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

Memorial Well, Kanpur, India


Memorial Hall, Cawnpore

Postmarked 1911


Memorial Well, Cawnpore

“Photo by R.J. Divecha for S. B Varma & Co., Cawnpore”

The Massacre at Cawnpore.

The Indian Mutiny: The siege of Cawnpore (photos)

For the British, the butchering of seventy-three women and 124 children at Cawnpore in July was the single most traumatic episode of the uprisings of 1857 (figures given in David 254). When the rebels were defeated and the atrocity discovered, it provoked a dreadful and indiscriminate revenge, and continued to reverberate in the British consciousness for many years to come. The sympathy that it aroused found expression in a monument, originally raised over the well itself, displaying an angel with lowered eyes. This was guarded” by a stone screen reminiscent of church architecture – and thus of Christian civilisation in general. In this way, the monument as a whole served as a rebuke and a justification of empire as well as a memorial.
The Victorian Web: An Icon of Empire. The Angel at the Cawnpore Memorial, by Baron Marochetti (1805-1867)

After the revolt was suppressed, the British dismantled Bibighar. They raised a memorial railing and cross at the site of the well in which the bodies of the British women and children had been dumped. Meanwhile, the British forces conducted a punitive action under the lead of General Autrum by blowing down Nana Sahib’s palace in Bithoor with cannons, in which Indian women and children including Nana Sahib’s young daughter Mainavati were burned alive. Also, the inhabitants of Cawnpore were forced to pay £30,000 for the creation of the memorial as a ‘punishment’ for not coming to the aid of the British women and children in Bibighar. The Angel of the Resurrection was created by Baron Carlo Marochetti and completed in 1865. It has been called by various names throughout the centuries and came to be the most visited statue of British India. The chief proponent and private funder was Charlotte, Countess Canning, wife of the first Viceroy of India, Earl Canning. She approached her childhood friend, Marochetti, for models. In turn, Marochetti suggested that other sculptors be invited. Following the Countess’s death, Earl Canning took over the commission. Canning rejected a number of designs accepting, in the end, a version of Marochetti’s Crimean War memorial at Scutari, Turkey. The understated figure is an angel holding two branches of palm fronds across her chest. Despite assurances, ‘The Angel’ had some damage during the Independence celebrations of 1947 and she was later moved from her original site over the Bibi Ghar well to a garden at the side of All Soul’s Church, Kanpore (Kanpur Memorial Church).

The remains of a circular ridge of the well can still be seen at the Nana Rao Park, built after Indian independence. The British also erected the All Souls Memorial Church, in memory of the victims. An enclosed pavement outside the church marks the graves of over 70 British men captured and executed on 1 July 1857, four days after the Satichaura Ghat massacre. The marble Gothic screen with “mournful seraph” was transferred to the churchyard of the All Souls Church after Indian independence in 1947. The memorial to the British victims was replaced with a bust of Tatya Tope.
Wikipedia.

At the centre of the north Indian city of Kanpur sit fifty acres of urban green space. Surrounded by a brightly painted iron railing, this city-owned oasis within the bustling industrial metropolis is Nana Rao Park. Like many civic spaces, it contains a commemorative statue: in this case it is a likeness of the brilliant leader of Sepoy rebels during the 1857 uprising, Tantia Topi. This statue is relatively new, barely fifty years old; the park is much older, first laid out over 145 years ago. The statue is surrounded by four marble frogs, and stands overlooking a large, empty, sandstone circle. Without prior knowledge, a visitor to this park today, and indeed perhaps most of the current residents of the city, would have no inkling that the blank sandstone circle within this pleasant but otherwise non-descript civic oasis was once the most venerated locale of the British raj. Nano Rao Park was, before 1949, the Cawnpore Memorial Gardens, and the sandstone circle overlooked by the Tantia Topi statue is all that is now left of the memorial well monument, built on the site of the final resting place of over 125 British women and children killed in Cawnpore on 15 July 1857, amidst the upheaval of the 1857–58 “Mutiny.”
Angel of Empire: The Cawnpore Memorial Well as a British Site of Imperial Remembrance (behind paywall)

Egyptian Museum, Cairo


CAIRE Le Musée

Publisher: Cairo Postcard Trust

Google Street View.

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms. Built in 1901 by the Italian construction company Garozzo-Zaffarani to a design by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon, the edifice is one of the largest museums in the region.
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The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities. The Egyptian government established the museum built in 1835 near the Ezbekeyah Garden and later moved to the Cairo Citadel. In 1855, Archduke Maximilian of Austria was given all of the artifacts by the Egyptian government; these are now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

A new museum was established at Boulaq in 1858 in a former warehouse, following the foundation of the new Antiquities Department under the direction of Auguste Mariette. The building lay on the bank of the Nile River, and in 1878 it suffered significant damage in a flood of the Nile River. In 1891, the collections were moved to a former royal palace, in the Giza district of Cairo. They remained there until 1902 when they were moved, for the last time, to the current museum in Tahrir Square, built by the Italian company of Giuseppe Garozzo and Francesco Zaffrani to a design by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon.
Wikipedia.

The stick used to beat the Egyptian Museum most regularly, though, is visitor experience. In the past, it has been unfavorably compared to a store room, and there is no doubt that it charms and frustrates in equal measure. Visit during the day and dust dances in the shards of light that cascade down from the skylights in the central atrium, casting a heavenly glow upon the wonders below. Display cases are often antiques in themselves, and wandering among them transports visitors back to a time of mustachioed, pith-helmeted adventurers posing for sepia photographs with their finds before packing them up for display. Indeed, peer around certain corners and there are unopened wooden crates that look like they may well have been in situ since the turn of the 20th century, challenging you to imagine what wonders can be found inside and where they came from.
Daily Beast: Will This Be the End of the Legendary Egyptian Museum?

Supreme Council of Antiquities

Photos: Flickr Group

Soldiers Home, Quetta, Pakistan


Soldiers Home, QUETTA. Summer.
c.1910

Published: K.C Marrott

Elise Sandes (1861 – August 1934) was the founder of a welfare movement for soldiers that bears her name and still survives today. She was an evangelical Christian and philanthropist and her concern for a young soldier in Tralee in the late 1860s led her to set up a centre for soldiers’ recreation and general welfare. By 1913 there were thirty-one such ‘soldiers’ homes’ all situated in the vicinity of various army barracks; twenty-two were in Ireland and the rest in British India. It is widely regarded that Sandes Homes for Soldiers were very well run and filled a real need among young soldiers, often far from their families who were made to feel at home and not faced with the cold commercial atmosphere of the barracks canteen. Sandes believed that a good feminine influence met a real need where young soldiers were concerned, and the ‘homes’ were the only place where some of the young recruits could receive anything approaching motherly care.

Elise was well aware of the discomfort, loneliness and tedium of a soldier’s life in India – the awful boredom of barrack-room life between spells of repetitive drilling and rigid discipline. The soldiers found themselves cast into an environment where supplies and medical care was rudimentary and the dangers of cholera, dysentery and venereal disease was ever-present. She responded to military requests for homes to be set up there with the aim of drawing soldiers away from the wet canteens, opium dens and bazaar brothels to more wholesome recreations. Anna Ashe set up the first home in Rawalpindi, with £600 from a donor, and Theodora Schofield and Alice Bailey followed her lead by setting up additional homes in Murree, Quetta, Meerut, and Lucknow. Elise Sandes now resolved to establish a Sandes Home in every cantonment in India. By now she had become widely known as the Mother of the British Army owing to that special ‘Sandes’ dedication towards providing the much-needed care and attention that the young soldiers required. She coined the phrase ‘A Home From Home’ which summed up perfectly her vision of the kind of environment she strove to provide.

Wikipedia: Elise Sandes

I have very little recollection of anything particular which happened during these first weeks in Meerut but my real experience started in Quetta. My work in the Quetta Soldiers Home stands out in my mind as one of the most interesting phases of the work. I like Quetta. It stands about 5000 feet high and is very hot and dry in the summer and 45 degrees below zero in the winter.
Alice Bailey, The Unfinished Autobiography.

Lighthouse, Port Said


Port Said. Lighthouse
c. 1908

Published: Lichtenstern & Harari, Cairo

The Port Said Lighthouse is one of the most important architectural and tourist landmarks in the city of Port Said in Egypt. Considered a unique example for the evolution of architecture during the nineteenth century in the city, the lighthouse was designed by François Coignet at the request of the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, Ismail the Magnificent. Construction was completed in 1869, one week prior to the inauguration of the Suez Canal. The lighthouse was built to guide ships passing through the canal. The lighthouse has an octagonal shaped tower that is 56 m high.
Wikipedia.

Radiating history
Lighthouses of Egypt: Mediterranean Sea

Going all the way back to the construction of the Pharos of Alexandria in the 3rd century B.C.E., Egypt has long been a nation of naval innovation. The Port Said Lighthouse was the first building in the world created with reinforced concrete. Erected in 1869 by François Coignet, the lighthouse today is the longest-standing edifice in the city, and at 56 meters (184 feet) high, it’s considered an icon of Port Said because of its elegant design. The large sphere at the top was originally used to determine the power and direction of the wind.
AFAR: Port Said Lighthouse

Horticultural Hall, Audubon Park, New Orleans


Horticultural Hall, Audubon Park, New Orleands, LA
1907-1911
Published: The Rotograph Co, New York (In operation, 1904-11)

The nascent park accommodated a World’s Fair soon thereafter, the World Cotton Centennial of 1884. After the closing of the fair, the park’s development began in earnest. Most of the fair’s buildings were demolished, with the exception of Horticultural Hall – which remained in the park until destroyed in the 1915 New Orleans hurricane.
Wikipedia.

Street view, approximate location (hall stood between the end of the Alley of Oaks and the bandstand)

Bargello, Florence


FIRENSE – Cortile e scala del Bargello
Bargello courtyard & staircase

Official Website

The Bargello, also known as the Palazzo del Bargello, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, or Palazzo del Popolo (Palace of the People), is a former barracks and prison, now an art museum, in Florence, Italy. . . . The word bargello appears to come from the late Latin bargillus (from Gothic bargi and German burg), meaning “castle” or “fortified tower”. During the Italian Middle Ages it was the name given to a military captain in charge of keeping peace and justice (hence “Captain of justice”) during riots and uproars. In Florence he was usually hired from a foreign city to prevent any appearance of favoritism on the part of the Captain. The position could be compared with that of a current Chief of police. The name Bargello was extended to the building which was the office of the captain.
. . .
Construction began in 1255. The palace was built to house first the Capitano del Popolo and later, in 1261, the ‘podestà’, the highest magistrate of the Florence City Council. This Palazzo del Podestà, as it was originally called, is the oldest public building in Florence. This austere crenellated building served as model for the construction of the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1574, the Medici dispensed with the function of the Podestà and housed the bargello, the police chief of Florence, in this building, hence its name. It was employed as a prison; executions took place in the Bargello’s yard until they were abolished by Grand Duke Peter Leopold in 1786, but it remained the headquarters of the Florentine police until 1859. When Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor Peter Leopold was exiled, the makeshift Governor of Tuscany decided that the Bargello should no longer be a jail, and it then became a national museum.

Wikipedia.

TERMINOLOGY
The word “bargello” appears to derive from the late latin noun bargillus, meaning “castle” or “fortified tower“. Bargello was the title attributed to a military captain, precisely the “Captain of justice”, who from 1554, under Duke Cosimo I, made arrests, conducted interrogations, and carried out death sentences.

THE PALACE
The Bargello was used as a prison until 1786, when the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo abolished capital punishment. Consequently, from this time on, the Bargello no longer held executions. The Bargello next served as the headquarters of the Florentine police until 1859. When Pietro Leopoldo II was exiled, the makeshift Governor of Tuscany decided that the Bargello should no longer be a jail, thereby becoming a national museum. Construction of the palace began in 1255 when Lapo Tedesco, an Italian architect of the XIII century, incorporated the old palace, the tower of Boscoli, the property of an ancient Florentine family, as well as certain houses and towers belonging to the Badia Fiorentina. Subsequently, the palace was merged with a new building on Via dell’Acqua, and in 1295, its arcaded courtyard was created. Between 1340 and 1345, the famous Italian architect Neri di Fioravante added another story to the building. The Bargello was designed around an open courtyard with an external staircase leading to the second floor. An open well is located in the center of the courtyard.
Florence Inferno

The National Museum has its setting in one of the oldest buildings in Florence that dates back to 1255. Initially the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo (Captain of the People) and later of the Podestà, the palace became, in the sixteenth century, the residence of the Bargello that is of the head of the police (from which the palace takes its name) and was used as prison during the whole 18th century. Its walls witnessed important episodes of civic history. It was the meeting place of the Council of the Hundred in which Dante took part. It wituessed sieges, fires, executions, the most famous perhaps being that of Baroncelli, involved in the Pazzi plot against the Medici, which Leonardo also witnessed. During the 14th and 15th century, the palace was subjected to a series of alterations and additions, still preserving its harmonious severity, best seen in the beautiful courtyard, the balcony and the large hall on the first floor.

The building’s use as National Museum began in the mid-19th century. Today it is the setting for works of sculpture, mainly from the grand ducal colleotions, and for many examples of “minor” Gothic decorative arts.
Museums in Florence

The entrance of the museum gives access to the inner courtyard, where criminals were executed until 1786. The walls are decorated with coats of arms representing high ranking officials and city districts. . . . The staircase on the inner court leads to an arcaded gallery known as the Verone, where you’ll encounter a number of marble sculptures by GiamBologna, a Flemish artist who worked in Florence for most of his life.
A View on Cities

Guidhall (Palazzo dell’Arte della Lana), Florence


FIRENZE – Palazzo dell’Arte della Lana
c.1910

The Arte della Lana was the wool guild of Florence during the Late Middle Ages and in the Renaissance. It was one of the seven Arati Maggiori (“greater trades”) of Florence, separate from the Arti Minori (the “lesser trades”) and the Arti Mediane (the “middle trades”). The Arte della Lana dealt in woollen cloth and cooperated with the other corporations of bankers and merchants in administering the commune, both under the podestà and the Republic of Florence.

At the height of the industry the Arte della Lana directly employed 30.000 workers and indirectly about a third of Florence’s population, and produced 100,000 lengths of cloth annually. The Arte della Lana saw all the processes from the raw baled wool through the final cloth, woven at numerous looms scattered in domiciles throughout the city. Like other guilds, the Arte served only to coordinate the activities of its own members, who did not generally own the means of production or directly manage the processes. Its syndics ensured that quality standards were met and contracts were honored. The predecessor and until the mid-14th century the rival of the Arte della Lana was the powerful Arte di Calimala, a corporation of importers of raw cloth, who dyed and finished it.

The guildhall, the Palazzo dell’Arte della Lana, was completed in 1308, with an attached fortifiable tower-house. From its interior, where some 14th-century frescoes remain, a gallery designed by Bernardo Buontalenti links the palazzo with the church of Orsanmichele. The palazzo is now the seat of the Società Dantesca.
Wikipedia.

Wikimedia Commons: interior photos