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