In modern day France, l’hôtel de ville is the town hall (the ô indicates that an “s” has disapppeared from the original old French. However, I have never seen a building with Hostel de Ville written on it. This beautiful door is in Orléans but so far I haven’t found any information about its history.

Le circonflex sur le “o” dans hôtel de ville indique qu’un “s” a disparu du vieux français mais c’est la première fois que je vois un bâtiment avec “lhostel de ville” écrit dessus. Cette belle porte se trouve à Orléans mais je n’ai pas encore trouvé d’explication sur son histoire.

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6 comments on “LHostel de Ville

    1. avril Post author

      Yes, I guess they do look like church doors.

  1. Lesley

    How many new to French and France used to see a sign pointing to L’HOTEL DE VILLE and think that it would have accommodation? I know I did!
    I had to use caps as I can’t work out how to get ^ over an o, but a lot of road signs do not have accents added anyway..

    1. avril Post author

      I think the funniest one I’ve heard was when my brother and young son thought they’d found a hotel when they saw ” hôtel de police”!

      You’re right, accents are not compulsory when capital letters are used.

  2. Susan Walter

    A quick twirl around the internet has revealed several documents from the 17th using the spelling Hostel (with the ‘s’ in that long form that looks like an ‘f’). L’Hostel de Ville, or sometimes l’Hostel commun de la Ville, appears to be the town hall, so the modern Hôtel de Ville is just a change of spelling and not of function.

    1. avril Post author

      Thanks Susan. Then I guess that it was once the hôtel de ville in Orléans.

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