The Place d’Espagne is situated at the end of the Grande Rue.
In medieval times, the site constituted a major crossroads located on the edge of the fortified town, where three former routes came together. However, shortly before the French Revolution the square was redeveloped as part of a project to modernise the town.
Initially named Place de Bat, the square was renamed Place d’Espagne in 1812, in tribute to the Count of the Empire, Jean-Louis-Brigitte Espagne, who grew up in Aubusson but later died in 1890 in the Battle of Aspern-Essling during a heroic charge against the Austrian artillery.
Situated on the corner of the Place d’Espagne, the Caisse d’Epargne was designed in 1899 by an architect named Puer. A cluster of five houses was demolished in order to make way for its construction, but following several petitions from local residents, the town council decided to leave this area unoccupied in order to extend the Place d’Espagne. The Caisse d’Epargne was therefore constructed further away, on the corner of Market Square.
With its corner entrance and domed roof, its location bestows it with a certain presence, however the profile of the building has changed slightly following modifications made to the roof.
The influence of Art Nouveau can be felt in the extraordinary wavy movement bringing the façade to life, and balconies featuring curvy detail.
Sculpted vegetation is ever-present in the decor and is notably featured in the lintel of the front door located underneath a cornice and in the window stools of the bay windows on the ground floor.
Further above, the inscription “Caisse d’Epargne” is also surrounded by vegetative forms.
A coat of arms of the town of Aubusson is found on top of the pediment above the clock, featuring a crescent moon and two stars above a bush.
20th century Aubusson
- 9. The “signature piece” of François Denhaut
- 10. Caisse d’Epargne et Place d’Espagne
Caisse d’Epargne et Place d’Espagne
Formerly known as the Place de Bat, the Place de Espagne was a major crossroads in Aubusson in the medieval era. The Caisse d’Epargne, a fine example of Art Nouveau architecture was built in a position set back from the square. Discover these two key features of the town centre of Aubusson through this video.