A decision in 1848 to send the main Paris train line through Le Mans not Alençon may have been bad for the city’s economy, but also left it’s grand old streets untouched by progress. Then in 1944 Alençon was fortunate to be liberated with considerably less bombing than other areas of Normandy.
This two unforeseeable events have helped Alençon retain an old charm.
Below are a set of deceptively simple woodcuts from the 1923 book ‘Walk through old Alençon‘. If you know the city, each image is easy to recognise as so little has changed.
The author was Alainçois R. Jouane, the illustrator Albert-Henri Besnard. Link to the original book online at the end.
Jouanne René, Walk through the old Alençon; Literary and artistic guide of Alençon and its surroundings; With 26 original woods by Albert-Henri Besnard 1923. (French).