Surrounding le Vieux Port, the old port, in La Rochelle are three stone towers dating back to the 1300’s, The Chaîne Tower, The Saint Nicolas Tower and the Lanterne Tower. Having walked by these towers everyday on my way to and from class, this week I finally decided to take the time and go in each of the towers. What is very nice about the towers is that for students entrance into the towers is free, all I had to do was flash my very useful ISIC card, International student identity card.
The first tower that I went into was the Lanterne Tower, and as it turned out, the Lanterne Tower was my favorite of the three. What was so interesting to me was the graffiti on the stone walls, however the word graffiti is a little misleading. During the 16th century the Laterne Tower, a lighthouse for the port, was converted into a prison, and later a military prison. On the walls of the cells where prisoners were held were carvings. While some carvings were simple scratch marks and names written out, other carvings were extremely detailed. My favorite of the graffiti was a stone with a ship carved into it. The intricacy of the ship was amazing!
Also, the breathtaking views of La Rochelle that the top-level provided were incredible, the city looked so different from above!
– Claire Turck ’11