The Town Hall (1921) and the statue of Dupleix (1888)


As soon as the medieval era, Landrecies had what was then called a "common hall". According to the writings of those times, it was already a sizeable building. However, after several centuries it became antiquated, and it was completely rebuilt in 1740. The right wing was used as a hayloft and the left one as a prison, so that's why it looks so square and imposing.

The Town Hall was then destroyed twice : the first time during the siege of 1794, and the second time during World War I. So actually the current building only dates back to 1921, but it was rebuilt on the pre-war model which you can see on the below picture :

This was the old Town Hall. It was destroyed in 1918.

On the front wall of the building, there is an inscription reminding the passers-by of the 27 Ventôse an III decree, according to which "Landrecians have served their country well". Although the architectural style of the building is globally heavy-looking, it is generally agreed that the bell-tower is quite nice. The Town Hall contains some remarkable rooms : in the "salon d'Honneur", for example, some works of the Landrecian painter Ernest Amas can be found. Another room accomodates a little museum devoted to Landrecian history. It contains some interesting items, like the town archives and some antiquated weapons, like a very old French gun dating back to the 1543 siege.

Statue of Joseph-François Dupleix (1697 - 1763)

In the middle of the square, right in front of the Town Hall, the statue of Joseph-François Dupleix stands proudly. This nice work by a sculptor from Valenciennes named Léon Fagel (1851 - 1913) was offered by the French government, and it was exposed in Paris before being inaugurated at Landrecies in 1888. The sculpture features Dupleix while he is taking possession of the Indian province of Hindustan. With his right hand he points to the Indian soil, and with the left one he sticks a French flag. He is dressed as a French marquis and bears the Order of St-Louis, which was a great distinction during the Ancien Régime.

On the base of the statue, some scenes of his life are drawn : Dupleix and his wife healing wounded French soldiers during the siege of Pondichéry, Dupleix having a conversation with the local leaders of Hindustan, Dupleix being given the rule of an Indian province by the Great Mogul...