Even if you never see it, the ocean is omnipresent in Rochefort. Created in the 17C, the town owes its rich maritime past and its arsenal, where major expeditions were prepared, to Louis XIV. It has retained the Quebec bluestone paving in its grid of broad streets. Its collection of begonias still exudes a perfume of exoticism. All of its heritage reveals a longing for distant horizons... but only all the better to return, as did Pierre Loti, who was so fond of his home town.