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Twin towns


This port on the Baltic Sea, nicknamed Queen of the Hanse happens to be the capital of the North Germany's Hanseatic League.
It is part of the UNESCO world heritage list, especially for its red brick architecture. With its 215,000 inhabitants it is the second largest city in Land of Schleswig-Holstein, after Kiel.
Lübeck was twinned with La Rochelle in 1988, by an amicable partnership between the two mayors.
It is worth noting the geographical similarities between these two port cities.

New Rochelle

Following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, French huguenots fleeing La Rochelle came and founded this town in 1688. Settling along the waterfront, they used the navigable waterways to transport the fruits of their harvests towards New York. For nearly 300 years, the coast of New Rochelle continued to play an important role in the life of the community.
In the 19th century, New Rochelle's seafront became a fashionable summer gathering place and a number of parks were built.
Situated on the banks of Long Island Sound, New Rochelle is today one of New York's biggest suburbs, with nearly 72,200 inhabitants spread over 34.3 km². This town has maintained a friendly relationship with La Rochelle since 1910 due to their shared history and a certain resemblance.


From the עַכּו, Akko, also known in Christendom under name of Saint-John-of-Acre, is a city situated in Israël to the North of the Bay of Haïfa, 152 km from Jerusalem, with a deep water harbour.
This coastal city now counts 53,000 inhabitants and has given its name to the Plain of Acre which includes several villages. Its old trading port which flourished in antiquity has become a fishing port and marina of lesser importance.
Akko's maritime outlook and its points in common with La Rochelle were the basis for twinning in 1972.

Symbol: Place de Saint Jean d’Acre at La Rochelle


Essaouira means "Well Designed". It is a port city situated on Morocco's Atlantic coast, at the same latitude as Marrakesh, with 70,000 inhabitants, and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
In 1999 Michel Crépeau, President of the France-Morocco at the National Assembly, allowed the twinning of La Rochelle with a Moroccan town and the natural choice was Essaouira, because of its port, its architectural riches, and its medina.

Figueiro Santiago

This town of 7,080 inhabitants has been recently twinned with La Rochelle, and is situated 50 km from Oporto.
Based on a friendship partnership, the authorities of La Rochelle and Figueiro Santiago signed a Friendship Charter during a trip to Figueiro de Santiago in 2003.
La Rochelle's Portuguese community originally from this region of Portugal plays a very important role in the City of La Rochelle and has created the Portuguese Fiesta on Whitsun Weekend, which is very much enjoyed by the people of La Rochelle.


Petrozavodsk, famous for its Arms Foundry established by Peter the Great in 1703, was granted city status in 1777. During the Finnish occupation of East Karelia, during the continuation war between the USSR and Finland from 1941 to 1944, the city was renamed "Äänislinna", a name taken from the Finnish name for Lake Onega, "Ääninen".
Situated on the West bank of the Lake Onega, Petrozavodsk is the capital of the Russian Republic of Karelia.
It was in 1973 that Petrozavodsk and La Rochelle decided to sign their Friendship pact, putting the seal on very strong relations of long standing.

Symbol: Place de Petrozavodsk in La Rochelle

© La Rochelle 2008