Last week on the Days on the Claise blog, which I read daily, Susan and Simon did a topic about the old market hall in the town of Richelieu, in southern Touraine. The covered market structure has been renovated over the past couple of years, according to a post I read another local blog, written by Colin and Elizabeth.
All that got me searching back through my own blog to see if I had any photos of the Richelieu market hall, which was built in the 17th century out of chestnut logs. I remembered going there with our friend Cheryl in 2003, and again with our friend CHM in 2006. Actually, as far as the years when we were there, I had to do some searching to pin them down.
Above is a photo of the market structure that I took in 2003. It has been greatly refurbished recently, as Susan wrote. Richelieu itself is interesting as an example of a "new" town that was built from scratch starting in 1631. The Cardinal Richelieu was a powerful political figure of the time and served as the French king's prime minister.
We went back to Richelieu in 2006 and I took the photo above. It was a quick visit. I have a vague memory of little boys on bicycles racing around between the wooden posts that hold up the market hall ceiling. The famous cardinal built himself a magnificent château outside his "new town" of Richelieu but it was demolished in the 18th and 19th centuries as a symbol of Ancien Régime opulence. Nothing much remains of that, but the market hall is impressive. I need to drive back over there one of these days to see how it has been fixed up.