La maison du juge - 2
The Bridge
On a spit of land across the estuary of the river Lay lies the even smaller village of La Faute-sur-Mer. Between the two villages there was a long wooden bridge. This bridge, constructed in 1910 and 220 meters in length, had a moving part to leave passage to the flatboats that went up river to the port of Moricq. In 1944, German soldiers blocked the passage of the bridge, by destroying the mechanism of the span in open position. After the war, this moving part, being from now on useless because of the silting of the river, was removed.
This old bridge was renovated and put out of service for cars on July 1, 1963, after the construction of a new, second, bridge more adapted to the modern traffic - see images.
So at the time Simenon wrote La maison du Juge, the old bridge, that can be seen on the old postcards, was still in place.
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Watch on the bridge
La nuit du
carrefour - 1
"- I almost forgot... today it is high tide at 10.51 p.m. ... If he wants to dispose of the body, he will take this opportunity... There's a bridge over the river Lay that comes in the harbor. From 11.00 p.m. on my husband will be on that bridge... If you should want to talk to him..." (4)

This bridge plays a role in the story. First of all because this is the place where Maigret meets the retired customs officer Justin Hulot, just before he catches the judge while trying to get rid of the body. Also because the position of the bridge gives a point of reference with regard to the location of the setting.

"He went for the bridge, an endless wooden bridge, barely wide enough to let a car pass. When he looked back, he saw the lights of the hotel he left a moment ago, and then two other lights, at about a hundred meters away, shining from the judge's house." (4)

These excerpts show that the house of the judge must be approximately a hundred meters away from the bridge.
La guinguette
à deux sous - 1
L' inspecteur
Cadavre - 1
Les larmes
de bougie - 1
Vente à la
bougie - 1
La maison
du juge - 1
La maison
du juge - 2
La maison
du juge - 3
Mon ami
Maigret - 1
Maigret à
Vichy - 1
l'Affaire
Saint-Fiacre - 1
L'Auberge aux
noyés - 1
Le notaire de
Châteauneuf
M.Gallet, décédé
Le charretier de
"La Providence"
Chez les
Flamands
Aerial photo: L@vueduciel others: FautaWeb
On which side?
" And there they saw the door of the judge's house open... The next moment the litlle man was there again, holding on to an oblong object that he dragged through the mud... After four meters he halted to catch his breath... The sea was still twenty, perhaps thirty meters away..." (4)
Although Simenon states "la mer" (the sea) this must be the river estuary, the sea itself is kilometers away from this point. From this we can conclude that the judge's house is about 30 meters away from the river.

However it is not clear if the house is on the North or the South side of the bridge. Are Maigret and Hulot, while standing on the bridge, looking inland or to the sea side?
On the old postcard that depicts the two hotels, it can be noted that there is a road running between the two buildings. The Hôtel du Commerce on the right hand side of the road and the Hôtel du Port, where Maigrets stays, on the left. This road leads towards the bridge. Therefore this picture is obviously taken from the bridge.
Go to La maison du juge - 3
Images
From top to bottom:
- Aerial Photo: Laurent Tolila, L@vueduciel, www.VueduCiel.net
- The bridge then and now: old postcards, collection: Alain Cadichon. Photo bridge under right: Patrick Balloul, both on http://fautaweb.com, FautaWeb. Aerial Photo under left: Laurent Tolila, L@vueduciel.
- Postcard hotels: http://www.lafautesurmer.net domain: lafautesurmer.net owner-address: Renaud Pinoit, Glooton.com sarl, 5 passage du littoral, 85460, la faute sur mer, France (renaud@glooton.fr)
Notes
(4) Georges Simenon, La maison du juge, 1939. Excerpt translated in English by G. de Croock out of the Dutch edition, "Maigret en het huis van de rechter", vertaling Halbo C. Kool, Bruna Pockethuis b.v., Utrecht, 1984.
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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