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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
France is by Western European standards a large country. Continental France (excluding Corsica, overseas territories and departments) alone borders both the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel and even the North Sea along a small stretch of coast at the French-Belgium border.

Moreover, France borders Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, tiny Monaco, Spain, and tiny Andorra. Moreover, England is only across the English Channel.

Because of this extensive geographic situation in a continent where styles and culture changed quickly within a short distance (sometimes partly due to climate itself), and because of the fact that some of the present borders of Continental France extended throughout the previous centuries into the territories of former kingdoms, duchies, counties or principalities, you have cities, towns and villages in one end of France that can look like something that belongs in Belgium, and in another end that look like something that belongs in Germany or Switzerland or Italy or Spain, rather than France. And yet, they are French!

Because of the task I have which is to demonstrate many examples of a region's style and elements of architecture, I will begin with departments along what I consider the north (generous northwest, north, generous northeast) and the south of France because I feel that the edges of France, especially on the north and south ends, change the most noticeably from one localized area to another, where as the more interior departments are a little more similar or difficult to distinguish to non-French people.

And because villages and small towns offer some of the best regional architecture, many villages and small towns will be shown in this thread, but townships around major cities and major cities themselves will be shown too.




Nord


This department of France is the northern-most one in Continental France, hence it's name Nord, or North. It corresponds in large part to the now-cultural region of French Flanders and some of it once belonged to the County of Flanders along with places like Gent and Bruges in Belgium. Lille is its largest city, which is also a major French city at the heart of France's 4th largest urban area.

Here, you can expect to see a lot of red or brown brick, interesting high pitch roofs like Flemish gable roofs or gambrel roofs that offer at least one attic floor. Also found in the urban areas or old mining towns are working class brick row houses. As for more affluent parts of towns are elaborate townhouses, also made of brick and also in rows, except custom-made. All these mentioned features tend to give the region a very Belgian or even an English look. Many towns and cities' main squares include a belfry as well--very Belgian. Also look-out for the use of different color of brick or white stucco around windows and doors or to make stripes along a house or building. And like throughout other parts of northern France, lookout for very prominent chimneys.

First, let's look at some town halls in villages, towns and cities, because in this department, town halls can be very regional looking. Again, the brick is everywhere and very common here, whereas in most of France, it is not (except most notably Picardy, Normandy and in and around Toulouse).

link to location of all the following images:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Town_halls_in_Nord


by user Codepem in WikiCommons/Wikipedia



by author Paul Hermans in WikiCommons/Wikipedia



by user Codepem in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by author Jean-Pol GRANDMONT in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Pichasso in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Padawane in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Al-pliar in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Velvet in Wikicommons/Wikipedia


http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/...014/800px-3493_Boeschepe_byUserDavidEdgar.jpg
by user David Edgar in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Pichasso in Wikipedia/Commons



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by author Jiel Beaumadier in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Ottaviani in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by author Hektor in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by Camster in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Steinback in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Raimond Spekking in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Codepem in WikiCommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by Velvet in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Havang(nl) in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by Pichasso in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Velvet in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by Floflo62 in Wikicommons/Wikipedia



by user Gillaumyid in Wikicommons/Wikipedia





Do come back! I will post a little bit more on Nord on the next post before moving somewhere very different where the style is also very different.
Hint: it will be the southern-most department of Continental France and you might think you are seeing Spain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Continuing with Nord.

Anzin

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anzin_maisons4b.jpg
by user Mica


by user Mica



Comines

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Le_beffroi_de_comines_vu-du_clocher_de_l%27eglise.JPG
by Hotczar3



Boeschepe

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boeschepe,_l%27Ondankmeulen_(le_moulin_de_l%27Ingratitude)_et_l%27estaminet_De_Vierpot_(le_pot_%C3%A0_braise).JPG
by Toïlev



Rubrouck

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rubrouck_musee.jpg
by Velvet




---
Link to the page with the following images:
http://www.villagesdefrance.fr/dept/page59_paysdeflandre.htm



by Eric Wanner




http://www.solrelechateau.com




by D. Melvin



Lille (capital of the department Nord and its region Nord-Pas-de-Calais)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lille_vue_gd_place.JPG
by Velvet


---
Link to the page with the following images of Lille
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Buildings_in_Lille



by Velvet



by Velvet



by Velvet



by Velvet



by Marc Ryckaert



by Velvet



by Velvet



by Velvet



by Velvet


Lille's city hall

by Velvet



by Velvet



by VIGNERON



by Velvet



by Freacutedeacuteric Kuhlmann



by Velvet



by Velvet



by Velvet



by VIGNERON



by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT



by Velvet





Lille's opera house and Chamber of Commerce

by Velvet



by Velvet



by Velvet



Theatre Sebastopol (photos by Velvet)








Do come back! I will continue next with a department in France where the regional architecture is very different.
Hint: it will be the southern-most department of Continental France and you might think you are seeing Spain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^^ Thank you ory26.


Pyrénées-Orientales


This department of France is the southern-most one in Continental France. It corresponds to the cultural region of French Catalonia or Catalogne française, and partly to the former County of Roussillon, and its territory was once part of the continuous land onced ruled by the Kings of Aragon, then Kings of Mayorca, again Kings of Aragon, then Kings of France, again Kings of Aragon, and again Kings of France, and something like that. Perpignan, near the French-Spanish border, is its largest city.

Like in most parts of Spain, you can expect to find low-pitched roofs with red terracotta tiles of the canal-shaped type, also associated with a lot of Italy and with Southern/Mediterranean Europe, in general.

Also, it's worth noting that the parts of this department in high altitudes (the mountains) can make way to roofs with more steep roofs than usual. Also, in the high altitude parts of this department, some of the houses and buildings can take on a very rugged, rural look with irregular stone masonry. Oh, and look out for the iron bars covering the ground floor windows--very Spain!

First, let's look at some town halls in villages, towns and cities to begin as we began with Nord.

link to location of all the following images:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Town_halls_in_Pyrénées-Orientales


by Gerbil



by Jack ma



by Babsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)

by Jack ma



by Wayne77



by Fabricio Cardenas


Do come back! I will post a little bit more on Pyrenées-Orientales on the next post before moving on to somewhere very different where the style is also very different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
...continuing with Pyrénées-Orientales


Here are some close-ups of churches and chapels of this department. Churches and chapels help give this department and the general region its distinct, almost-Spanish look.

The following images are located in:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Chapels_in_Pyr%C3%A9n%C3%A9es-Orientales


by Jack ma


This one is in Perpignan, the main city of this department

by Doronenko



by LeZibou



by Jack ma
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
...continuing with Pyrénées-Orientales

The following images are located in:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Churches_in_Pyr%C3%A9n%C3%A9es-Orientales


by Bertrand GRONDIN



by Jack ma



by AC


In Perpignan

by Sylenius



Do come back. I will wrap-up Pyrénées-Orientales with one more post before moving to a different department in a different region of France that will look very different from both Nord and Pyrénées-Orientales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Side by side

I'd like to wrap-up the department Pyrénées-Orientales in Southern France by showing some of it side-by-side to the department Nord in Northern France.

For Nord, I'm featuring some residential streets in Lille Métropole (instead of Lille city-proper) with its typical brick row houses. For Pyrénées-Orientales, I'm featuring some residential streets in Perpignan, which coincidently includes houses in rows as well. Yet despite that similarity, you will easily notice the impact that regionalism has had in the architecture of each.

Some of the things mentioned earlier to look out for:

Nord: you can expect to see a lot of red or brown brick, interesting high pitch roofs like Flemish gable roofs or gambrel roofs that offer at least one attic floor (although lower pitched hipped roofs are also present). Also found in the urban areas or old mining towns are working class brick row houses. As for more affluent parts of towns are elaborate townhouses, also made of brick and also in rows, except custom-made. All these mentioned features tend to give the region a very Belgian or even an English look. Many towns and cities' main squares include a belfry as well--very Belgian. Also look-out for the use of different color of brick or white stucco around windows and doors or to make stripes along a house or building. And like throughout other parts of northern France, lookout for very prominent chimneys.


Pyrénées-Orientales: like in most parts of Spain, you can expect to find low-pitched roofs with red terracotta tiles of the canal-shaped type, also associated with a lot of Italy and with Southern/Mediterranean Europe, in general. Also look out for the iron bars covering the ground floor windows--very Spain!


Nord

from Google StreetView


Pyrénées-Orientales

from Google StreetView
 
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