Just a few steps from our hotel in La Rochelle, a brand new footbridge now provides quick access to the city centre. Baptised ‘Bonaventure-Godet’, this new structure has a natural historical link with a veritable family saga… about a famous drink!
Spanning the Rompsay canal before it empties into the Old Port, the old Bonaventure-Godet footbridge will be replaced in March by a new bridge in steel and wood, providing better access for people with reduced mobility and incorporating a handrail with built-in lighting. An enamel plate will proudly display its name… ‘Bonaventure Godet’.
Crossing this new footbridge, the city’s visitors and locals alike will feel that they are being watched by a family with more than five centuries of history in La Rochelle. The saga began with a ‘famous’ Bonaventure, a Batavian merchant attracted by La Rochelle’s wealth in the middle of the 16th century… namely salt and wine!
Located on the port, near the current footbridge, his business prospered, especially thanks to Henri IV who had a particular penchant for Brandwijn (ancestor of cognac) marketed by the company ‘Godet’. Two centuries later, Louis Godet received the title of vice-consul of Denmark. Today, the Danish consul's plaque still exists, in a city where Godet has grown to become a veritable local institution. Due to a fire, Godet was forced to leave its historic bastion and so moved into new premises, still in La Rochelle, where the success story of this family continues.
(Published on March 19, 2018)