The popular coastal town of La Rochelle, often referred to as the White City due to the prevalent use of limestone in its construction, is well known for both its fresh seafood, and towering coastal defenses. Previously a highly significant Atlantic Port, La Rochelle was famous as a trade stop for salt and wine and played a major part in the Anglo-French trading relationships. Nowadays, La Rochelle features golden, sandy beaches and a prestigious maritime heritage. Attractive arched shopping arcades and skillfully carved gargoyles adorn the streets, and the white masts of yachts gently sway in one of the largest Marinas in France. The wonders of marine life are captured perfectly at the contemporary aquarium, a popular destination for visitors.