Here you are reading my blog: and the chances are that you’ve never visited Laroque.
Let’s go for a stroll then, and get to know the place a bit. You may think, when you’ve seen the photos, that the town is quite shabby-chic. It’s not. For the most part, Laroque is just plain shabby. It’s going through tough times, and it shows. Underneath it all, though, are characterful buildings, streets with a story, and even places that are enjoying a prosperous renaissance. Let’s set off from our house at the edge of the old town, and walk up Rue de la Joie……
And here’s Rue de la Joie: a happy name for a shabby street
But it’s a street with some very old houses indeed.
Laroque has several town squares. Here’s one: our market place on Thursdays
Another view of the square.
Onwards up the hill to the next square, Place de la Republique. This used to be the market place
And up the hill again – towards the church.
The fine great west door of the church.
Just a quick walk out of town. Chapelle St Roch used to be the parish church. But the town was emptied by the Black Death, and rebuilt lower down the hill, leaving the chapel isolated.
A view of the town from on high – old and new jostling together.
Back towards the church….
… and the old ramparts defending the town.
‘Beware of the bees’. But you can buy M. Gelineau’s honey at all the markets round here.
Once this textile factory was one of many, employing 1000s from the town and beyond. Now it’s disused and in ruins….
… and its grounds have become, in part, vegetable plots.
Sheep may safely graze outside the council flats.
We still have handsome houses in town.
This trompe l’oeil decorated the pharmacy, now closed, next to our house.
Once, the owners of the textile mills had fine houses such as this. Now it’s the home of the town nursery, the out-of-school club and the music centre