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Town's streets pay tribute to women

La Ville-aux-Dames has all of its roads named after famous women

22 October 2014

LA VILLE-AUX-DAMES, situated on the outskirts of Tours in the Indre-et-Loire, is the only town in France to have all of its streets named after women.

Despite the town’s name originating in the 10th century, the decision to name the streets was only taken in 1974 during a town council meeting.

The town thus has an Avenue Jeanne d’Arc, Avenue Marie Curie, Rue Anne Franck, Rue Colette, Rue Sarah Bernhardt and a Mary Queen of Scots Square among others.

One street however, Rue de la Dame en noir, is actually dedicated to a man: Jérôme Besnard, the village priest who was a member of the Resistance and known for moving weapons, false IDs and liaison work.

The name La Ville-Aux-Dames evolved from Villa Dominarum, which the area was known by because of a nunnery that was built there in 799. By the 11th century there were no more nuns left and the nunnery passed into the hands of a knight and then under the control of the Abbey of Saint Julien de Tours.

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