Rochelle, La (Ro-shell'), a French fortified seaport, capital of the dep. of Charente-Inferieure, on an inlet of the Bay of Biscay, formed by the islands Re and Oleron, 91 miles WSW. of Poitiers and 297 SW. of Paris. Its harbour, still showing the remains of Richelieu's famous dyke, is surrounded by fine quays, close to which lie the principal streets and squares. The most noteworthy public buildings are the hotel-de-ville (1486-1607), the palais-de-justice (1614), and the heavy Grecian cathedral (1742-1862). Besides the fine promenade of the Place du Chateau, there are, outside the city, La Promenade du Mail and the Champs de Mars. Shipbuilding is actively carried on, specially for the Newfoundland fishing trade; and besides the manufacture of briquettes and cotton yarns, Rochelle has numerous glass-works, sugar-refineries, and brandy distilleries. Pop. (1872) 19,070; (1901) 28,578. Known till the 12th century under its Latin name of Rupella, ' Little Rock,' of which its present name is a translation, Rochelle originated in a colony of runaway serfs of Lower Poitou. On the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine with Henry II., it came, as part of her dowry, to the English kings, who retained it till 1224; and, though it was restored to England in 1360, it has been French since 1372. A Huguenot stronghold, it was unsuccessfully besieged in 1573, and in 1627-28 it for fourteen months again offered a heroic though unavailing resistance to Cardinal Richelieu. Buckingham's expedition to relieve it failed, and at last the defenders, reduced from 27,000 to 5000, had to surrender. With the exception of three towers (1384-1476) its old fortifications were destroyed, and new lines of defences subsequently erected by the great Vauban. Reaumur, Bonpland, Billaud-Varenne, Fromentin, Bouguereau, and Admiral Duperre were natives. Of the last a statue was erected in 1869.