The Porte de la Grosse Horloge of La Rochelle!!!

And to my surprise many written on La Rochelle but the beautiful big clock or grosse horloge was hidden in the posts. Really, this needs more like a post of its own for the sake of credit when credit is due. The Porte de la Grosse Horloge kept the entry to the city from the old town still in medieval conditions.  A wonderful thing to see in La Rochelle, and I will tell you a bit more of it now. Hope you enjoy it as I.


The Gross Horloge or Big Clock of La Rochelle is an old city gate dating from the primitive enclosure known as Guillaume X, which became useless with the expansion of the city, it hosts a bell and a clock in 1478 and became the belfry of the city replacing the Porte de Mallevault.  The gate is at the beginning of the Quai Duperré and serves as a passage between the port and the old town.


The Grosse-Horloge was originally a gate of the fortified city of La Rochelle, opened in the primitive enclosure. The gate was built at the beginning of the 12C during the construction of the first medieval enclosure. In the 13C its name was Porte du Parrot or Perrot, because it gave access to the suburb of that name. The gate was pierced with two bays ; the larger, for trolleys, the smaller, for pedestrians. In 1478, it was surmounted by an octagonal bell tower, topped with a campanile housing the clock bell.


In 1672, the two bays were united in a single arcade, in order to facilitate circulation. In 1746, the upper part of the building was demolished to make way for the current construction in the form of a Louis XV cartel flanked by scientific and military attributes. Today, it remains one of the main crossing points between the quays and the old town, but also housed for a few years an archaeological museum concerning the La Rochelle Templars.  The belfry is pierced by a semi-circular arch on each side. Twin pilasters of the Ionic order are placed on the facades facing the port and the city, while columns surmounted by Ionic capitals decorate the short sides. An entablature with an overflowing cornice crowns this lower part. Above, an attic receives a dome topped with a lantern pierced by four arcades decorated with coupled pilasters. Each of the two old turrets flanking the medieval tower on the port side is crowned with trophies representing astronomical and maritime allegories.

Coming from the port, crossing the Porte de la Grosse Horloge , you then come out on the Place des Petits-Francs, on which you can discover a statue of Eugène Fromentin, painter and writer from La Rochelle influenced by Prosper Marilhat.


The La Rochelle tourist office on the Big Clock

The city of La Rochelle with an interactive map for locations :

There you go folks, another dandy monument of my belle France. They are there alright, plenty, ,just hope last enough to see them all, I am working harder…..!  The Porte de la Grosse Horloge of La Rochelle is awesome. Again, hope you enjoy it as much as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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