Richelieu is a 17th century new town in the Loire region. It has all the hallmarks of a new town. Typical of the time architectural embellishments to the civic buildings and grander houses cannot hide the complete megalomania so typical of the urban genre. Grid pattern roads, towering institutions, walls with battlements, ruler straight boulevards all crammed with ruthless efficiency into an area much smaller than a large village. The violent energy of the towns architect driven by fear of the black uncompromising madness of the infamous Cardinal.
There is always a group of people that have to pay for such excess. They live in the back streets which still comprise of run down housing. The centuries of oppression ooze onto these streets from darkened rooms and through the rotting window frames and cracked stucco.
This place spoke to me and made me shudder. Much in the way that Cumbernauld , and Sabaudia did when I chanced on these ‘new’ horrors on other holidays. The heat was oppressive last year when we supped cool drinks at a pavement side cafe after the long journey south.
I’m not sure why I feel compelled to share this but I am disappearing for a period of architectural unappreaciation to California. The architecture and heat may match this French town but I’m absolutely sure the Golden State will compensate in many and varied ways. Lets trust that the staff photographer can capture some of the best moments.