This circus building was built at the bottom of the Place Poterne in 1924 to replace the circus building of the Place Verte dating from the late nineteenth century.It has several uses, especially that of hosting circuses several weeks a year.

It allows to make official meals, for example for the inauguration of the Museum of Fine Arts of the college of girls and the vocational school on June 27, 1909 (Photos at the end of article)

In 1945 the building was bought by Lucien Dubois, director of the French-Belgian Circus. Some great circus performers will perform, including Achille Zavatta. It also allows to organize boxing matches and the famous Marcel Cerdan will perform there a few months before his death in 1948.

Left abandoned in the early fifties, Sodival company plans in 1967 to convert the building into a supermarket.

In 1997, the City bought the place from the group Promodès which transferred the supermarket Champion a few meters away.

In 2009, a major restructuring project appears. It provided for a theater with 770 adjustable seats, the creation of exhibition halls, a reception, lodges and offices. An architect had been appointed by the City. Computer-generated images had been published and a study office including an acoustician and a scenographer had been formed. This work estimated at a little more than 5 million euros was to last 18 months and, at the time, everyone, especially in the cultural sector was looking forward to the “revival of the Hippodrome”. However after many planning nothing happened at all.

December 2016: the Hippodrome is sold to a promoter to make it a covered market. The city council agrees to the sale under several heavy conditions to ensure this unique structure will stay pretty much intact for the future.

2021: The food market is opened. Although the building looks wonderful from the outside, due to lowered ceilings it is no longer possible to view the original roof structure with its remaining circus elements on the inside of the building.

Hippodrome Valenciennes
1 Place Poterne
59300 Valenciennes

2016 Gallery:

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