Archive for July 10th, 2020

July 10, 2020

Cholet: Hôtel de Ville!

Here I take pictures of government buildings in France! Well they are part of the history of the towns and this is the case in Cholet in the Maine et Loire dept 49 part of the Pays de la Loire region.

As you walk these streets you begin to realise the wonderful architecture of these buildings and indulge into their history so much fascinating me think. This is the case of the city/town hall and prefecture building of Cholet. I like to tell you a bit on it ok.

When the city council decided to build a town hall in the 1820s, Cholet was only a modest county town. Built between 1824 and 1827, the very first city/town hall of Cholet took up residence near the covered market and rue Royale ;now rue Nationale, Place Travot was still only a vast swampy area.

Elected in 1965, Maurice Ligot decides to build a new city/town hall, inaugurated in 1976. Then, the building on Place Travot will successively host the Vendée War Museum and then the City’s cultural services. Before becoming the brasserie (see post) we know today, equipped with a large glass roof.

The city hall , prefecture and agglo admin building sits around the streets of Rue Saint Bonaventure ,Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville and the rue Travot.

Cholet hotel de ville agglo jul20

The main building of the main courtyard represents approximately 3/5 ° of the former Hôtel de Tharreau, which was split up and raised following a family sharing. The two buildings back on the main courtyard were erected for the transformation of this building into a sub-prefecture in 1858. The initial project provided for a blind wall on Rue Bretonnaise, with a high wooden gate, the option was taken to install a wrought iron gate surmounted by the arms of the town of Cholet; at the beginning of the century there were still two large plane trees on either side of this grid. The mansion has a structure from the end of the 18C, even if certain arrangements should be made around 1829: a typically Cholet style central staircase, in solid oak, with turned balusters, large handrail and solid stringer, which is developing over 3 flights. This mansion has on the ground floor and on the 1st floor two pretty rooms with Louis XVI decor, in rotunda. The large living room is the only room in the town of Cholet with checkered parquet “à la Versailles”. This room is also furnished with a period Directoire room which comes from the first sub-prefecture, then fixed at Beaupreau. In this living room and in the dining room, there are two beautiful fireplaces with inlaid decor: carved marble cartridges set at external angles and in the center of the lintel in the marble of the fireplace.


Cholet tourist office on its heritage in English here: Cholet tourist office on its heritage

Official city of Cholet on practival information in French: City of Cholet on practical information

And there you go walking is wonderful and let you see superb monuments such as this city hall of Cholet. For the original building see my next post on the brasserie!

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

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July 10, 2020

Cholet and its memorials!

Of course , cannot talk about Cholet and not tell you about is memorials past and not so past. This is a historical city of France and even if the history here goes against the French revolution it should be told for the record.

This is Cholet in the Maine et Loire dept 49 of Pays de la Loire. It was deeply involved in the Vendeen(as well as the Chouans of my Bretagne), wars of the west as they are known fighting the revolutionary hordes of destruction and killings , most of it have gone untold. As the history is always of the victorious unless you are like me who like to find the real history.

The memorial of the Battle of Cholet on October 17, 1793. This was the decisive victory of the revolutionary Republicans against the Vendéen white monarchists.It is located towards the villages of Beaupréau and Nantes-Noirmoutier, at the junction of the aerodrome road on the right ;   better to park lower, rather than on this strip. This metallic cross, sealed on a granite pedestal , was erected by the Souvenir Vendéen, and inaugurated on October 17, 1993, for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Cholet. The battle face the Republican revolutionary army against the Vendéen and Chouans who wanted to remain under the monarchy. The Parc du Champ de Bataille or Battlefield Park, with an orientation table memorizing the events of the Battle of Cholet in 1793, was built on the occasion of the bicentenary of the Vendée revolt of 1793. Access to the Park is via Boulevard du Maine on the northern ring road and park best at Champ du Bois by rue de Tours.

More in French from the folks who knows about this history here: Vendéen and Chouans

The very briefly told but you get the idea was that to combat the Republicans, the peasants decided to stand up together: this is known as the Vendée Uprising. It extended from the Vendée countryside to the banks of the Loire with Cholet town centre becoming the capital for this Vendée army. This ‘improvised’ army was led by soldiers as well as noblemen, with sacristans named as generals. Stofflet, La Rochejacquelein, Cathelineau, Bonchamps, D’Elbée and Charrette were among the heroes during this period.  There was merciless fighting between the Vendée monarchist Whites and the Republican Blues. Despite being armed only with pitchforks and scythes, the Vendée army won victory after victory. They destabilised the Republican army which counter-attacked with a devastating wave of murders known as the Colonnes Infernales. This three years of Civil War were to be extremely brutal and destructive for Cholet.

These were about 50,000 fighters who compete north of Cholet. And then will also pay tribute to the city and its surroundings, namely places martyrs of the Revolution. Cholet was 8,400 inhabitants in 1790,  and only 2,200 by 1796. We cannot say that everyone died, but some never returned and lost everything in the Wars of Vendée. It was a civil war. There were about 22,000 Republicans who were called the Blues (as France is known today) and 25,000 Whites (or monarchists), so the Vendeans. It is a territory that covers the southwest quarter of Maine-et-Loire, the northwest quarter of Deux-Sèvres, part of Loire-Atlantique, south of the Loire and the entire northern half of Vendée. Today the sites have completely disappeared. The battle began on what is today the aérodrome or airfield, which was called the Landes de la Papinière. Then, the whole fight developed at the height of the current ring road, between the Treille district and the bois Grolleau wood. This represents approximately four kilometers. In the first phase, the Vendeans repelled the Blues and advanced to Boulevard Joffre and Place de la République. That is to say, they arrive in the suburbs of Cholet. This is where the battle will tip over. At the end of the day, the fatal injury of two of their leaders will cause reflux.

More on this very important event in the history of France and even Europe at least is to read more in French on the Souvenir Vendéen webpage here: Souvenir Vendéen

A more modern war took me this time to take a picture.

The monument aux enfants de Cholet morts pour la Patrie or to the children of Cholet who died for the fatherland. The Place de la République is a large roundabout where 7 streets meet. Mayor Gustave Richard wanted to make a small replica of the Place de l’Etoile in Paris to serve the train station and the new districts in the north of the city. It was done in 1912 and the old Place Victor Hugo then became Place de la République. A monument in the center of the roundabout honors the victims of the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian conflict. At the top of a granite base is the statue of a winged Victory carrying a victim brandishing a broken sword. It is a copy of the Gloire aux vaincus or glory to the vanquished ,made in 1875 by Antonin Mercié which is in the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris.


Hope you enjoy this bit of history as I am trying to find them all. A big task, will take me the rest of my lifetime but have many books and magazines on the subject of French history. We need to know history from all angles to undertand the current history and project ahead to the next chapter. I will be back for more!!!

Hope you can ,also, stop by here and see these places of history as I like. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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July 10, 2020

Cholet: Les Arcades Rougé shopping!

Ok so we travel, we see, we enjoy we eat and we do shopping of course. Can’t be without it, doing so even today in my neck of the woods. However, when visiting a city we look for the quant shop stores and usually a shopping center or mall catch our eyes. This is the case of the Les Arcades Rouge in Cholet! Let me tell you a bit about it ok

Well Cholet is in the Maine et Loire dept 49 of the region of Pays de la Loire. We have visited and did some posts before but will expand here and already thinking of visiting again next week.

Les Arcades Rougé is a 1.8 hectare, entirely pedestrianized shopping center located in the city center of Cholet, bringing together 33 brands in the food, beauty / well-being, culture / leisure, ready-to-wear and services. It is located  at 30 rue Bretonnaise near the Parc du Mail.


The project was thought of before by the end of the 20C, the very dynamic district surrounding Place Rougé had lost some of its attractiveness. The commercial area was razed to the ground and parking spaces replaced it in the late 1990s. In collaboration with an architect from the Bâtiments de France in order to integrate the shopping center into the architectural style of the city ,the facade of an old building for example has been preserved and integrated into the project at the request of Bâtiments de France. It was completed in 2009.

Other architectural works are visible in the commercial area such as the red lines inaugurated in 2014 on a building of the Arcades Rougé, or the square metal bars painted in bright colors and fixed to the ground vertically at no 1 rue de la Sardinerie in the Arcades Rougé shopping center, allowing  to decorate the space while being an anti-squat device preventing marginalized or homeless people from settling in the area.
In order to provide more parking , the creation of additional spaces was  done; 38 spaces were added rue Kléber, parking du mail, place du 8 Mai and 92 spaces were rehabilitated in the Prisset car park. The Travot, Salbérie, Prisset, Bourg-Baudry, Mail, Mondement car parks located near the commercial area make it very accessible. The Place Travot which is a crossing point linking the Arcades Rougé to the heart of the city has in addition many bars;restaurants, and a relaxation area. All in city center very nice indeed.

Les Arcades Rougé is the perfect balance between shops, housing and entertainment.
You will be able to find renowned brands such as H&M, Sephora or Vero Moda in the heart of the city center. Practical aspect: Super U supermarket is also there! Film buffs, Cinémovida and its 9 cinemas will delight you all year round. And to park, nothing could be simpler thanks to the 500 covered parking spaces. It is also a lively district, punctuated throughout the year with commercial events, sales, contests, street shows etc!


The first thing we did after parking the car is walk the town as we love to do. We saw a very modern and nice shopping center right in city center!  the  « Les Arcades Rougé »; something different to have one around the old town.  Anchor by a Super U supermarket and with plenty of stores of all kinds and Irish pubs as well ! We did shopping and drinks here. More info here: Cholet tourist office on Les Arcades Rouge

As usual for those who can read French, the information is much more on the shopping center here: Cholet tourist office on Les Arcades Rouge

A wonderful day out into glorious country of my belle France on the road again! Cholet is nice and full of history and wonderful architecture. We look forward to be back soon.

Hope you enjoy the shopping at Les Arcades Rouge in Cholet. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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