It's striking, isn't it the contrast between a classic 19th façade and such a High Tech interior? What we have here is a conversion of an iconic industrial site dear to the population of Saint-Étienne. The story in brief...
Everybody in France has heard of Manufrance. Whether it's the first mail order catalogue, the "Le chasseur français" magazine, Hirondelle bikes or the Falcor gun, we are all familiar with at least one of these things, all of them born in Saint-Étienne. Even if the swallow - the Hirondelle - and the Robust (shotgun) are no longer making the summers in Saint-Étienne, they have given way to many, very many events. Because the old Manufrance premises now host numerous conferences and seminars (at the Centre des Congrès located on the site), but also trade fairs and festivals. The Arts Burlesques festival for example, which was born of a local initiative (yet another Stéphanois (Saint-Étienne native) making his mark ...), is today one of the largest comedy gatherings in France. Unmissable, really! Just goes to show they know what they're about these Stéphanois!
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