La Rochefoucauld, ‘village étape’
Whether you’re travelling around the Charente or just passing through, don’t miss the chance to visit La Rochefoucauld. Just off the RN141, not too far from Angoulême, La Rochefoucauld is one of France’s ‘villages étape’, a place to break your journey. It received this official designation in 2013, which it shares with other towns across France with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, that are close to motorways and other major roads, and which provide useful services and facilities.
Why is La Rochefoucauld worth a visit ?
A rich heritage
La Rochefoucauld is well known for its château of the same name, which stands proudly overlooking the town and the Tardoire River. The town’s architecture, predominantly from the Renaissance period, has given La Rochefoucauld the nickname ‘Perle de l’Angoumois’, or Pearl of Angoumois. The town dates back to the beginning of the 14th century, and is distinctive in the region because it features a number of gothic buildings (the Charente is mostly known for its Romanesque heritage), including the Couvent des Carmes and the Collégiale Notre-Dame de l’Assomption, which are both protected historical monuments.
Numerous cultural and athletic facilities
In La Rochefoucauld’s town centre, culture is on every corner: the exhibition halls in the Médiathèque, the cinema in the old ‘Halle aux Grains’, the theatre and exhibition halls at the Couvent des CARMES. Together they provide a rich and varied programme for everyone to enjoy throughout the year.
La Rochefoucauld also offers everything a keen sportsman could desire: sports hall, outdoor swimming pool (opposite the Château), three outdoor pitches for rugby and football, a running track, five tennis courts which are available to book, and an exercise trail (parcours de santé) in the woods surrounding the château (new in 2017). Last but by no means least, the town is the starting point of many walks and cycling trails (Place du Champ de Foire, opposite the Chateau).
A thriving commercial centre
La Rochefoucauld boasts a variety of shops and boutiques selling food, clothes, shoes, health and beauty products, restaurants, crafts and other items. This makes the centre of the town, and especially its semi-pedestrian zone, particularly attractive.
For more informations, visit : www.larochefoucauld-commerce.com
A key provider of services
In addition to its busy commercial centre, the town boasts a small hospital (offering medical and convalescence services), numerous GPs, specialists, chemists, a medico-social centre and a veterinary practice. A health centre is under development.
Last but by no means least, La Rochefoucauld holds its own when it comes to education. The town has a nursery, two pre-schools, two primary schools and two secondary schools.