São Paulo is a municipality in the Southeast Region of Brazil. The metropolis is an alpha global city and the most populous city in Brazil, the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere, besides being the largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world; the municipality is the Earth's 11th largest city proper by population. The city is the capital of the surrounding state of São Paulo, the most populous and wealthiest state in Brazil, it exerts strong international influences in commerce, finance and entertainment. The name of the city honors Saint Paul of Tarsus; the city's metropolitan area, the Greater São Paulo, ranks as the most populous in Brazil and the 12th most populous on Earth. The process of conurbation between the metropolitan areas located around the Greater São Paulo created the São Paulo Macrometropolis, a megalopolis with more than 30 million inhabitants, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. Having the largest economy by GDP in Latin America and the Southern Hemisphere, the city is home to the São Paulo Stock Exchange.
Paulista Avenue is the economic core of São Paulo. The city has the 11th largest GDP in the world, representing alone 10.7% of all Brazilian GDP and 36% of the production of goods and services in the state of São Paulo, being home to 63% of established multinationals in Brazil, has been responsible for 28% of the national scientific production in 2005. With a GDP of US$477 billion, the São Paulo city alone would have ranked 26th globally compared with countries by 2017 estimates; the metropolis is home to several of the tallest skyscrapers in Brazil, including the Mirante do Vale, Edifício Itália, North Tower and many others. The city has cultural and political influence both nationally and internationally, it is home to monuments and museums such as the Latin American Memorial, the Ibirapuera Park, Museum of Ipiranga, São Paulo Museum of Art, the Museum of the Portuguese Language. The city holds events like the São Paulo Jazz Festival, São Paulo Art Biennial, the Brazilian Grand Prix, São Paulo Fashion Week, the ATP Brasil Open, the Brasil Game Show and the Comic Con Experience.
The São Paulo Gay Pride Parade rivals the New York City Pride March as the largest gay pride parade in the world. São Paulo is a cosmopolitan, melting pot city, home to the largest Arab and Japanese diasporas, with examples including ethnic neighborhoods of Mercado and Liberdade respectively. São Paulo is home to the largest Jewish population in Brazil, with about 75,000 Jews. In 2016, inhabitants of the city were native to over 200 different countries. People from the city are known as paulistanos, while paulistas designates anyone from the state, including the paulistanos; the city's Latin motto, which it has shared with the battleship and the aircraft carrier named after it, is Non ducor, which translates as "I am not led, I lead." The city, colloquially known as Sampa or Terra da Garoa, is known for its unreliable weather, the size of its helicopter fleet, its architecture, severe traffic congestion and skyscrapers. São Paulo was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, the city hosted the IV Pan American Games and the São Paulo Indy 300.
The region of modern-day São Paulo known as Piratininga plains around the Tietê River, was inhabited by the Tupi people, such as the Tupiniquim and Guarani. Other tribes lived in areas that today form the metropolitan region; the region was divided in Caciquedoms at the time of encounter with the Europeans. The most notable Cacique was Tibiriça, known for his support for the Portuguese and other European colonists. Among the many indigenous names that survive today are Tietê, Tamanduateí, Anhangabaú, Diadema, Itapevi, Embu-Guaçu etc... The Portuguese village of São Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga was marked by the founding of the Colégio de São Paulo de Piratininga on January 25, 1554; the Jesuit college of twelve priests included Spanish priest José de Anchieta. They built a mission on top of a steep hill between the Tamanduateí rivers, they first had a small structure built of rammed earth, made by American Indian workers in their traditional style. The priests wanted to evangelize – teach the Indians who lived in the Plateau region of Piratininga and convert them to Christianity.
The site was separated from the coast by the Serra do Mar, called by the Indians Serra Paranapiacaba. The college was named for a Christian saint and its founding on the feast day of the celebration of the conversion of the Apostle Paul of Tarsus. Father José de Anchieta wrote this account in a letter to the Society of Jesus: The settlement of the region's Courtyard of the College began in 1560. During the visit of Mem de Sá, Governor-General of Brazil, the Captaincy of São Vicente, he ordered the transfer of the population of the Village of Santo André da Borda do Campo to the vicinity of the college, it was named "College of St. Paul Piratininga"; the new location was on a steep hill adjacent to a large wetland, the lowland do Carmo. It offered better protection from attacks by local Indian groups, it was renamed belonging to the Captaincy of São Vicente. For the next two centuries, São Paulo developed as a poor and isolated village that survived through the cultivation of subsistence crops by the labor of natives.
For a long time, São Paulo was the only village in Brazil's interior, as travel was too difficult for many to reach the area. Mem de Sá forbade colonists to use the "Path Pir
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital, he sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Boileau, La Fontaine, Marais, Le Brun, Bossuet, Le Vau, Charles, Claude Perrault, Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished; the revocation forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession. There were two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, he was named Louis Dieudonné and bore the traditional title of French heirs apparent: Dauphin. At the time of his birth, his parents had been married for 23 years, his mother had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as his birth a miracle of God. Sensing imminent death, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order in the spring of 1643, when Louis XIV was four years old. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf, his lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time.
Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed. Both were interested in food and theatre, it is likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother; this long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. But attachments formed by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed by blood." It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. During his childhood, he was taken care of by the governesses Françoise de Lansac and Marie-Catherine de Senecey. In 1646, Nicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children François de Villeroy, divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead, Queen Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris.
This action made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers, she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs. Anne nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question. Anne kept the direction of religious policy in her hand until 1661. Anne wanted to give her son a victorious kingdom, her rationales for choosing Mazarin were his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until 1653 when she was no longer regent. Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in 1643: the Duke of Beaufort and Marie de Rohan, she left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. The best example of Anne's statesmanship and the partial change in her heart towards her native Spain is seen in her keeping of one of Richelieu's men, the Chancellor of France Pierre Séguier, in his post. Séguier was the pers
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was a European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death of the childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700. His closest heirs were members of the Austrian Habsburg and French Bourbon families. Charles left an undivided Monarchy of Spain to Louis XIV's grandson Philip, proclaimed King of Spain on 16 November 1700. Disputes over separation of the Spanish and French crowns and commercial rights led to war in 1701 between the Bourbons of France and Spain and the Grand Alliance, whose candidate was Archduke Charles, younger son of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. By the end of 1706, Allied victories in Italy and the Low Countries forced the French back within their borders but they were unable to make a decisive breakthrough. Control of the sea allowed the Allies to conduct successful offensives in Spain, but lack of popular support for Archduke Charles meant they could not hold territory outside the coastal areas. Conflict extended to European colonies in North America, where it is known as Queen Anne's War, the West Indies as well as minor struggles in Colonial India.
Related conflicts include Rákóczi's War of Independence in Hungary, funded by France and the 1704–1710 Camisard rebellion in South-East France, funded by Britain. When his elder brother Joseph died in 1711, Charles succeeded him as Emperor, undermining the primary driver behind the war, to prevent Spain being united with either France or Austria; the 1710 British election returned a new government committed to ending it and with the Allied war effort now dependent on British financing, this forced the others to make peace. The war ended with the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, followed in 1714 by the treaties of Rastatt and Baden. In return for confirmation as King of Spain, Philip V renounced his place in the line of succession to the French throne, both for himself and his descendants; the Dutch Republic was granted its Barrier Fortresses, while France acknowledged the Protestant succession in Britain and agreed to end support for the Stuart exiles. In the longer term, the commercial provisions of Utrecht confirmed Britain's status as the leading European maritime and commercial power, while the Dutch lost their position as the pre-eminent economic power in Asia and the war marked their decline as a first-rank power.
Other long-term impacts include the creation of a centralised Spanish state and the acceleration of the break-up of the Holy Roman Empire into larger and more powerful German principalities. In 1665 Charles II became the last male Habsburg King of Spain. In 1670, England agreed to support the rights of Louis XIV to the Spanish throne in the Treaty of Dover, while the terms of the 1688 Grand Alliance committed England and the Dutch Republic to back Leopold. In 1700, the Spanish Empire included possessions in Italy, the Spanish Netherlands, the Philippines and the Americas and though no longer the dominant great power, it remained intact. Since acquisition of the Empire by either the Austrian Habsburgs or French Bourbons would change the balance of power in Europe, its inheritance led to a war that involved most of the European powers; the 1700-1721 Great Northern War is considered a connected conflict, since it impacted the involvement of states such as Sweden, Denmark–Norway and Russia. During the 1688–1697 Nine Years War, armies had increased in size from an average of 25,000 in 1648 to over 100,000 by 1697, a level unsustainable for pre-industrial economies.
The 1690s marked the lowest point of the Little Ice Age, a period of colder and wetter weather that drastically reduced crop yields. The Great Famine of 1695-1697 killed between 15-25% of the population in present-day Scotland, Finland, Latvia and Sweden, with an estimated two million deaths in France and Northern Italy; the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick was therefore the result of mutual exhaustion and Louis XIV's acceptance that France could not achieve its objectives without allies. Leopold refused to sign and did so with extreme reluctance in October 1697. Unlike France or Austria, the Crown of Spain could be inherited through the female line; this allowed Charles' sisters Maria Theresa and Margaret Theresa to pass their rights as rulers onto the children of their respective marriages with Louis XIV and Emperor Leopold. Despite being opponents in the recent Nine Years War, Louis XIV and William III of England now attempted to resolve the Succession by diplomacy. In 1685, Maria Antonia, daughter of Leopold and Margaret, married Maximillian Emanuel of Bavaria and they had a son, Joseph Ferdinand.
The 1698 Treaty of the Hague or First Partition Treaty between France and the Dutch Republic made the six year old heir to the bulk of the Spanish Monarchy and divided its European territories between France and Austria. The Spanish refused to accept the division of their Empire and on 14 November 1698, Charles published his Will, making Joseph Ferdinand heir to an independent and undivided Spanish monarchy; when he died of smallpox in February 1699, a new solution was required. This was of doubtful legality but France and the Nethe
France Antarctique was a French colony south of the Equator, in Rio de Janeiro, which existed between 1555 and 1567, had control over the coast from Rio de Janeiro to Cabo Frio. The colony became a haven for the Huguenots, was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1567. Europeans first arrived in Brazil in April 1500, when a fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral on behalf of the Portuguese crown arrived in present-day Porto Seguro, Bahia. Except for Salvador and São Vicente, the territory still remained unexplored half a century later. Early expeditions of French Norman sailors to the New World have been suggested: Jean Cousin has been said to have discovered the New World in 1488, four years before Christopher Columbus, when he landed in Brazil around the mouth of the Amazon, but this remains unproven, his travels were succeeded by that of Binot Paulmier de Gonneville in 1504 onboard L'Espoir, properly recorded and brought back a Native American person named Essomericq. Gonneville affirmed that when he visited Brazil, French traders from Saint-Malo and Dieppe had been trading there for several years.
France continued to trade with Portugal loading Brazilwood, for its use as a red dyes for textiles. In 1550, in the royal entry for Henry II of France, at Rouen, about fifty men depicted naked Indians and a battle between the Tupinamba allies of the French, the Tabajaras Indians. On November 1, 1555, French vice-admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon, a Catholic knight of the Order of Malta, who would help the Huguenots to find a refuge against persecution, led a small fleet of two ships and 600 soldiers and colonists, took possession of the small island of Serigipe in the Guanabara Bay, in front of present-day Rio de Janeiro, where they built a fort named Fort Coligny; the fort was named in honor of Gaspard de Coligny, an admiral who supported the expedition and would use the colony in order to protect his Reformed co-religionists. To the still undeveloped mainland village, Villegaignon gave the name of Henriville, in honour of Henry II, the King of France, who knew of and approved the expedition, had provided the fleet for the trip.
Villegaignon secured his position by making an alliance with the Tamoio and Tupinambá Indians of the region, who were fighting the Portuguese. Unchallenged by the Portuguese, who took little notice of his landing, Villegaignon endeavoured to expand the colony by calling for more colonists in 1556, he sent one of his ships, the Grande Roberge, to Honfleur, entrusted with letters to King Henry II, Gaspard de Coligny and according to some accounts, the Protestant leader John Calvin. After one ship was sent to France to ask for additional support, three ships were financed and prepared by the king of France and put under the command of Sieur De Bois le Comte, a nephew of Villegaignon, they were joined by 14 Calvinists from Geneva, led by Philippe de Corguilleray, including theologians Pierre Richier and Guillaume Chartrier. The new colonists, numbering around 300, included 5 young women to be wed, 10 boys to be trained as translators, as well as 14 Calvinists sent by Calvin, Jean de Léry, who would write an account of the colony.
They arrived in March 1557. The relief fleet was composed of: The Petite Roberge, with 80 soldiers and sailors was led by Vice Admiral Sieur De Bois le Comte; the Grande Roberge, with about 120 on board, captained by Sieur de Sainte-Marie dit l'Espine. The Rosée, with about 90 people, led by Captain Rosée. Doctrinal disputes arose between Villegaignon and the Calvinists in relation to the Eucharist, in October 1557 the Calvinists were banished from Coligny island as a result, they settled among the Tupinamba until January 1558, when some of them managed to return to France by ship together with Jean de Léry, five others chose to return to Coligny island where three of them were drowned by Villegaignon for refusing to recant. In 1560 Mem de Sá, the new Governor-General of Brazil, received from the Portuguese government the command to expel the French. With a fleet of 26 warships and 2,000 soldiers, on 15 March 1560, he attacked and destroyed Fort Coligny within three days, but was unable to drive off their inhabitants and defenders, because they escaped to the mainland with the help of the Native Brazilians, where they continued to live and to work.
Admiral Villegaignon had returned to France in 1558, disgusted with the religious tension that existed between French Protestants and Catholics, who had come with the second group. Urged by two influential Jesuit priests who had come to Brazil with Mem de Sá, named José de Anchieta and Manuel da Nóbrega, who had played a big role in pacifying the Tamoios, Mem de Sá ordered his nephew, Estácio de Sá to assemble a new attack force. Estácio de Sá founded the city of Rio de Janeiro on March 1, 1565, fought the Frenchmen for two more years. Helped by a military reinforcement sent by his uncle, on January 20, 1567, he imposed final defeat on the French forces and decisively expelled them from Brazil, but died a month from wounds inflicted in the battle. Coligny's and Villegaignon's dream had lasted a mere 12 years. In response to the two attempts of France to conquer territory in Brazil, between 1612 and 1615, the Portuguese crown decided to expand its colonization efforts in Brazil. Other projects were made for the occupation of parts of Brazil in 1579, following the death of Sebastia
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, or Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape. Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire. In 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire. In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the chosen seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, who subsequently, in 1815, under the leadership of her son, the Prince Regent, future King João VI of Portugal, raised Brazil to the dignity of a kingdom, within the United Kingdom of Portugal and Algarves.
Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822, when the War of Brazilian Independence began. This is one of the few instances in history that the capital of a colonising country shifted to a city in one of its colonies. Rio de Janeiro subsequently served as the capital of the independent monarchy, the Empire of Brazil, until 1889, the capital of a republican Brazil until 1960 when the capital was transferred to Brasília. Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country, 30th largest in the world in 2008, estimated at about R$343 billion, it is headquarters to Brazilian oil and telecommunications companies, including two of the country's major corporations – Petrobras and Vale – and Latin America's largest telemedia conglomerate, Grupo Globo. The home of many universities and institutes, it is the second-largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific output according to 2005 data. Despite the high perception of crime, the city has a lower incidence of crime than Northeast Brazil, but it is far more criminalized than the south region of Brazil, considered the safest in the country.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, samba, bossa nova, balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana and Leblon. In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Rio de Janeiro was the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics, making the city the first South American and Portuguese-speaking city to host the events, the third time the Olympics were held in a Southern Hemisphere city; the Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the XV Pan American Games. Europeans first encountered Guanabara Bay on 1 January 1502, by a Portuguese expedition under explorer Gaspar de Lemos, captain of a ship in Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet, or under Gonçalo Coelho; the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci participated as observer at the invitation of King Manuel I in the same expedition.
The region of Rio was inhabited by the Tupi, Puri and Maxakalí peoples. In 1555, one of the islands of Guanabara Bay, now called Villegagnon Island, was occupied by 500 French colonists under the French admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon. Villegagnon built Fort Coligny on the island when attempting to establish the France Antarctique colony; the city of Rio de Janeiro proper was founded by the Portuguese on 1 March 1565 and was named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, in honour of St. Sebastian, the saint, the namesake and patron of the Portuguese then-monarch Sebastião. Rio de Janeiro was the name of Guanabara Bay; until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several French pirates and buccaneers, such as Jean-François Duclerc and René Duguay-Trouin. In the late 17th century, still during the Sugar Era, the Bandeirantes discovered gold and diamonds in the neighbouring captaincy of Minas Gerais, thus Rio de Janeiro became a much more practical port for exporting wealth than Salvador, much farther northeast.
On 27 January 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro; the kingdom's capital was transferred to the city, thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe. As there was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate hundreds of noblemen who arrived many inhabitants were evicted from their homes. In the first decades, several educational establishments were created, such as the Military Academy, the Royal School of Sciences and Crafts and the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, as well as the National Library of Brazil – with the largest collection in Latin America – and The Botanical Garden; the first printed newspaper in Brazil, the Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, came into circulation during this period. When Brazil was elevated to Kingdom in 1815, it
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department; the city is connected to the Île de Ré by a 2.9-kilometre bridge completed on 19 May 1988. Its harbour opens into the Pertuis d'Antioche; the area of La Rochelle was occupied in antiquity by the Gallic tribe of the Santones, who gave their name to the nearby region of Saintonge and the city of Saintes. The Romans subsequently occupied the area, where they developed salt production along the coast as well as wine production, re-exported throughout the Empire. Roman villas have been found at Saint-Éloi and at Les Minimes, as well as salt evaporation ponds dating from the same period. La Rochelle became an important harbour in the 12th century; the establishment of La Rochelle as a harbour was a consequence of the victory of Duke Guillaume X of Aquitaine over Isambert de Châtelaillon in 1130 and the subsequent destruction of his harbour of Châtelaillon.
In 1137, Guillaume X to all intents and purposes made La Rochelle a free port and gave it the right to establish itself as a commune. Fifty years Eleanor of Aquitaine upheld the communal charter promulgated by her father, for the first time in France, a city mayor was appointed for La Rochelle, Guillaume de Montmirail. Guillaume was assisted in his responsibilities by 24 municipal magistrates, 75 notables who had jurisdiction over the inhabitants. Under the communal charter, the city obtained many privileges, such as the right to mint its own coins, to operate some businesses free of royal taxes, factors which would favour the development of the entrepreneurial middle-class. Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet in 1152, who became king of England as Henry II in 1154, thus putting La Rochelle under Plantagenet rule, until Louis VIII captured it in the 1224 Siege of La Rochelle. During the Plantagenet control of the city in 1185, Henry II had the Vauclair castle built, remains of which are still visible in the Place de Verdun.
The main activities of the city were in the areas of maritime commerce and trade with England, the Netherlands and Spain. In 1196, wealthy bourgeois Alexandre Auffredi sent a fleet of seven ships to Africa seeking wealth, he went bankrupt awaiting the return of his ships. The Knights Templar had a strong presence in La Rochelle since before the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who exempted them from duties and gave them mills in her 1139 Charter. La Rochelle was for the Templars their largest base on the Atlantic Ocean, where they stationed their main fleet. From La Rochelle, they were able to act as intermediaries in trade between England and the Mediterranean. A popular thread of conspiracy theory originating with Holy Blood, Holy Grail has it that the Templars used a fleet of 18 ships which had brought Jacques de Molay from Cyprus to La Rochelle to escape arrest in France; the fleet left laden with knights and treasures just before the issue of the warrant for the arrest of the Order in October 1307.
During the Hundred Years' War in 1360, following the Treaty of Bretigny La Rochelle again came under the rule of the English monarch. La Rochelle however expelled the English in June 1372, following the naval Battle of La Rochelle, between Castilian-French and English fleets; the French and Spanish decisively defeated the English, securing French control of the Channel for the first time since the Battle of Sluys in 1340. The naval battle of La Rochelle was one of the first cases of the use of handguns on warships, which were deployed by the French and Spanish against the English. Having recovered freedom, La Rochelle refused entry to Du Guesclin, until Charles V recognized the privileges of the city in November 1372. In 1402, the French adventurer Jean de Béthencourt left La Rochelle and sailed along the coast of Morocco to conquer the Canary islands; until the 15th century, La Rochelle was to be the largest French harbour on the Atlantic coast, dealing in wine and cheese. During the Renaissance, La Rochelle adopted Protestant ideas.
Calvinism started to be propagated in the region of La Rochelle, resulting in its suppression through the establishment of Cours présidiaux tribunals by Henry II. An early result of this was the burning at the stake of two "heretics" in La Rochelle in 1552. Conversions to Calvinism however continued, due to a change of religious beliefs, but to a desire for political independence on the part of the local elite, a popular opposition to royal expenses and requisitions in the building projects to fortify the coast against England. On the initiative of Gaspard de Coligny, the Calvinists attempted to colonize the New World to find a new home for their religion, with the likes of Pierre Richier and Jean de Léry. After the short-lived attempt of France Antarctique, they failed to establish a colony in Brazil, resolved to make a stand in La Rochelle itself. Pierre Richier became "Ministre de l'église de la Rochelle" when he returned from Brazil in 1558, was able to increase the Huguenot presence in La Rochelle, from a small base of about 50 souls, secretly educated in the Lutheran faith by Charles de Clermont the previous year.
He has been described, by Lancelot Voisin de La Popelinière, as "le père de l'église de La Rochelle". La Rochelle was the first French city, with Rouen, to experience iconoclastic riots in 1560, at the time of the suppression of the Amboise conspiracy, before the riots spread to many other cities. Further cases of Reformation iconoclasm were recorded in L