This historical wealth comes from its position on the Atlantic front, mainly illustrated by the coastal fortresses, from its past of international trade and the religious fervour that possessed it.
The département is scattered with over a thousand châteaux (medieval fortresses with Renaissance-style edifices), citadels, churches and abbeys. Among these, a few jewels of Roman art are on display to visitors. The town of Rochefort can also be proud of the restoration of its maritime arsenal.
The heritage of Charente-Maritime can also be discovered through the hundred-odd museums in the département. Themes vary from the history of the navy to popular traditions, as well as museums dedicated to a number of great men. As for archeological sites , these go back even further in time, linking the visitor today to Prehistoric Man and the Gallo-Roman era.