French galley La Réale (1694)

La Réale ("the royal") was a galley of the French galley corps, and the flagship of the French galley fleet under Louis XIV. She was designed by Jean-Baptiste Chabert, and built in Marseille between 1692 and 1694.[1]

The Réale returning to port
Kingdom of France
Namesake: "Royal"
Laid down: December 1692
Launched: April 1694
Commissioned: May 1694
Decommissioned: 1720
General characteristics
Displacement: 280 tonnes
Length: 57 m (187 ft)
Beam: 7.7 m (25 ft)
Draught: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
  • Sail
  • 30 pairs of oars, 6 rowers to each oar
  • 360 rowers
  • 45 oar officers
  • 35 officers
  • 110 soldiers
Crew: 550 (total)
  • one 36-pounder
  • two 8-pounders
  • two 6-pounders


La Réale was termed a galère extraordinaire ("extraordinary galley") since she had a larger crew than normal fleet galleys.[2]

The status of Réale was thus defined:

The decorations of the stern are on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris. The museum also features a contemporary model of an ordinary galley modified to look like the Réale.


  1. Les pavillons de la marine sous l’Ancien Régime
  2. In the French nomenclature for galleys, "ordinary galleys" had 26 pairs of oars with 6 oarsmen per bank; "extraordinary" ones had 29, 30 or 32 banks with 6 or 7 oarsmen.

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