QR Vic-le-Comte – Bourg 11
The Town Hall
The Republic takes root
In 1884, under the Third Republic, municipal councils were given the legal right to executively self-govern. All communes were required to build a town hall, in which the figure of Marianne would soon take pride of place.
The town hall was an institutional centre and a place of power and became symbolic of the Republic. A relatively modest building had already been built in Vic-le-Comte during Louis-Philippe’s reign. It had a classroom on the ground floor along with the teacher’s and village warden’s quarters. Upstairs had a justice of the peace room and « a very small town hall ».
Under the Second Empire, in 1854, the mayor Jérôme Alexandre Guyot-Lavaline commissioned architect Imbert to carry out some major work. The building became more monumental. Further work was planned under the Third Republic, in 1873 then again in 1913, to give the town hall the appearance it has today.
Atop the building is a bust of Marianne, installed in 1889 to mark the centenary of the French Revolution. In 1902, a clock was also placed on the main façade. The mechanism was made by the local clockmaker known as Esclatine. The mayor at that time was radical socialist Antoine Fabre, a leading figure in the Third Republic. He was a member of parliament between 1908 and 1919 as well as leader of the local brass band!
At the time, « Republican bell towers » were appearing on town hall façades. Elected officials of the Republic wanted the measurement of time to be the same for all citizens, regardless of their religion or beliefs. In 2008, mayor Roland Blanchet had the motto « Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité » added to the pediment of the town hall.