Sainte-Dévote Chapel, Monaco


MONTE-CARLO Sainte-Dévote
c. 1920 (postmarked 1921)
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co

Google Street View.

Sainte-Dévote Chapel is a Roman Catholic chapel dedicated to Saint Devota, the patron saint of Monaco. The chapel was first mentioned in archived documents dated 1070, built against the wall of Vallon des Gaumates, on the space now occupied by the Chapel of Relics. It was restored in the 16th century. In 1606, Prince Honoré II added a span, followed by a porch in 1637. The façade was rebuilt in 1870 and refurbished further in 1891 in “18th-century Neo-Greek” style. The stained-glass windows were made by Nicolas Lorin of Chartres. The glass windows were destroyed during the bombing of Monaco during World War II and were restored by Fassi Cadet of Nice in 1948. The chapel became the parish church in 1887.
Wikipedia.

The current Sainte-Dévote Church is located in the Valley of the Gaumates, in approximately the same place (according to legend) as where the boat with the martyred body of the Saint was beached and where her cadavre was buried. The first chapel which was consecrated to Devota was located on the same site as the ancient temple dedicated to Hercules and was probably built directly over this temple, in order to promote the spread of Christianity.
Government of Monaco website

In the very early 4th century, in Corsica (which was a Roman province at that time) the Roman governor, Diocletian, ordered the great persecution of the Christians. A young Christian, Devote, was arrested, imprisoned and tortured. She died without denying her faith. After her death, the governor of the province ordered for her body to be burnt, but the Christians saved her body and placed it on a boat bound for Africa, where they believed she would receive a proper Christian burial. Right from the first hours of the crossing, a storm overtook the boat. Then, a dove flew out from Devote?s mouth and without incident guided the boat to Monaco where it ran aground in the Gaumates (site of the present-day Saint Devote church).
[continued]
Sainte Devote

Cavalry School, Samur, France


On back:
Ecole de Saumur
Entertainement des eleves
(Samur School/Training of students)

In 1763, Louis XV (via the Duc de Choiseul) reorganised the French cavalry. A new school for officers from all the cavalry regiments was set up at Saumur, managed and supervised by the “Corps Royal des Carabiniers” – since its inception the school has been hosted in the carabinier regiment’s quarter of the town, latterly in a magnificent 18th century building. This functioned until 1788. At the end of 1814, after the First Restoration, Louis XVIII set up the “École d’Instruction des Troupes à cheval” in Saumur. Its activities declined from 1822 onwards so it was regenerated by Charles X under the name of the “École Royale de Cavalerie” (later renamed the École impériale de cavalerie de Saumur). Most of its building complex was taken up with a military riding area and a riding-academy training hall. From 1830, with the disappearance of the École de Versailles, Saumur became the capital and sole repository of the French equestrian tradition, and its knowledge (such as in the Cadre Noir and its training regime in dressage) is still recognised throughout the world. At the end of the Second World War the French mounted cavalry (reduced to several squadrons of spahis retained for patrol work by this point) and armoured troops merged to form the ‘Arme blindée et cavalerie’ (ABC), with the École de Saumur becoming the new branch’s training centre.
Wikipedia.

If the wars of the Revolution and the Empire confirmed the legendary bravery of the French cavalry, they also revealed a lack of equestrian training. The troops were destroyed by contagious illness, the ferocity of combat, and the poor quality of the military equitation of the time. The French cavalry was decimated after the Napoleonic wars. In 1815 a Cavalry school was created in Saumur to reform the mounted troops and to standardize the use of the horse in war. Faced with the urgency of retraining riders and horses, a body of instructors was set up, made up of several great civilian riding masters, out of the Manèges of Versailles, the Tuileries and Saint-Germain. Considered the elite of the period, they trained the officer pupils of the cavalry : In 1825, it was the birth of the Cadre Noir of Saumur.

However at the beginning of the XXth century when the cavalry became mechanized (tanks and planes having gradually replaced horses on the battlefield) the question was raised of the usefulness of the Cadre Noir at the heart of the army. The government of the time could not bring itself to eliminate something which had become a real living heritage for France with the passage of time. A spectacular increase in riding for pleasure in the 70’s saw the creation of innumerable equestrian centres. The creation of the National Riding School was aimed at organizing the teaching of riding in France; its vocation to prepare for high level teaching diplomas and top level competition.. The National Riding School was created by decree in 1972 under the charge of the Minister for Sport.
Le Cadre noir de Saumur

Zoological Park, Cleres, France


On back:
Parc Zoologique de Clères (Seine Inf.)
Façade Nord du Château et Antilopes

(North face of the Chateau & antelopes)
c.1930
Publisher: Parc Zoologique de Clères

Cleres Zoological Park was established in 1919 in the grounds of Medieval/Rennaisance chateau.

Google Maps.
Official website (in French)


On back:
Parc Zoologique de Clères (Seine Inf.)
Nandous blancs

(White rheas)
Publisher: Parc Zoologique de Clères

Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, England


Winchester Cathedral, West Front

Google Street View.

By the early 16th century, much of the Cathedral you see today was complete. New secular names became linked to this place, to add to those of mighty kings and bishops, from the 17th-century angler Izaak Walton to the great early 19th-century English novelist Jane Austen.

The 19th century saw much restoration work, including new stone statues for the huge 15th-century Great Screen behind the altar. The Cathedral’s Organ, a cut-down version of a huge organ displayed at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, was bought. By the early 1900s, there were fears that the east end of this ancient building would collapse, after centuries of subsidence. Deep-sea diver, William Walker, worked under water in total darkness for six years to stabilise them.

Today, after 12 centuries, this great Cathedral church remains the seat of the Bishop of Winchester and centre of the Diocese of Winchester. Its beautiful spaces continue to echo to the sound of daily prayers and glorious sacred music.
Winchester Cathedral.

Parc Monceau, Paris


Parc Monceau
Postmarked 1908

Google Street View.

The Hector Berlioz Website (more old views of park)

When France’s royal family want an absurdist Anglo-Chinese garden filled with an architectural pastiche from around the globe, who dares say no? Parc Monceau was built in 1778 at the request of King Louis XVI’s cousin – the Duke of Chartres, Phillippe d’’Orléans – who dreamt of opening a park that would amaze and surprise all who passed through its gates by foregrounding his eclectic taste in landscape design and architecture. What resulted was a monumental act of public folly, albeit one that possessed a tender charm all its own.

Constructed with a distinct lack of care for either the epoch or people from which he was borrowing, Parc Monceau originally contained a Roman colonnade, a miniature Egyptian pyramid, a Tartar tent, a Dutch windmill, a water lily pond, an enchanted grotto, a temple of Mars, an Italian vineyard and numerous antique statues, all within arms’ reach of each other. At the time of its debut, the garden also featured servants in flamboyant dress and exotic animals like camels. Taken as a whole, none of it it made much sense, but that had never really been the Duke’s point; unlike the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale which was built to mimic foreign cultures for spectatorship, Parc Monceau was built as pure fantasy.
Atlas Obscura.

Parc Monceau had its beginning in 1769 when Louis Philippe, the duke of Chartres, who was also the cousin of Louis XVI and the father of King Louis-Philippe I and who would later become the Duc d’Orléans and be known as Philippe-Egalité, purchased a hectare of land on Boulevard de Courcelles. At this time he had architect Louis-Marie Colignon build a pavillion in the middle of a French-styled garden. During 1773-1778, he acquired twelve more surrounding hectares. He built on this property, with the designing help of painter Carmontelle, a windmill, a minaret, a pyramid, a Chinese pagoda, a Roman temple, a waterfall and the “Naumachie” which is a pond half-encircled by broken Corinthian columns. . . In 1793, the now Duc d’Orléans bought more of the surrounding properties and landscape architect Thomas Blaikie transformed the garden with trees and lawns into an English-styled garden. This was one of the first landscaped parks in Paris and it become a place of festivities.
Paris Walking Tours

After the monarchy was restored, the park was returned to the family of the Duke. During the Second Empire, the family sold lots within the park to real estate developers, who built luxurious town houses, reducing the size of the park by half. The remaining part of the park was purchased by the city of Paris in 1860. All that remained of the original folly was the water lily pond, the stream and the fantasy “tombs”, including the Egyptian pyramid.

In 1860, the park was purchased by the city, and in August 1861 Parc Monceau became the first new public park in Paris to be created by Baron Haussmann as part of the grand transformation of Paris begun by Emperor Louis Napoleon. Two main alleys were laid out from east to west and north to south, meeting in the center of the park, and the alleys within the park were widened and paved, so carriages could drive the park. An ornamental gate 8.3 m (27 ft) high was installed along a newly created avenue, boulevard Malesherbes, curving paths were laid out around the park for strolling. The pavillon de Chartres was also modified by the architect, Gabriel Davioud, who had a graceful classical dome added to the structure. He also built a bridge modeled after the Rialto bridge in Venice over the stream to replace the Chinese bridge by Carmontelle that had once been there. He preserved the other follies remaining from the original garden. Haussmann embellished the park with a rich collection of exotic trees and flowers from around the world.

The park is unusual in France due to its “English” style: its informal layout, curved walkways and randomly placed statues distinguish it from the more traditional, French-style garden. It includes a collection of scaled-down architectural features, or follies — including an Egyptian pyramid, a Chinese fort, a Dutch windmill, and Corinthian pillars. A number of these are masonic references, reflecting the fact that Philippe d’Orléans was a leading freemason. Parc Monceau includes statues of famous French figures including Guy de Maupassant, Frédéric Chopin, Charles Gounod, Ambroise Thomas, Alfred de Musset, and Edouard Pailleron.
Wikipedia.

Medici Chapels, Florence, Italy


Firenze – Cappelle Medicee – Sagrestia Nuova – Michelangiolo

Google Street View.

Official Website

The Medici Chapels are two structures at the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, and built as extensions to Brunelleschi’s 15th-century church, with the purpose of celebrating the Medici family, patrons of the church and Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The Sagrestia Nuova (“New Sacristy”) was designed by Michelangelo. . , ,The Sagrestia Nuova[1] was intended by Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici and his cousin Pope Leo X as a mausoleum or mortuary chapel for members of the Medici family. It balances Brunelleschi’s Sagrestia Vecchia, the “Old Sacristy” nestled between the left transept of San Lorenzo, with which it consciously competes, and shares its format of a cubical space surmounted by a dome, of gray pietra serena and whitewashed walls. . . .The Sagrestia Nuova was entered by a discreet entrance in a corner of San Lorenzo’s right transept, now closed. Though it was vaulted over by 1524, the ambitious projects of its sculpture and the intervention of events, such as the temporary exile of the Medici (1527), the death of Giulio, now Pope Clement VII and the permanent departure of Michelangelo for Rome in 1534, meant that Michelangelo never finished it. Though most of the statues had been carved by the time of Michelangelo’s departure, they had not been put in place, being left in disarray across the chapel, and later installed by Niccolò Tribolo in 1545.
Wikipedia.

A corridor leads down to the Sagrestia Nuova (New Sacristy), a cramped inner chamber that is the real draw of the Medici Chapels, a smorgasbord of Michelangelo: sculpture, architecture, and drawings. Sangallo probably started the chapel, but Michelangelo took over in 1520 to turn it into a final resting place for the Medici, the architecture drawn along cold, hard lines of dark gray pietra serena stone and white plaster and using tricks of perspective in the upper reaches to make the chapel seem airier.

There are basically three groupings of Michelangelo statues here. To the left is the tomb of Lorenzo II, Duke or Urbino (grandson to Lorenzo the Magnificent), looking pensive under his helmet, with his finger to his lips. To the right is the tomb of Giuliano, Duke of Nemours (third son of Lorenzo the Magnificent), with a serpentine neck and a nude-style breastplate modeled on ancient Roman statues. Much more famous (and compelling) than the figures of these undistinguished Medici are the allegorical figures just below them, reclining along the slow curves of the tomb architecture: Day (the male) and Night (female) beneath Giuliano, twisting their nude bodies across from Dawn and Dusk under Lorenzo.
ReidsItaly.com

Bruges, Belgium


On back:
Bruges: Panorama pris d’une fenêtre de la Tour du Beffroi
(Panorama taken from a window of the Belfry)
c.1920
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)

Google Street View (approximately)

The 83-metre high Belfort (belfry) from the 13th century is one of the three iconic towers of Bruges, together with the towers of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady), and Sint-Salvatorskathedraal (St Saviour’s Cathedral). Those who climb the 366 stairs are rewarded with an impressive view of Bruges and surrounds.
Musea Brugge

Belfry
The Belfry of Bruges is a medieval bell tower in the centre of Bruges, Belgium. One of the city’s most prominent symbols, the belfry formerly housed a treasury and the municipal archives, and served as an observation post for spotting fires and other danger. A narrow, steep staircase of 366 steps, accessible by the public for an entry fee, leads to the top of the 83 m (272 feet) high building, which leans 87 centimeters to the east. . . . The belfry was added to the market square around 1240, when Bruges was an important centre of the Flemish cloth industry. After a devastating fire in 1280, the tower was largely rebuilt.
Wikipedia.

St Saviour’s Cathedral
The Saint-Salvator Cathedral, the main church of the city, is one of the few buildings in Bruges that have survived the onslaught of the ages without damage. Nevertheless, it has undergone some changes and renovations. This church was not originally built to be a cathedral; it was granted the status in the 19th century. . . . The roof of the cathedral collapsed in a fire in 1839. Robert Chantrell, an English architect, famous for his neo-Gothic restorations of English churches, was asked to restore to Sint-Salvator its former glory. At the same time he was authorized to make a project for a higher tower, in order to make it taller than that of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk [Church of Our Lady]. The oldest surviving part, dated from the 12th century, formed the base of the mighty tower. Instead of adding a neo-Gothic part to the tower, Chantrell chose a very personal Romanesque design. After completion there was a lot of criticism and the royal commission for monuments (Koninklijke Commissie voor Monumenten), without authorization by Chantrell, had placed a small peak on top of the tower, because the original design was deemed too flat. The Neo-Romanesque west tower is fortress-like 99 meters high.
Wikipedia.

Royal Hotel, Caen, France


CAEN – Hôtel de la Place Royale
La Salle Normande

The Royal Hotel Caen Centreis one of the oldest hotels in Caen: once called Grand Hotel of the Place Royale, then Hotel Royal and even Kyriad (as we partnered this franchise for a short decade). The original sign, found in the rubble after the bombing of Caen in 1944, is still with us and keeps the past present! Already present in the first editions of prestigious tourist guides (now more than hundred-year-old!!), the ancient “Grand Hôtel” keeps telling its story through collections of engravings and period post cards, as well as through maps of the old CAEN city center… With the current building dating back to 1951 and the reconstruction of Caen, the hotel has gained in comfort what its façade has lost in terms of architectural sophistication. . . . For those who would like to know more, here is an extract from a beautiful book [“Caen yesterday and today”, Yves Lecouterier & Bernard Enjolras, 2000] in a section called “La rue de Strasbourg et l’hôtel de la place Royale”:

“Known as Horses Alley in the 17th Century, it is renamed rue de la Municipalité during the Revolution. After the Republic was decreed in September 1871, the rue de l’Impératrice (as it became in the meantime) was renamed rue de Strasbourg in memory of the Alsace region’s capital which was then occupied by the Germans. Starting at the Rue Saint Pierre, it opens up on to the Place de la République. In memory of the square’s old name, the hotel kept the Place Royale name. The hotel, which served as lodgings for the troupes passing through Caen, was succeeded by a second built in 1835 to accommodate stagecoaches and the following inscription is added to its façade: ‘Royal Messengers’. At the start of the 20th Century, this hotel while boasting comfortable rooms with electricity, central heating and a lift, also had an exceptional location overlooking the town hall gardens. Destroyed during the bombings, it was rebuilt in the same place and still overlooks the gardens of the Place de la République.”
The history of the Royal Hotel Caen Centre (hotel’s website)

Lake, St Leger Thermal Spa, Pougues-les-Eaux, France


Pougues-les-Eaux (Nièvre) – Le Lac
c.1910
Pubilsher: Thibault

A drive of a few minutes had landed us in the heart of this little Paradise, baths and Casino standing in the midst of park-like grounds. Apparently Pougues, that is to say, the Pougues-les-Eaux of later days, has been cut out of natural woodland, the Casino gardens and its surroundings being rich in forest trees of superb growth and great variety. The wealth of foliage gives this new fashionable little watering-place an enticingly rural appearance, nor is the attraction of water wholly wanting. . . . A pretty little lake, animated with swans, varies the woodland scenery, and tropical birds in an aviary lend brilliant bits of colour. The usual accessories of a health resort are, of course, here—reading room, concert hall, theatre, and other attractions, rapidly turning the place into a lesser Vichy. The number and magnificence of the hotels, the villas and cottages, that have sprung up on every side, bespeak the popularity of Pougues-les-Eaux, as it is now styled, the surname adding more dignity than harmoniousness.
“East of Paris: Sketches in the Gâtinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne”, Matilda Betham-Edwards (1902), p. 50

Pougues les Eaux is a town in the Center of France with a Spa and Gambling heritage. Although the Health Spa stopped in 1970, it was known for it’s miraculous water and gambling Casino since the renaissance.
Deserted Health Spa and Casino – Pougues les Eaux

Site is now Parc Saint Léger – Contemporary Art Center, which is here.