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What is the HERMIONE project?
Twenty years ago a small group of visionaries met, under the leadership of Rochefort’s then Mayor Jean-Louis Frot, and imagined reconstructing an authentic 18th Century replica of the Hermione, the French frigate that carried the young Lafayette to General Washington, pledging full French support for America’s cause. With a unanimous vote of the municipal council and the creation of the Association Hermione-La Fayette, work began.
Lafayette’s role in securing French money, men and arms is often a forgotten piece of our collective memory, but seemed an invaluable part of history to be lost. The project defied all odds, but the task is complete. Hermione, a masterful replica of the 1780 original, is making the 3,819 mile transatlantic voyage back to the U.S. this summer and docking in 12 iconic ports of call along the eastern seaboard.
The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America are busy planning a full program of educational initiatives and cultural activities and events for visitors who will travel here from all over the world to see her this summer. The impressive and memorable lineup includes music, theater, and museum exhibitions of the times; there is also a travelling pier side Heritage Village that will dock in select ports.