Archive for March 12th, 2020

March 12, 2020

The market at Poissy!!

ok so let’s stay with Royal Poissy and my nostalgic Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region in my belle France. Again, written on Poissy many memorable moments living nearby but have not seen a post on its market! One of the livelist one in the area and we love it.  Therefore, here is my take on the market hall of Poissy.

Wait, a bit on the city of Poissy often overlook in an off the beaten path from influential Paris but worth the detour easy on the RER A and trains from Gare Saint Lazare.

Poissy has a long history. Chief town of Pincerais under the Merovingians, it subsequently became one of the oldest royal cities of Île-de-France, birthplace of the kings Louis IX and Philippe III, before being supplanted from the 15C by Saint-Germain-en-Laye. It is also one of the first towns by a charter granted in 1200 by Philippe-Auguste and an important religious city until the French revolution with the convents of the Dominicans, Capuchins and Ursulines. It is transformed in contemporary times into an industrial city marked since the beginning of the 20C by the automobile construction with successively the brands Grégoire, Matford, Ford France, Simca, Chrysler, Taller and PSA Peugeot Citroën as of today.

And let me tell you a bit on the space where the market is, full of activity the heart of Poissy, the Place de la République!

The cattle market was for a long time the economic heart of Poissy. This space is today the city center with the City/Town Hall, Place de la République and its shops. Reduced by the construction of the City/Town Hall and the building hosting in particular the cinema, now a theatre; the Place de la République presents the identity and origins of the city transposed onto the bronze reliefs carved in half-hollow. Inspired by the history of Poissy, these pools and the gardens form a pleasant landscape. Place de la République, linked to the renovation of the city center, is part of a complex comprising an underground car park, an apartment and office building with commercial facades, green spaces and amenities intended to create conviviality such as the market, the fountain without forgetting the theater, the municipal conservatory and the cinematographic complex.



And the covered market and flea market at Pl de la République! Poissy!!

The Poissy covered market or halle follows on from other earlier halles on the cattle market square. Today, it serves as a covered market three times a week. An unmissable event for gourmets!  From the 18C to the 20C, three halles succeed one another at this location. The market was then intended to protect the calves from bad weather and heat. The current halle was built between 1825 and 1832 . Its enlargement in 1852 by the city , using metal frameworks, precedes the construction of the halles of Paris by Victor Baltard.


The cattle market was abolished in 1867. However, the calf market continued under the hall until 1884. The covered market hall was later used for various events such as concerts, exhibitions, etc. After a complete restoration in 1999, the halle now hosts the covered market three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday morning.

You are invited to take advantage of the Poissy market on Place de la République. The opportunity to fill your baskets with good, fresh and quality products: Fruits and vegetables, cold meats, cheeses, flowers, sweets, cakes … A convivial moment without a doubt! Meet, share, colors, scents … Beautiful surprises await you!


Market hours: Tuesday and Friday: 8h30 to 12h30 Sunday: 8h30 to 13h. There is an outdoor market right there with extended hours and other goodies non food items such as a flea market. Very lively place especially on Sunday mornings.


The city of Poissy on the covered and flea market in French: Tourist office of Poissy on the markets

Hope you have enjoy the brief foodie historical architecture tour of my nostalgic Poissy, where not only visited but also many business meetings in the city over the years. Good souvenirs indeed. Enjoy the markets of Poissy

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 12, 2020

A not typical govt building in Versailles!

So coming right along to my beloved beautiful Versailles capital of the Yvelines dept 78 of the Ïle de France region.  The city as often I mentioned is a lot more than a castle/palance/museum! There is so much history here, lots of things to see. Today will tell you for the first time about an interesting building.

Let me tell you a bit on the Préfecture des Yvelines in Versailles. This is the regional government building and it has many functions one of them is issuing the carte de séjour resident first to my parents on the adminstrative side. I will tell you about the historical part that is only open on heritage days or journées du patrimoine.


admin side

A bit of history I like

From 1800, the first Prefect of Seine-et-Oise (now Yvelines dept 78) occupied in Versailles the old building of the furniture repository of the Crown, built between 1780 and 1796, and located at 11 rue des reservoirs (nearer the palace/museum). During the summer of 1859, the general council of Seine-et-Oise adopted the principle that a new prefecture would be built, the buildings having become too small for the administrative needs of the time.

The general council of Seine-et-Oise buys, on March 26, 1861, the old Chenil du Roi,(the Royal hunting dogs)  built in 1685 behind the Grandes écuries (big stables) After a two round competition between 1862 and 1863, for a new bigger quarters , and a public exhibition , the same as for the Paris Opera Garnier. The proposal was selected, among 38 other candidates, and in September 1863, the work began. The installation will take place at the end of 1866, and the inauguration on June 19, 1867 at the current site today by the Avenue de Paris, and ave de l’Europe.

From September 20, 1870, the Prince Royal of Prussia, Frédéric-Guillaume, then from October 5, the King of Prussia, Guillaume Ier, occupied the Prefecture until March 6, 1871. The offices on the ground floor of the Prefecture were chosen to serve as a post for the battalion guarding the Prince. Thus, at the top of the Prefecture, the Prussian flag flew in place of the tricolor flag. During this period, the Potager du roi supplied the King of Prussia with fruit and vegetables. With the town of Versailles, Adolphe Thiers, (third Republic) Head of the executive power, also wears his choice of residence on this building. He settled on March 18, 1871 and occupied the entire left wing of the building with his wife and sister-in-law Félicie Dosne. His successors, Marshal Patrice de Mac-Mahon( Count of Mac Mahon and Duke of Magenta), then Jules Grévy,(both Third Republic) did the same. In this way, the current prefecture of Yvelines was the seat of the French state for eight years (from March 18, 1871 to January 30, 1879). In 1880, the building again became Prefecture of Yvelines dept 78.

A bit on the construction

After the main gate visible from the avenue de Paris, and at the end of the main courtyard, you reach the main body of the préfecture. Two wings in reverse square which determine the main courtyard. Beyond the main building, we can see the design of an English garden. The building also fits into the grand French style breathed since the early 1850s by architects of public administration, like the National Library and the Sorbonne. To bring these volumes to life,it will surrounded it with renowned artists. As for, paintings, furniture. art bronzers suppliers of furniture for the Crown, ministries and the Seine prefecture. The latter will equip almost all reception rooms with chandeliers, most of which are still in place.

The main body of the préfecture, both on the ground floor and upstairs, is reserved for representation functions. The facade is designed accordingly, with a balcony carried by consoles and adorned with neo-18C ironwork, two busts of Ceres and Mercury, allegories of agriculture and commerce and a sculpted tympanum representing, on both sides of an escutcheon carrying the imperial “N”, the figures of the Seine and the Oise joining their waters cross the hall, then the waiting room, one can discover the facade on the garden side . The sculpted iconography of the central body adapts to the landscaped environment of this facade with the busts of Vertumne and Pomone and the representation in the triangular eardrum of the triumph of Flora and Céres.


back side

The inside description only seen in heritage days or journées du patrimoine, and no photos allowed..

The Prefect’s hearing office. A recent painting, dated 1991, represents the basin of Neptune in the park of the Palace of Versailles, while the four allegories of Arts, Sciences, Commerce and Agriculture decorate the tops of the door. The beautiful double-sided desk, Louis XV period, was used by Mac-Mahon, during his stay in Versailles. On the mantelpiece, the pendulum symbolizing “Study and Philosophy”, from the Louis XVI period.

Waiting room or Erignac room. Located in the center of the building, its decor illustrates two of the decorative art trends of the time, neo-classicism and a return to the past. The ceiling, divided into three panels decorated with stylized plant ornaments and acanthus scrolls, interprets the arts of Louis XIV’s past. Since 1998, this salon has been renamed “Salon Erignac” in tribute to the Prefect Claude Erignac, assassinated in the exercise of his functions, on February 6, 1998.

The Small lounge, currently secretarial room. This room served as a billiard room as evidenced by the chandelier with two suspensions. On the ceiling, in a sky framed by a stone balustrade, four loves support garlands which meet at the ring of the chandelier. The over-doors represent the four seasons on canvas.

Salon Thiers, currently meeting room. This living room retains its original decor: background with leafy sky, cornices painted with still lifes. The first two show flowers, game and fruit in veneer associated with fabrics. Ribaillier-Mazaroz furniture was designed for this room. The two-part glazed sideboard with sculpted still lifes at the bottom, with motifs of fruit and game, mixes Renaissance and Louis XIII styles.

The Escalier d’honneur or staircase of honor. The upper floor is accessible by a large staircase made up of a first central straight flight and a second double flight. Its walls are clad in colored stucco-marble. Upstairs, there is a decoration with iconic pilasters and two imposing canvases, “La Seine à Suresnes” (1867), by Émile Lambinet,(see post on musée Lambinet de Versailles); and a “Vue de Capri” by Félix Lanoüe. The wrought iron railing is inspired by the Louis XIV style. Note the figure of the old Seine-et-Oise formed by two intertwined Ss and an O.

The General Council room, currently deliberation room of the departmental council. The general council room has a ceiling in the sky surrounded by a flowery balustrade, a cornice enlivened by musical loves, fire pots and birds, in relief. The monumental fireplace was originally decorated with a bust of Napoleon I replaced by a bust of Marianne and a pendulum of Chaumont-Marquis, still in place. Opposite, a painting by Guillaume Dubufe , “Allegory of the Seine and the Oise”, replaces the portrait of Napoleon III.

The Grand salon called Salon des Aigles (Eagles’ room). The Salon des Aigles occupies the entire first floor of the front part of the central pavilion and is opened by six windows. Pilasters and columns with Corinthian capitals, in stucco-marble whose original color is no longer visible, enliven the whole. A chimney in purple breach evokes the living room of Hercules of the Palace of Versailles. On the ceiling, the Four Hours of the Day by Ernest Augustin Gendron are symbolized by four young life-size women flying in the sky. The Morning pours the contents of an urn, the South spreads flowers, the Evening holds an hourglass, the Night is stretched out on a cloud.  The highly decorated cornice is highlighted at the angles of four golden eagles with outstretched wings posed on a geometric decoration. In the center of the arches, the four Seasons are represented. They are personified by life-size women seated and wearing their attributes, from right to left: Winter, with green drapery, Spring, with pink drapery, Summer, with blue drapery and Autumn, with the red drapery. The Louis XV style furniture is due to Ribaillier-Mazaroz. As for the large cartel pendulum with two female heads and the gilt chased bronze cartridge dial, it was delivered in 1867 by the Maison Chaumont-Marquis.

The Empress Salon. It takes its name from the portrait of Empress Eugenie,(wife of Napoleon III), which was there. On the ceiling is painted a sky framed by a balustrade, on which are sitting eight loves playing with birds. The cornice is marked on the corners with the crowned imperial emblem “N”. Two allegories, “Poetry and Music”, are represented in the overcoats. The fireplace trim a large white marble scroll pendulum console with chiselled gold ornaments and two white marble egg vases with bouquets of lilies with ten candles. On the ground, the “Le Jour” carpet comes from the national furniture collection and was produced by the Manufacture national de la Savonnerie in 2001.

The Large dining room. It is covered with stucco-marble paneling imitating certain decorations of the Palace of Versailles. The cornice, adorned with three cardboard-stone friezes, highlights the ceiling painted by Dominique-Henri Guifard (1838-1913), representing a sky background framed by a gallery with balusters, in the middle of which branches of foliage and flowers run. On the fireplace, a pendulum from the First Empire period on its base Orpheus in Hell: recognizable by his lyre, he arrives in front of Hades seated on a throne, at the back, stands veiled Eurydice led by a little love who wears a quiver.

A bit more in French at the webpage of the dept 78 Yvelines here: Yvelines dept 78 prefecture on the building

And there you go folks another dandy historical , architecturally stunning monument in my beloved Versailles. Hope you enjoy this bit of off the beaten path site in a very popular city for good reasons.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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