La Rochelle

The history of La Rochelle spans over 1000 years. The city was founded in the 10th century and became an important port in the 12th. It was an important place for the trade of wine and salt and remained the major port on the Atlantic coast of France until the 15th century. The city was independant and blooming until 1627 when its mayor had the bad idea to fire guns towards the kings troops. A 13 month siege made it fall back into line. During WWII, La Rochelle was used as a base for german submarines and was so fortified it was the last city of France to be freed in 1945. Interestingly, it did not suffer too much from the war.