Chez les Flamands - 2
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The train station
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Old postcard with train station of Givet in Simenon's time Givet station in september 2003
Anna comes to fetch Maigret from the train when he arrives in Givet.
The station is still on the same spot as 1930-32. In 1940, at the start of World War II, it was destroyed by bombardments. It was rebuilt after the war.
La nuit du
carrefour
The Hôtel de la Gare
La guinguette
à deux sous
"- In which hotel do you stay?
- In the Hôtel de la Gare..." (2)
L' inspecteur
Cadavre
Inspector Machère, the local police officer who assists Maigret in his investigation, stays in this hotel. There never was an hotel with that name in Givet. In Simenon's time the hotel opposite the train station was called Hôtel Autoplace. It is now the Bar - Hôtel - Restaurant des Deux Avenues. It is very simple and a little bit seedy-looking, but the food is marvelous.
Les larmes
de bougie
Vente à la
bougie
La maison
du juge
Mon ami
Maigret
Old postcard with the Hôel Auto Place, the Hôtel de la Gare in the novel
Maigret à
Vichy
The Hôtel de la Meuse
l'Affaire
Saint-Fiacre
Anna reserved a room for Maigret in Givet's best hotel
"When they reached the bridge, Maigret shook his hand absent-minded and entered the Hôtel de la Meuse." (2)
L'Auberge aux
noyés
These days there is only one business next to the bridge that could be the allotted hotel: the very classy Restaurant Maison Baudoin. Today it is not an hotel anymore, but it was in Simenon's time. Then it was called Auberge de l'Europe.
Le notaire de
Châteauneuf
M.Gallet,
décédé
Le charretier de
"La Providence"
Chez les
Flamands - 1
Chez les
Flamands - 2
The Restaurant Maison Boudoin, the Hôtel de la Meuse in the novel The brdige and the center of Givet, seen from the right bank of the Meuse
The Café de la Mairie
"The young people generally meet in the Café de la Mairie!"
"At the end of a narrow street there is a rather large square with on a corner a bar with a white front and three fairly illuminated windows: Café de la Mairie." (2)
In this café Maigret has a scuffle with the young Gérard, brother of the murdered Gérmaine.
It is to be expected that this café must be situated near to the town hall. The square that is described by the author is the present day Place Carnot. In Simenon's time it was called the Place de la Meuse.
On the right, next to the old town hall, the store where now the Brasserie is to be found
The present-day Brasserie de l'Hôtel de Ville
There is a café on the corner of a small street, to the right hand side, facing the town hall: the Brasserie de l'Hôtel de Ville. Because of the similar designation it is tempting to classify this business as the café from the novel (Hôtel de Ville = Mairie). It almost certainly is not.
The Café de la Place, the Café de la Mairie in the novel.
Old postcards show that on the spot where today is the Brasserie - Hôtel de la Mairie, there was a store, not a bar. However, on the other corner of the same small street there was a café, the Café de la Place. This must be the Café de la Marie from de novel.
For more information on the localities go to the Travel Log.
Market-day in Givet, in the back the Town-Hall Market-day in Simenon's time
The Café des Mariniers
"In the Café des Mariniers arose a lively discussion because the Department of bridges and highways had just announced that navigation was restored." (2)
Old postcards show that on the spot where today is the Brasserie - Hôtel de la Mairie, there was a store, not a bar. However, on the other corner of the same small street there was a café, the Café de la Place. This must be the Café de la Marie from de novel.
The home of the Piedboeuf family
"One descried very well the customs building, the Café des Mariniers...
One could observe especially well the corner of the lane where the Piedboeuf family lived in the second house on the left."
The present-day Brasserie au Rivage, Café des Mariniers in the novel
"Maigret, for the fourth time perhaps since daybreak, walked by the riverbank...
The meeting took place at hundred meters from the bridge...
One could distinguish the small house (of Piedboeuf)..." (2)
The street where, according to the novel, the house of the Piedboeuf family must have been. Small working-class houses in Givet
Although the Ardennes are mainly an area of forests and hills, the immediate vicinity of Givet was rather industrialized. In the first half of the 20th century the town was inhabited by poor laborers who worked in the factories and quarries. Most of the small working-class houses have disappeared and have been replaced by large apartment buildings. In some quarters the typical dwellings can still be found but not on the spot where the home of the Piedboeuf family most have been situated, close to the Café des Mariniers in one of the bystreets of the quay along the river at about 100 meters of the Hôtel de la Meuse (now the Restaurant Maison Baudoin).
View on Givet from one of the surrounding hills
The factory
"On the other bank of the Meuse, there was a large whitewashed wall of a factory..." (2)
The factory where the murdered Germaine's father works and where Maigret goes to talk with the embittered night-watchman is on the right bank of the Meuse river. It is still there as well as the wall, only not whitewashed anymore. The present-day factory (Sopal) is producing adhesive paper to imprint with postal and fiscal stamps.
The factory on the right bank of the Meuse, in front of the houses the wall.
Conclusions
The main localities mentioned in this novel are all recoverable, although all names have been changed. The only deflection is the distance between the town center and the Flemish shop. In order to permit Maigret to walk from one spot to the other, as he always does, in the novel the shop was situated at 500 meters from the bridge instead of the actual 4 km.
For more information on travgiv.htm: visit the travel log
Images
- Old postcards: Mediasys - Images de la France d'autrefois. Bridge in Epernay and the official website of the city of Givet. http://www.givet.fr/
- All other photos: G. de Croock, september 2003Photo lock at La-Chaussée-sur-Marne, G. de Croock
- http://www9.mappy.com , © 2003 Mappy, adaption by G. de Croock
Notes
(2) Georges Simenon,Chez les Flamands, 1932. Excerpts translated in English by G.de Croock out of the 1978 edition, Pocket, Paris.
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La nuit du carrefour - 1, - 2
La guinguette à deux sous - 1, - 2
L' inspecteur Cadavre - 1, - 2, - 3
Les larmes de bougie - 1, - 2
Vente à la bougie - 1, - 2
La maison du juge - 1, - 2, - 3
Mon ami Maigret - 1, - 2, - 3
Maigret à Vichy - 1, - 2
l'Affaire Saint-Fiacre - 1, - 2
l'Auberge aux Noyés - 1, - 2
Le notaire de Chéteauneuf - 1, - 2
M.Gallet, décédé - 1, - 2, - 3
Le charretier de "La Providence" - 1, - 2
Chez les Flamands - 1, - 2