Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rue Constant Ragot

St.-Aignan's main street, rue Constant Ragot, is one way southbound through town. It starts at the river and climbs up the left bank of the Cher, meets up with rue Maurice Berteaux at the Place du Président Wilson, then changes names and heads southward out of town.

Looking south from the river into town.

We moved here in 2003, and that year this street was dug up for reconstruction. The town tore up the old asphalt and repaved with cobblestones for a more old-timey look. They put in new bollards, benches, and planters as part of the job.

The result is pretty nice looking. The street is closed to through traffic on market days, but local traffic can still use it. A couple times during the year there are larger festivals that close the street entirely so it can be lined with booths and exhibits.

Looking north toward the river into the town center. Part of the town's old wall is visible on the right. This would have been the location of the town's southern gate.

In St.-Aignan's medeival history, the street was actually three streets. The first, starting at the river, was called the rue du Cher and is what you see in the top photo. The center section was called the rue de la Boucherie owing to a (now gone) building that housed a butchery.

The third section continued southward to the town gate and was originally called the rue Baudon, but was renamed the rue Saint-François in the seventeenth century. It's what you see in the bottom photo.

These old street names existed through the nineteenth century, and have only changed in the last one hundred years. If my research is correct, Constant Ragot was a local hero of the resistance during the second world war.

12 comments:

  1. More great photos. We stayed a few days in St Aignan about 10 years ago and trompled up and down those streets many times. That was before the nice cobbles and planters.
    And I love the way the French name streets after their heroes.

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  2. It is such a cute town! One of these days I need to get down there and visit.

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  3. If it were not for the fact that readers of this blog appear to be true francophiles, I would worry about your publicity for St. Aignan. My wife & I visited there 20 years ago for a few days and, I think, were the only Americans staying at the Grand Hotel; it was grand!

    Too much publicity can ruin a place. The prime perpetrator of this is Public Enemy #1, Rick Steves!! This guy has gone on a search and destroy mission all over Europe that rivals Cortez's destruction of the Inca. The once lovely Rue Cler/St.Dominique area is now elbow to elbow with tourists toting Steves' books.

    Please go on with your stroll through St. Aignon; one nevers knows when Steves will strike and it will be too late.

    Too much ranting, I guess, but.....

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  4. Historical Correction: Cortez wiped out the Aztecs, not the Inca.

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  5. I had to google "bollard" since it wasn't in my vocabulary. I've seen lots of them before, but I didn't know their name.

    I hope I never get in trouble with one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_Cw0QJU8ro

    I'm enjoying your photo tour of St Aignan.

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  6. I love the cobblestones :) I especially like that last photo, looking from the town center, with the remnant of the old wall. Great.

    Judy

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  7. Quite interesting that you have a Place du Président Wilson, too. And I think it's great that they replaced the asphalt with cobble stones. Not only does it look great, but it keeps the traffic driving slower and more safely, too.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your town. It is quite lovely.

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  9. It finally dawned on me why the streets in France frequently have two to five names: there are too many dignitaries and not enough streets.

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  10. Enjoyed the post and the comments! Now I have to return to St. Aignan and see the town in a new light. Greetings from Chicago!

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  11. I take it there are no Hummers or SUVs on the streets of your city!

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  12. jean, we, too, were in St.-Aignan about ten years ago. But we just drove through, no stopping. We had no idea we'd end up buying a house here!

    justin, one of these days!

    bill, I agree about Rick Steves. He knows his stuff, but it's become a serious cult. Ack!

    evelyn, I think France has more bollards than any other nation. And that'll teach those drivers to try to sneak in where they're not supposed to go!

    judy, thanks!

    ginny, that's true, and there are no sidewalks, so the traffic has to go slow and be mindful of pedestrians.

    kendall, you bet!

    starman, hehehe!

    cheryl, come any time! Enjoy Chi-town.

    urspo, there are more suv's than there used to be. But nothing like where you live! ;)

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