A little history...
In Gallo-Roman times, the site of Brouage was located a few meters below sea level, in the heart of the Gulf of Saintonge. Then, as time went by, the gulf filled up, the sea receded and men gradually shaped this marshy landscape until, in the Middle Ages, it became the salt granary of the kingdom of France, and even of all Northern Europe.
In 1555, Jacques de Pons, lord of the châtellenie de Hiers, ordered the construction of Jacopolis sur Brouage on a ballast stone depot to facilitate the salt trade.
The scene of conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, this place was soon transformed into a stronghold reputed to be impregnable, the work of the best engineers of the kingdom of France: Pierre de Conti d'Argencourt then Vauban and Ferry. In 1578, it was annexed to the royal domain. That year, Jacopolis became Brouage.
The city will know its full development from 1627, when Cardinal de Richelieu becomes governor.
Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, it welcomed many illustrious people, such as the Cardinal of Richelieu, Marie Mancini and King Louis XIV. It was the birthplace of the founder of Quebec City, Samuel Champlain.
A very rich heritage...
Many buildings still bear witness to this glorious era: the ramparts more than 2km long, the forges, the Halle aux Vivres, the underground ports, the powder magazines, the church dedicated to Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul.
Completed in 1608, this church is immense. Its central nave is covered by a wooden vault in the shape of an upturned ship's hull, suggesting that it was originally built by ship carpenters.
The floor of the church is covered with numerous funeral slabs dating back to the 17th century, under which lie former governors, soldiers or wealthy merchants of the past.
The church, memorial of New France
Brouage Church is still a place of worship today, but it is also the Memorial of the origins of New France. An exhibition entitled "Il était une foi... en Nouvelle-France" (There was a faith... in New France) traces the establishment of the first settlements and the first attempts to evangelize this then little-known territory.
Nine stained glass windows bear witness to the special bonds of friendship between France and Canada. In fact, by founding Québec City in 1608, the first permanent French settlement in the St. Lawrence Valley, Samuel Champlain, a native of Brouage, anchored the French presence in North America under the name New France.
Six of these nine stained glass windows are the work of artist Nicolas Sollogoub.
Another exhibition space is the "Halle aux Vivres", where the history of Brouage is revisited.
Brouage is today a member of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France".
Brouage reception office
Place Forte de Brouage
2, Hospital Street,
17320 Yesterday's Jam
Tel: 05 46 85 19 16
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator