When you drive into Souvigny, the first thing that catches your eye is the row of shops — or at least storefronts — pictured below. The town's main rue commerçante is perched up on a terrace above the main square. There wasn't much evidence of shoppers, but there is ample parking on the place.
Personally, I didn't know what the term « Rouennerie » meant — even though I've spent a lot of time in the city of Rouen in Normandy over the years. The big building next door with the « Boucherie » sign painted on the façade is home to an école de conduite or auto-école — a driving school — for people trying to get a driver's license. I saw no evidence of a working butcher's shop.
Across the place is the blue porte cochère (carriageway door) of the monastic "barn" that stands next to the huge church that is the town's primary landmark. The grange is home to Souvigny's municipal museum these days.
There are two shops in the photo above. One, « Arts et Terroir », seems to cater to tourists as well as residents, with a wide range of regional food specialties and home-and-garden decoration supplies: beers, syrups, wines, pâtés, honeys, jewelry, etc. The other is some kind of shop that does tailoring and clothing alternations, I guess.
Not far on foot, past the church and La Porterie, there are village streets like the one above. It's all very clean and well maintained. Colors are muted and the buidlings are fairly plain. The sign on the house above is advertising for a local newspaper, Le Petit Journal, which promises to keep readers informed with six pages of articles.
A little farther on there are cobblestone streets in neighborhoods that look to be exclusively residential. Again, there weren't many (or any) people out and about when we were there. It wasn't lunchtime, but mid-afternoon on a Wednesday. Little French towns often look deserted like this. Maybe people are sleeping off the feast they've had for their mid-day meal. Maybe they all came out to take a walk around the town right after we drove off to see other sights.