La Rochelle Aquarium, Poitou-Charentes, France
The story of La Rochelle’s aquarium all started off with the dream of one man.
This is one of the town’s best features, and is the result of René Coutant’s dream to create an underwater world on land. He spent the majority of his life on the project and even passed his passion on to his children.
It all began in the 1960’s, when René Coutant built his first aquariums fitted with closed circuit filtration systems. Boosted by this experience, he opened a 250m² aquarium in 1970 in the La Ville en Bois area of La Rochelle.
Eighteen years down the line, René Coutant passed the baton on to his children, Roselyne and Pascal, and a few years ago they opened the biggest aquarium in France (with a surface area of over 1600m² and a volume of 550,000 litres of sea water).
On December 21st 2001, they celebrated the opening of the ‘Nouvel Aquarium de la Rochelle’ (New Aquarium of La Rochelle). This one is six times larger than the one that opened at Les Minimes in 1988, offering an immense space given entirely over to the sea and presenting a unique view of the underwater world from all over the globe.
La Rochelle Aquarium consists of several spaces, each designed to represent a different underwater habitat.
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