They were prestigious as well as defensive works that have guarded the entrance to the harbour since the late 19th century.
They were crucial in protecting the city in case of hostile landing. Louis XIII kept them when he had the fortifications destroyed after the siege of La Rochelle.
With time the towers were put to different uses. Firstly, they were lodgings for ‘captains’ who were to watch vessel movements in the harbour and levy the fees and charges they had to pay. Then, during the Protestant era, the blue and white flag – the city’s colours – flew on the Chaîne Tower. The coffin of François d’Andelot who had died in Saintes, was left there from 1569 to 1579, as well as that of René II de Rohan (from 1586 to 1599), Catherine de Parthenay’s husband who died in La Rochelle.
After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, the Saint Nicolas Tower was used as a prison for ‘stubborn’ Protestants. Jean Migault, who had tried to escape from France, Nicolas, Sieur de Voutron et de Coureilles, who could not be forced to recant despite the presence of Dragons in his house, and also the owners of the Vaugouin and Pampin dwellings accused of hiding would-be fleeing religionists, were jailed there for various periods of time.
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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.
Fourth war of Religion and Saint Bartholomew (1572-1573)8 August 1570: Edict of Saint-Germain Spring 1572: escalation of repression in the Netherlands Gaspard de Coligny returned to the Court 18 August 1572: Wedding of Henri de Navarre with...
The House of Protestantism in PoitouSince 1987, The House of Protestantism in Poitou, in the Inter-regional Park of the Marais Poitevin, has been a useful source of information abut the history of protestantism in Poitou...
Poitiers et sa région
Mémoire et patrimoine en Loire-AtlantiqueLe département de Loire-Atlantique fait partie aujourd’hui de la région Pays de la Loire mais, au XVIe siècle, Nantes était la capitale de la Bretagne et la résidence des ducs...
A walk through Protestant La RochelleAs 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...