Photographer's Note

A view of the magnificent Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) and gardens in the town of Angoulême, the capital of the Charente département in south-western France.

The ancient chateau of the counts of Angoulême was transformed into the town hall in 1858 by the architect Paul Abadie the younger. He retained only two of the towers of the original château: the high polygonal tower dating from the end of the 13th century and the round tower from the 15th century. The architect opted for a monumental effect with the buildings set round a vast square courtyard. The belfry or great bell tower (not visible in this picture) is the symbol of communal freedom in towns in the north of France. The town hall represents the high points in the history of Angoulême: a prestigious medieval past and the presence of the counts followed by a considerable movement of embellishments and alterations to the town in the 19th century.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9183 W: 63 N: 25829] (114443)
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