Friday, September 20, 2013

Les gradins du stade

Most cities and towns in France have un stade municipal (a municipal stadium) for local sports. In many cases, the stadium is not much more than a soccer field with goalposts. Sometimes it's an actual stadium or arena. It all depends on the size of the town and how sports-minded its citizens are.

The stands face the field; behind them is the Aigronne River.

In Le Grand-Pressigny, the local stadium is a fenced-in track and field inside a park with an adjacent paved area for basketball on one end and a picnic area on the other. There is a small building with a kitchen (food!) and a set of covered bleachers or stands called les tribunes or les gradins for spectators. Across the street are the municipal swimming pool (another common feature of French towns) and a couple of tennis courts.

The floor is sloped, so in addition to the seats, there's a flat board for walking and resting one's feet.

I wonder if, in between matches, the local kids use the gradins du stade as a spot to hang out. There's surprisingly little graffiti, but we did see some litter scattered around the benches. The structure could use a fresh coat of paint, but I think it's a cool building, especially because it's covered to provide shelter during rainy matches.

The kitchen building is just visible at the far end of the stands.


  1. Walt....
    the banked rim of the playing field used to be used as a cycle race track...
    and occasionally you can see the odd sprinter using it still.
    The cycle racing has moved to the purpose built stade in Descartes [where they've also got a good BMX track too!]

  2. I love the first photo :)
    I couldn't post yesterday, but wanted to say how much I enjoy posts about your sweet Callie :)

  3. yep, needs a good paint job. but clever construction!

  4. On the first picture, on top of the gradin, we can see 5 letters. I can make up the last ones as "P" and "B", the third could be a "C" or a "G" and the second looks like an "S". I have no idea what the first one is. What do they stand for?

    And on the same pic, We can see a small door on the side giving access to a space underneath the gradins. Do you know what it's used for?


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