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The Town Hall, Tours

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The heritage of the city of Tours

Famous first because it formed the center of the arts in the Renaissance, the city of Tours, however, must most of its public buildings in the nineteenth century: the courthouse, theater, train station and Town Hall were all built or rebuilt between 1840 and 1900.

Laloux in Tours

The most spectacular of these buildings is undoubtedly the Town Hall, municipal grand palace built by architect Victor Laloux between 1897 and 1903. Laloux, best known for being the architect of the Gare d´Orsay in Paris, its accumulation in building references to the French architectural tradition, reminiscent of the deep roots of the city in its history. But the grandiose aesthetic of the architect, his taste for changes of scale and enlarged ornaments, also served to give the new Town Hall a unique place in its urban context.

The interior, an artist´s work

The interior was the work of a team of sculptors and painters, all confirmed artists and specialists of large sets official. There are also no surprise that many artists had occurred a few years ago on the vast field of decorative Town Hall of Paris.

Tours, provincial capital

And had to be done in 6 years this building designed to the scale of a provincial capital, and whose message, conveyed by a talkative decor, is both that of a republic triumphant, proud and sure of its values, and that of a city of the Indre-et-Loire prosperous, dynamic, with «  »local celebrities » » are all called to a pompous celebration.


Inventaire du patrimoine, région Centre

Par Bénédicte Renaud, Vincent Droguet
Photographe : Robert Malnoury



The Town Hall of Tours is barely a century. Yet this « monument city » became familiar to Touraine, is history of the city as well as the Saint Gatien Cathedral or the Basilica of St. Martin. Built in a consolidation of the republican system and the secular power, but also in a period of national unity greedy, City Hall, built by Victor Laloux participates well in this « triumph of mairiesl » which were able to attend the French between 1880 and 1910, both in Paris and in provincial cities. However, the messages delivered by the building and its decoration prove explicit: assertion without complex, with a hint of triumphalism, municipal authority, exaltation of republican virtues and patriotic use of local and national history to legitimize this came to the polls. The academic aesthetics of the School of Fine Arts, to which the architect and fully adhered most painters and sculptors who intervened in the building, lent himself without qualms in this celebration. Historical culture was familiar, almost consubstantial, and the exercise of monumentality was natural to him.

Fiche technique

Parution : Septembre 1999
Couverture souple à rabats
Format : 11 x 22,5 cm
32 pages
49 images

Collection Itinéraires du patrimoine

Informations complémentaires

Poids 0.22046226218488 kg