean Guiton's cabinet. Jean Guiton is a mayor in Richelieu time, who boosted locals to resist to royal army, in order to keep La Rochelle as a free town. He is a local hero. Normally, you should find his statue on Place de l'Hôtel de Ville.
Ask for a Guided tour: Office du Tourisme – tél. : 05.46.41.14.68