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Situated on the Bay of Biscay, along France’s Atlantic coast, La Rochelle is one of the country’s oldest cities, dating back more than 1000 years. A 2.9km bridge connects La Rochelle to the Île de Ré, which is less than 30km from the Kyriad La Rochelle Centre Hotel. The city became a harbour in the 12th century, serving as a base for trade with England, the Netherlands and Spain. Since then, La Rochelle has played a pivotal role in French history.
The city switched hands between the English and French several times from the 12th to 14th century. It also served as a base for the Knights Templar in the 12th and 13th centuries. La Rochelle fell under English possession during the Hundred Years’ War, but became definitively French following the Battle of La Rochelle in 1372. La Rochelle saw its heyday in the period following the discovery of the New World, as its merchants engaged in trade with France’s new American territories.