The not-so-stupid question: why is there a big apple hidden in the center of Rouen?

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–>La Pomme d'Or, in the residence behind the gardens of the Hôtel de Ville.

What is this big apple doing, hidden in a residence located behind the gardens of the Hôtel-de-Ville in Rouen (Seine-Maritime)? (© FM / Normandie-actu)

Have you ever seen this giant apple, Place de la Pomme-d’Or, in a residence located behind the gardens of the town hall of Rouen (Seine-Maritime) ? But what is she doing there? Why was a large concrete apple covered with mosaic installed in this square? A tribute to Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple?

A “poor memory” of the La Pomme-d’Or district

Not at all ! This apple is a “memory of the picturesque popular district of Pomme-d’Or, judge Aurélie Daniel, independent cultural animator. This district was razed in the 1970s to make way for concrete buildings ”.

In fact, before its destruction in the 1970s, “the Pomme-d’Or district, made of half-timbered houses, resembled the streets now preferred by Rouen: rue Damiette or even rue Eau-de. -Robec ”, says Aurélie Daniel, creator of the concept Rouen walks.

It was considered that this district was too dilapidated and that it should be destroyed.

Aurelie DanielCultural animator

To the great despair of this passionate about heritage. “When we see today the magnificent restoration of rue Damiette and rue Eau-de-Robec, it shows that we could have done the same thing in this district, which was razed to the benefit of concrete buildings…”

Facades saved from destruction

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–>These three buildings are made of concrete, the facades were subsequently installed.  The Cancan restaurant is a facade of rue Orbe, the facade of the souvenir shop comes from rue Eau-de-Robec and the last house on the right has a facade of the old rue Fleuriguet in the district of La Pomme-d'or .

These three buildings are made of concrete, the facades were subsequently installed. The Cancan restaurant has a facade of rue Orbe, the facade of the souvenir store comes from rue Eau-de-Robec and the last house on the right has a facade of the old rue Fleuriguet in the Pomme-d’or district . (© FM / 76actu)

At the time, it was a question of constructing modern buildings, but also of tracing the avenue of Porte-des-Champs. The gardens of the Town Hall were also enlarged, swallowing up a good part of this district.

Only a few beautiful facades of these destroyed half-timbered houses have been preserved and installed elsewhere. “For example, the Cancan restaurant, Place du Vieux-Marché, is a concrete building on which a facade of Orbe Street in the old district of La Pomme-d’Or has been reinstalled,” says the cultural organizer.

Neighborhoods were to suffer the same fate

After the destruction of the Pomme-d’or, which took its name from a business in this district, the inhabitants of this working-class district had to go and live in the Grand’Mare or the Sapins, “because the rents of the new sets were then too high for them, ”emphasizes the history buff.

The Saint-Nicaise and Croix-de-Pierre districts were to experience the same fate. “Fortunately, it did not happen, because the association Les Amis des monuments rouennais rose up against this heresy”, relates with relief Aurélie Daniel.

An exhibition to bring this forgotten neighborhood back to life?

This concrete apple is therefore a nod to this district of yesteryear, now forgotten. Aurélie Daniel would like explanatory panels around this apple to recall the life of the streets of La Pomme-d’or.

“There are many photos and videos of this neighborhood, which served as the backdrop for two films: The mysteries of Paris (1962) with Jean Marais and Raphael or the debauchery (1971) ”, underlines Aurélie Daniel. When will there be an exhibition to bring this forgotten neighborhood back to life?

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–>Rue de l'Abbé de l'Épée

The rue de l’Abbé de l’Épée was largely cut off during the work carried out in the 1970s. (© Pierre Le Gall)
Practical information :

Saturday 31 and Sunday 1is November 2020, at 3 p.m., Aurélie Daniel offers macabre and fantastic walks in Rouen. Price: 10 euros. More information, here.

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