The Villedieu-les-Poêles Mairie features on day 2 of my Normandy Advent Calendar.

Villedieu-les-Poêles Mairie

The Mairie is also known as the hôtel de ville and is the equivalent of a town hall. I took this photo during the summer and there are additional decorations on the steps. There’s a large bell hidden among the decorations as a nod to the town’s bell foundry. You may also be able to make out a stone keystone underneath the balustrade at the top of the steps. This keystone originally formed part of the stone gateway that was one of three entrances to the town.

Originally the Mairie was located on the corner of a street opposite the church. It’s since been replaced by a butchers shop. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the town’s business was organised here and taxes were collected. Between 1846 and 1880, Villedieu-les-Poêles prospered. The new Mairie was inaugurated in 1869 during the town’s heyday. The flamboyant style of the building is a symbol of power and prosperity.

And how quintessentially French is the newsagents in the background! You can read more about the quaint town of Villedieu-les-Poêles here.

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