The Marsan Hotel was totally rebuilt after 1770 by Carré de Condé, treasurer of France. It is a witness to the presence of Catherine de Parthenay, duchess of Rohan, mother of Henri II de Rohan and Benjamin de Soubise. She lived there with her daughter Anne from 1626 to 1628 throughout the Grand siege during which her courage and her faith made her ‘the soul of the resistance of La Rochelle’.
Before the end of the siege, Louis XIII gave the house to the Capucins to build a monastery. On the day after the surrender of La Rochelle, Father Joseph celebrated mass with the king attending, while Madame de Rohan and her daughter Anne were escorted to Niort. They remained prisoners there until 1629, until the peace of the ‘Grâce d’Alès’ was signed.
Progress in the tour
Return to the route
Catherine de Parthenay (1554-1631)
Staunch supporter of the defence of the city of La Rochelle against Richelieu in 1627-1628, she was a staunch Huguenot and likewise a poet, a playwright and a mathematician.
The last religious wars (1621-1629)
Under Louis XIII, in the wake of the Béarn case, the Protestants rebelled against the king. After their defeat, they lost their political assemblies and their strongholds and as a result fully depended on the king’s good will.
A walk through Protestant La Rochelle
As early as 1546, La Rochelle was one of the major cities in the kingdom won over to the Reformation.
La Rochelle had been an economic and maritime power since the 12th century, and did business with all the Protestant Northern states, namely England, the Netherlands and the Hanseatic cities.
In 1628, La Rochelle was taken by Louis XIII’s troops which ended Protestant supremacy of the city.
Upon the revocation in 1685 the inhabitants left the city massively. In 1802 there were only a thousand Protestants left.
The Protestant memory is still very present in La Rochelle, see the Rochelais museum and the tour around the city.