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Graffiti in the Lanterne Tower

Graffiti représentant un navire et les tours de La Rochelle

More than 600 graffiti were engraved on the walls of the Lanterne Tower between the 16th and 19th centuries, when it was used as a prison.

Traces of the past

The walls of the Lanterne Tower, where many crews of enemy ships were incarcerated, still bear traces of this period of imprisonment.

The graffiti embedded in the walls and on the floors bear witness to the stranded crews, the imprisoned sailors and the high points in the history of La Rochelle, particularly during the Franco-English wars.

The prisoners have left behind a wealth of graffiti : the make-up of the war and merchant fleets, details of the rigging , the hulls and armaments of the ships of these eras. There are also crosses, names, dates and texts.

Some are up to two metres above the ground. The room on the third floor has the most graffiti because it was used as a dormitory.

The oldest graffiti is mainly from La Rochelle. The others were done by foreign crews: Spanish, Dutch, British, etc.

The graffiti was studied by Luc Bucherie.

Graffiti on every floor

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