The Creepy Courthouse

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Nantes’ unique courthouse is well worth a visit—if you don’t mind unsettling optical illusions (think Inception) and the overall oppressing atmosphere. The dominant colours, black and red, kind of give you a strange idea of the judicial system: the courthouse looks like a jail! The implacable geometry and play of light and shadow was supposed to reflect the power and force of the justice system—I find it creepy and oppressive.

This courthouse is fairly new but it already looks like it is falling apart. Upstairs, where all the offices are, the red walls need a fresh coat of paint and the carpets are used. And I sure wouldn’t like being the one cleaning the shiny floors!

We spotted a few lawyers in full attire with their robes, as well as worried-looking people hanging around the courthouse, smoking cigarettes and checking their messages on their cell—waiting for a verdict, maybe. It felt like being in one of these legal series French love watching on TV!

You can see the complete set of pictures of France here.

The Courthouse Lobby

The Courthouse Lobby

The Courthouse Lobby

The Courthouse Lobby

The Courthouse Lobby

The Courthouse Lobby

In the Elevator

In the Elevator

Quotes on the Wall

Quotes on the Wall

Quai de la Fosse from the Courthouse

Quai de la Fosse from the Courthouse

Self Portrait with Quotes

Self Portrait with Quotes

The Offices

The Offices

The Mailboxes

The Mailboxes

Waiting for a Verdict

Waiting for a Verdict

The Lobby

The Lobby

The Courthouse Rooms

The Courthouse Rooms

Jail or Courthouse?

Jail or Courthouse?

Lawyer in Full Attire

Lawyer in Full Attire

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

6 Comments

  1. The future lawyer in me definitely enjoyed this post 🙂 That courthouse is definitely creepy, but it does sort of inspire fear and awe, which is guess is the point.

    If you are ever in Paris, the Palais de Justice is pretty cool too (more historic looking, and with the Sainte Chapelle inside). When I worked there, random tourists would enter the 1e chambre civile (I think) which is where Marie-Antoinette was sentenced to death, and take pictures during actual court hearings. I would really annoy the judges 🙂

    • Oh cool, a future lawyer! I really admire those who study law. I find it very interesting but I don’t have the patience (and other skills needed) for it. I’d love to see a trial one day (nothing creepy), just to see how things work.

      • You should go! Almost all trials are public, and they can be very interesting, although I’d avoid the more morbid ones that attract a weird fan-club (think: Magnotta). If you are in Ottawa, you can go to the Supreme Court, which must be super interesting.

  2. On ne critique pas mon lieu de travail, ni ma tenue de travail d’ailleurs… Tu voulais me croiser ou bien ?
    Ce qu’il faut ajouter c’est qu’en cas de fortes pluies, les seaux bleus fleurissent dans la salle des pas perdus (le plafonds prend l’eau).

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