How do I decipher French addresses?
July 9, 2004 9:23 AM   Subscribe

HELP, I don't understand French addresses. If a return address (written horizontally on the back of the envelope) reads:
##### Poubro St Wervant/Oust FRANCE
what part of that is the street address, what part is the town, and what part is the district/region?

The above are the fields on the French online white pages. A fast answer would be appriciated as it is already almost 6:30pm there.


That should be St Servants not St Wervants

Alternatively, if you happen to be in France, have a telephone directory for Brittany, and are willing to help a fellow MeFite out, send me an e-mail. Please
posted by Grod to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
The five digits before the city are the postal code, e.g.
25000 Besançon
of which the first two digits are the numbers for the département -- e.g. "25" refers to the Doubs.

(There's sometimes a CEDEX after the city, and another couple of digits -- think of that as a nine-digit zip.)

The street address should be above that line, so your typical French address could read something like this wholly imaginary one:

32 rue des Foufounes sales
75429 Paris CEDEX 15

Another possibility is that the European code may be used as a prefix to the five-digit postal code -- e.g. F-75014 Paris.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:47 AM on July 9, 2004

So, Poubro is the city? I can't find the city code for that
posted by Grod at 9:50 AM on July 9, 2004

According to Wikipedia, Oust is a commune of the Ariège département. The Ariège is in the Midi-Pyrénées region.
posted by thebabelfish at 9:51 AM on July 9, 2004

All right, thanks everyone, I've got the number I need!
posted by Grod at 10:08 AM on July 9, 2004

Just to add a note: some rural addresses in France are nothing more than the person's name, the name of what may be nothing more than a nearby crossroads (formerly a village in the case below), a postal code and the nearest town. My father-in-law is one such person:

Jacques Beaupère
03320 Lurcy-Levis
posted by Dick Paris at 10:33 AM on July 9, 2004

Hm. Actually, if some one here happens to be in France or, even better, Brittany France, and 1. has a paypal account and 2. is willing to arrange a gift delievery by placing an order with a local service (international services charge way too much) please email me (in my profile).
posted by Grod at 10:49 AM on July 9, 2004

posted by Grod at 3:07 PM on July 9, 2004

man, i want to be semi-lost in france right now. lucky bastard.
posted by Hackworth at 10:24 PM on July 9, 2004

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