A symbol of grace and power, the French warship Soleil Royal (Royal Sun) was built in Brest in 1669,
during the reign of Louis XIV.
With 104 guns, the Soleil Royal first demonstrated its firepower in 1692. On May 29, 1692,
under the orders of Admiral Tourville, she transformed the Sea of Cherbourg into
a fiery bath of blood. During a twelve hour battle, a French squadron of 45 ships led by the
Soleil Royal defeated 97 British and Dutch vessels. The Soleil Royal was beached
for repairs at Cherbourg. On June 1, 1692, the helpless Soleil Royal was set afire and
destroyed by the British fireship Blaze.