Read the signs: Avenue du Point d’Interrogation

Read the signs: Avenue du Point d’Interrogation

It is safe to assume that residents of this diminutive street in Marseille must get some quizzical looks when giving out their address. Imagine the exchange. “Street name? “Question mark… No, really, that’s the name of the street.” Located in the Sainte-Marguerite district of the 9th arrondissement, Avenue du Point d’Interrogation is not very long, but it is very much a legal postal address for the few residents who live there, to the puzzlement of delivery workers.

What’s more, the name is not all that mysterious. It refers to the exploits of French airmen Dieudonné Costes and Maurice Bellonte who in 1930 made the first non-stop westbound transatlantic flight in their Breguet 19 aircraft… called Point d’Interrogation. The eastbound crossing logged by Charles Lindbergh three years earlier was relatively easier because of the wind patterns. The Point d’Interrogation crossed 6,500km against the wind in 37 hours and 18 minutes, and Lindbergh himself was among the cheering crowd who greeted the intrepid pioneers. The aircraft now occupies a special place at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace at Paris-Le Bourget Airport, north of Paris.

From France Today Magazine

Lead photo credit : Pilot Dieudonné Costes in front of his Breguet 19 “Point d’Interrogation”, in 08/23/1930. © Wikimedia Commons

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Sylvia Edwards Davis is a writer and correspondent based in France with a focus on business and culture. A member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia scans the cultural landscape to bring you the most relevant highlights on current events, art exhibitions, museums and festivals.

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