Snake Charmer, Tangier, Morocco


TANGER L’arabe a la couleuvre
c.1910
Published: A. Benzaquen, Tangier

I thought this might just be a man with a snake, but the round thing behind the child looks like a bendir (frame drum) commonly seem in photos of Moroccan snake charmers.

Snake charmers
From Wikipedia Commons.

Turns out that Mohamed makes his living as a snake charmer. Never having met a snake charmer, we decided to hang around awhile in hopes of seeing him in action. The key, he said, is looking in a location with a lot of rat holes because the snakes hunt rats. Snake hunters dig into the rat holes hoping to find a Goldilocks Snake sniffing around the rat house.
Secrets of a Moroccan Snake Charmer

The Snake Charmers of Marrakech

Mitchell Park Zoo, Durban, South Africa


Mitchell Park Zoo, Durban
c.1910
Publisher: A. Rittenburg, Durban

Named after Sir Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell, the park was established in the early half of the century as an ostrich farm. That venture did not go as well as planned, so it was transformed into a zoo instead. Back then, a large variety of animals, including lions, leopards, crocodiles and many varieties of bird, occupied a large part of the zoo. The remainder consisted of beautifully landscaped gardens.
Mitchell Park Zoo

Bullring & Rock La Linea, Spain & Gibraltar


Rock from Linea Bullring, Gibraltar
Published: Benzaquen & Co, Gibraltar

The bull ring in La Línea de la Concepción, a town in the province of Cádiz at the southern edge of Spain, close to the British territory of Gibraltar, was opened in 1883.

The bull ring is said to be unusual in that it has an odd number of sides. With 49 sides it is however nearly circular and it also has eleven entrances. The building was designed by Adolfo del Castillo and built on the Plaza de Arenal. It is now one of the oldest buildings in the town. The bull ring was built between 1880 and 1883 in a typical Andalusian style just thirteen years after the municipality was established. The bull ring is said to be a centre for meeting people including those from the nearby peninsula of Gibraltar. This may account for its original capacity being 6,000 people despite the town’s population only being 5,000 at the time.

Wikipedia.

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