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Passage du Loup

February 23, 2012

Passage du Loup

February 23, 2012
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 2 minutes

"Hey Pop, read the sign above. Your kind isn't allowed down this alley."
"Princess, something tells me he still can't read French---or teeth---for that matter."

We must have walked this alley in Morges a dozen times before we noticed its name, Passage du Loup. I was curious how it got its name. You might think that the Swiss just really like "les loups," because we frequently hear that word whenever we're in Morges.  Or you would think the name was based on some medieval story of a pack of wolves that would pass that way in the night.

Oh, how wrong you would be, Internet.

Yowza! Look at the teeth on that wolf sculputure! 

After hours of researching and reading the stimulating legal documents from the town council's office, along with one small news article, it became clear:
Legalese in French is a great sleep aid.

But wait, that's not the only discovery.

It seems that the alley was granted as an easement back in 1924, but in 1946 it somehow got changed and granted as a private access between the city and the building owners. So la-de-dah, only the priveleged could use it.

 Mr. Wild Dingo decides to brave the alley with his own two loups.

Well, now, isn't that a wee bit ironic, huh? Especially considering the thousands of acres of privately owned Swiss farmland legally open to the public to walk in. I can't tell you how many times I feel like I'm walking in someone's back yard but the hiking signs clearly tell me it's a right of way.

Recently in 2010, the owner of the building put up a gate so the public couldn't pass. This ticked off some folks who fought for the right of passage by foot, specifically one town citizen named Robert A. Loup, who basically argued it was a customary right to pass by foot.

So that's how Passage du Loup got its name!   Next time I'm in Morges, I'm totally going to walk up and down that alley 87 times, just because I can.

Merci beaucoup M. Robert A. Loup! Votre signe roches!

Feel free to thank me for this riveting, 3-minute education in typical Swiss democracy.

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8 comments on “Passage du Loup”

  1. @Jacksdad: the council documents stated something about building owner and city paying some fees to maintain the passage way. something to the tune of 6,000 CHF! i think it probably came out of that! I think the name is a bit tongue-in-cheek too given that M. Loup didn't pay for it!

  2. Now who's the geeky history/civics nerd, huh?!? 😉 I think you should spend some of MWD's hard earned CHF's (it's Monopoly money, right?) and get a copy of that sign for your own loupes. 🙂

    Dr. Liz, the ever-helpful

  3. Real history is far more quirky than the made-up stuff, isn't it? We had hoped that somehow it was named fur a real pack o' loups that did something so fierce that the town named an alley after them, but, oh well. One can dream....

    Walk it once fur us, too, ok?

    jack & moo

  4. That's totally cool!!!
    When Mom and Dad lived in Belgium with our Siberian great-sisters, they heard "Oh! Des loups! Des loups!" a lot. What's up with that?!?! Of course, when they finally MET Jesse and Lucky and realized what total schmoops they were (somewhat like us...), it was a whole other story!
    We love that wolf sculpture by the sign!
    Play bows,
    Zim

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