Ascenseur/lift, Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille, France


MARSEILLE. – Ascenseurs N. D. de la Garde. – EL

In 1892 a funicular was built to reduce the effort of scaling the hill; it became known as the ascenseur or elevator. The base was at the lower end of Rue Dragon. The upper station led directly onto a footpath to the terrace beneath the basilica, leaving only a short climb to the level of the crypt at 162 m (531 ft). Construction took two years.

The funicular consisted of two cabins each weighing 13 tons when empty, circulating on parallel cogged tracks. The movement was powered by a “hydraulic balance” system: each cabin, in addition to its two floors capable of holding fifty passengers total, was equipped with a 12 cubic meter tank of water. The cabins were linked by a cable; the tank of the descending cabin was filled with water and that of the ascending cabin emptied. This ballasting started the system moving. The vertical distance between the two stations was 84 m (276 ft). The water collected at the foot of the apparatus at the end of each trip was brought back to the top with a 25-horsepower pump—true horsepower, because the pump was powered by steam. Travel time was two minutes, but filling the upper tank took more than ten minutes, forcing waits between departures, in spite of often considerable crowds. The last adventure after the ascent was crossing the 100-meter footbridge up the steep slope. Built by Gustave Eiffel, the footbridge was only 5 metres (16 ft) wide and very exposed to the mistral winds.
Wikipedia: Notre-Dame de la Garde

Village entrance, Èze, France


EZE. – Entrée du Village. – Entrance of the Village. – LL

Publisher: Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932). Image might be earlier.

Google Street View

Today, Eze retains an aura of a town eternally under siege. There is still only a single entrance to the walled portion of the village. Visitors who approach the now doorless postern gate come eye to eye with a gun port. Once through the gate, they enter a small clearing ringed by high walls, from which it is easy to imagine spears, rocks and boiling oil being flung. Another arched opening, almost a tunnel, must be broached before entering La Placette, a small square that is the town’s largest open space save for the clearing in front of the church.
Paris Voice

Palace of Versailles: Gardens

Palace postcards
Grand Trianon postcards


Versailles. – Ensemble du Château. Parterre d’Eau, un Dimanche de Grandes Eaux
c.1910

Situated above the Latona Fountain is the terrace of the château, known as the Parterre d’Eau. Forming a transitional element from the château to the gardens below and placed on the north-south axis of the gardens, the Parterre d’Eau provided a setting in which the imagery and symbolism of the decors of the grands appartements synthesized with the iconography of the gardens. In 1664, Louis XIV commissioned a series of statues intended to decorate the water feature of the Parterre d’Eau. The Grande Commande, as the commission is known, comprised twenty-four statues of the classic quaternities and four additional statues depicting abductions from the classic past.
Wikipedia

Read morePalace of Versailles: Gardens

Palace of Versailles: Grand Trianon

Palace postcards
Garden postcards


Versailles. – Palais du Grand Trianon

Street view.
Floor plan 1714-5

The Grand Trianon was erected by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1687 on the site of the former ‘Porcelain Trianon’. Commissioned by Louis XIV in 1670 to get away from the arduous pomp of life in the court and to pursue his affair with Madame de Montespan, the Grand Trianon is perhaps the most refined architectural ensemble found on the royal estate of Versailles.
Website.

The Grand Trianon is a château (palace) situated in the northwestern part of the Domain of Versailles. It was built at the request of King Louis XIV of France (r. 1643–1715), as a retreat for himself and his maîtresse en titre of the time, the Marquise de Montespan (1640–1707), and as a place where he and invited guests could take light meals (collations) away from the strict étiquette of the Court.
Wikipedia.

Read morePalace of Versailles: Grand Trianon

Regatta Palace, Sainte-Adresse


SAINTE-ADRESSE. — Le Palais des Régates. — LL
Published Levy & Sons, 1907-1919

Street View (overview)

The Palais des Régates at Sainte-Adresse belongs to the Société des Régates du Havre (Le Havre Regatta Society)
1906 The Palais des Régates built by Georges Dufayel, and opened 1907
1940-42 During WW II, the Palais was used as a hospital. It was hit by a bomb that destroyed the observatory and windows. In 1942, the building was destroyed by Gaermans as it blocked the fire of their coastal batteries and made them too easy to find.
1957 New Palais opened
From Palais des Regates via Way Back Machine

…the Société des Régates du Havre yacht club has known moments of great glory, including the election of the future President of the Republic, Felix Faure, as its commodore and, again, its participation in the organisation of the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympic Games; but has also known the effects of the ‘down’ side of history, with the destruction of the lavish Palais des Régates clubhouse in Sainte-Adresse in 1942, during the second world war.
Société des Régates: the history of the club

Arena of Nimes, France


NIMES. — Vie intérieure des Arenes. — ND
Published by  Levy & Neurdein, 1920s

Street View

The Amphitheatre of Nîmes is a perfect illustration of the degree of perfection attained by Roman engineers in designing and constructing this type of extremely complex building. It demonstrates perfect symmetry: oval-shaped, it measures 133 metres long and 101 metres wide, with an arena of 68 by 38 metres. 21 metres high, its exterior façade comprises two floors of 60 superimposed arches and an attic, separated by a cornice. At the top, pre-drilled stones were positioned to overhang so that long poles could be hung over the arena. A huge canvas canopy was then attached to these poles, thereby providing protection for the spectators against the sun and bad weather. Originally, all the arcades on the ground floor were open to act as entrances or exits. There are certainly bigger Roman amphitheatres, but this one is the best preserved of all of them.

In Roman times, the monument could hold 24,000 spectators spread over 34 rows of terraces divided into four separate areas or maeniana. Each was accessed via a gallery and hundred of stairwells and passages called vomitories. This clever arrangement meant that there was no risk of bottlenecks when the spectators flooded in. The amphitheatre was designed so that everyone had an unrestricted view of the whole arena. Several galleries were located beneath the arena, and were accessed by trap doors and a hoist-lift system. As a result, the decorative effects, animals and gladiators could access the arena during the games.
Amphitheatre Of Nîmes, Maison Carrée, Tour Magne (official website)

In the sixth century, under the Visigoths, Nimes Arena began to play a military role. Transformed from a sports arena to a castle fortress or “castrum arena” complete with a moat, Nimes Arena was a sort of emergency shelter of the people of the town in the event of attack.

Nimes Arena would go on to play an even more elaborate role in the twelfth century when it became the seat of the viscounty of Nimes and home to a chateau. In the eighteenth century, this went even further with the establishment of a whole 700-strong village within its walls. It was only in 1786 that Nimes Arena began to be restored to its original grandeur.
Trip Historic

Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the arena was transformed into a fortress by the Visigoths. Many invasions ensued and threatened the security of the people of Nîmes who decided to take refuge in the amphitheatre, which was easy to defend. In the Middle Ages, the edifice became a veritable fortified village with wells, houses, two churches and even a castle, all of which Existed up to the 18th century. The place became insalubrious and in 1786, as part of a city rehabilitation project, the destruction of the houses and restoration of the amphitheatre was decreed. The first phase of the works was interrupted during the revolutionary period to be resumed during the Second Empire. In 1813, the Prefect of the Gard authorized the first bull races and the arena was soon able to return to its original function. The first Spanish running of the bulls took place in 1863.
Avignon & Provence.com

Palace of Fontainebleau, France


Palais de FONTAINEBLEAU – Cour des Adieux.

Google Street View.

Official Website
Media Center for Art History (panorama views of rooms)
17th century plan

Used by the kings of France from the 12th century, the hunting lodge of Fontainebleau, standing in the heart of the vast forest of the Ile-de-France in the Seine-et-Marne region, was transformed, enlarged and embellished in the 16th century by King François I, who wanted to make it a “new Rome”. Surrounded by an immense park, the palace, to which notable Italian artists contributed, combines Renaissance and French artistic traditions. The need to expand and decorate this immense palace created the conditions for the survival of a true artistic centre.

The construction of the palace began in 1528. The modifications undertaken later by François I’s successors and carried out on different scales until the 19th century have left their imprint on the physionomy of the present complex, which today comprises five courtyards placed in an irregular manner and surrounded by an ensemble of buildings and gardens.
UNESCO World Heritage listing


FONTAINEBLEAU — Le Palais. Perspective du Chateau et de l’Etang
Published Levy & Neurdein Reunis, 1920s

Google Street View.

PALAIS DE FONTAINEBLEAU
Pavillon Louis XV – Entrée du Musée Chinois et l’Étang aux Carpes
Louis XV Pavilion – Entrance to the Chinese Museum and the carps pond.
Published by Musées Nationaux

Read morePalace of Fontainebleau, France