A list of the ‘ugliest’ sites, buildings or places in France have been revealed by the same organisation that gives out an annual award for the ugliest towns in the country.
The ‘La France Moche (Ugly France)’ brand is a tongue-in-cheek account run by the association Paysages de France, which mainly communicates via its Twitter account.
It regularly highlights examples of ugly towns or installations, and often draws attention to issues such as too many signs or advertisements along the side of a road.
Over the past few weeks, it has been highlighting buildings and other sites that it feels deserve the less-than-flattering ‘ugly’ title.
So far, some of the standout sites on the list include (in no particular order):
The L’Isle-d’Abeau train station
Commenting on the Isère station’s unusual design, the Twitter account wrote sarcastically: “There is scaffolding, but I’ve never seen the work start.” The façade dates back to 1985.
Il y a l'échafaudage mais je n'ai jamais vu les travaux commencer... pic.twitter.com/8q18nEE5Qm— La France moche (@lafrancemoche) February 7, 2023
The Lycée Sainte-Marie in La Verpillière
The building in Lyon was already voted the country’s second-most ugly lycée by comedy site Topito in 2016. The La France Moche account posted the image without comment. Perhaps the building was enough of a statement?
The Pont Saint-Michel in Bourgoin-Jallieu
The bridge in Isère was posted with a simple message, in reference to the bridge’s removal: “One piece of good news: This thing no longer exists.”
Une bonne nouvelle : cette chose n'existe plus. pic.twitter.com/PSAi3Ltpvc— La France moche (@lafrancemoche) February 5, 2023
Passageway at the Lycée Léonard-de-Vinci
The bizarre sculptural monument was compared ironically to the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia.
Villefontaine. Non ce n'est pas au Cambodge ! pic.twitter.com/VvPonU0LRW— La France moche (@lafrancemoche) February 11, 2023
A giant apple
The account highlighted the less-than-beautiful sculpture of an apple in Bougé Chambalud ( Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), which aims to celebrate the region’s local produce.
One Tweet showing some bizarre sculptures sparked a series of replies from other users.
One reply showed a sculpture of a children’s ride in Charvieu-Chavagneux (Isère), with the caption: “Perfect for the beginning of a dystopian TV series.”
A Charvieux-Chavanieux (Isère), parfait pour le début d'une série dystopique : pic.twitter.com/KqxdccXhyF— Maurizio (@MaurizioBtd) February 9, 2023
Another submitted a photo of a roundabout sculpture of nails hammered into the earth in Rugles (Normandy).
Rond point des clous à Rugles— MAZERLAN (@suicidelezarman) February 8, 2023
On est dans le thème pic.twitter.com/TeJXnkHL7A
Also mocked by the account included the 1970s-style Palais de Justice in Annecy, and a car park in Grenoble (both Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes).
The account also lambasted a number of ski stations for their tower blocks, with the cheeky question: “Who said mountains were beautiful?”
Qui a dit que la montagne était belle ? pic.twitter.com/PHYdnwUESS— La France moche (@lafrancemoche) February 1, 2023
Horror hotels de ville
Late last week, the account took the time to curate a series of photos of less-than-beautiful Hotel de Ville buildings…
And a few days ago (February 12) simply posted a photo of this pompiers station in Limoges (Nouvelle-Aquitaine), with the caption: “Limoges. Our firefighters deserve better!”
Limoges. Nos pompiers méritent mieux ! pic.twitter.com/Bbs24bh0po— La France moche (@lafrancemoche) February 12, 2023
Special mentions over the years
The account tends to poke fun at towns’ bizarre use of signage or installation of buildings or advertisements that seem to appear without much consideration of their overall appearance.
In 2021, the group gave a special mention to the mountain town of Villard-de-Lans (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), for its installation of a light-up screen projecting an image of the ski station landscape…in front of the real landscape.
Last year, it also highlighted the town of Montalieu-Vercieu for what it said was a particularly ugly array of signs and advertisements on a wall at the entrance of the town.
However, the mayor of the town took offence and made an official complaint to the Paysages de France association for what he called an “attack on reputation”.
If you have any ugly contenders you feel we simply must draw attention to near you, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Ugly France’. We may highlight them in a future article.