Vue d'Orléans prise en amont du pont royal, 1829


Ideas for embellishment and health awareness were central to urban planning from the 18th to the middle of the 19th century.

The embellishments of the 18th and 19th centuries mark a period of development. The most emblematic project was that of Rue Royale (1748-1763) combined with the construction of a bridge of the same name (now called George V).

The municipality wanted to add a second development to this street, from the cathedral to the suburb of Madeleine, and thus move the centre of the city to Place du Martroi. The project was carried out by François-Narcisse Pagot up to Rue Royale, between 1811 and 1846, with the construction of Rue Jeanne d’Arc. It was accompanied with the construction of public buildings, such as the court of justice, the music conservatory, the façade of the prefecture and the royal college. In parallel to these developments, the enclosure was gradually taken down and the suburbs grew.

On the Loire, straight stone docks were built to serve the flourishing port activity and the last islands were levelled in the second part of the 18th century.

A Botanical Garden was created in 1834 on the south bank; it would be the first of many public gardens.

Lastly, the first street alignment plans, which appeared in the 18th century, were carried out on a large scale from 1807.

Also in this period, the successive municipalities scheduled street paving and lighting along with coherent numbering of residences.


The city, which was now the seat of the 5th army corps, installed barracks close to the stationThe Dunois district was created as of 1878. It contained the workers’ districts, individual houses and bourgeois residences.

The Châtelet district, the market zone, was remodelledLarge covered markets were built as of 1882 in the centre of a vast rectangular square surrounded with buildings.

With the arrival of the train and the development of rail transport, a main road was planned to connect the station to Place du Martroi. Between 1894 and 1905, Rue de la République was constructed. This shopping street gave passengers the image of a dynamic and open city. In reality, Orléans was a sleepy town. Only the construction of the Champs-Élysées housing development in the 1930s, between the cathedral and the mails, expressed a desire for modernity.


Sources: Orléans Mairie – City of Art and History Department