The former police station (gendarmerie)

Texte traduit par Sylvie Durand-Valentin avec l’aimable collaboration de Mme Miriam Bastide.

It was in 1870 that a first unit of policemen (gendarmes à pied) was temporarily set up in the north wing of the old town hall which had been empty since being built in 1851. The unit would remain there only a short time because work was begun here, at 1 rue de l’Egalité, to make a new, bigger and more functional building to accommodate a bigger mounted unit.

This new three storey building, finished in 1871, had five flats on the first and second floors for staff (policemen living on the premises with their families), two cells for men and women (whose doors still retain their inscriptions), several attics and cellars, administrative offices on the ground floor, a courtyard with a stable, a feed store and a walled garden. This building, with its remarkable wooden staircase leading to the different floors, is unusual in the region of Lyon because of its mountain style (more height than width or depth). It was occupied by the police force (gendarmerie) until 1945 when the unit was transferred to Route d’Heyrieux (in the current building of the Rhone CPAM) before leaving the town definitively in 1980. The building has been renovated to accommodate its occupants and is now home to private residents.