Lookout, Mount Royal, Montreal


MONTREAL.–La Terrasse d’Observatoire au Mont-Royal.
(The “look out” on Mount Royal.)

c.1920
Published: European Post Card Co, Montreal

Street View.

360 Cities (panorama)

Montréal had become an important industrial and commercial town with wealthy families, working-class neighbourhoods and a commercial port. In the midst of all this, the mountain. Always majestic, but already fragile. Many felt that the mountain should be preserved and offered to Montrealers as a place of nature, beauty and well-being in the form of a great park. In 1859, positions in favour of the creation of a park on Mount Royal became crystal-clear when a land owner cut down the trees on his vast Peel Street lot next to the mountain to sell as firewood. A decision fully supported by the community was then made: there would be a park on the mountain.

As of 1872, the City of Montréal undertook the necessary land purchases for the future park. In 1874, renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was commissioned to design the new park. On May 24, 1876, the official inauguration of Mount Royal Park drew a large crowd. Despite the lack of landscaping and notable departure from Olmsted’s initial design, one thing was clear—the park was set to become a very popular site.
Mount Royal in Montreal

The park contains two belvederes, the more prominent of which is the Kondiaronk Belvedere, a semicircular plaza with a Mount Royal Chalet overlooking Downtown Montreal. Built in 1906, it is named for the Petun chief Kondiaronk, whose influence led to the Great Peace of Montreal in 1701.
Wikipedia.

Gorges of Rhumel, Constantine, Algeria


CONSTANTINE. – Gorges du Rhummel. – Les Voutes Naturelles.
1910s
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

Google Street View (general location)

Constantine – a city not so much built as draped, clinging to ravines and peaks that soar above the river Rhumel (Malek Haddad, Algerian poet born in 1927 in Constantine). Once known as Cirta, the capital of the Kingdom of Numidia more than 2000 years ago, the city was given its current name in 313AD by Emperor Constantine the Great. While it was at the crossroads of civilisation for centuries, it remains an unknown city to many. Constantine is renowned for its topography – a mountainous setting rising 649m above sea level. Over millennia the Oued Rhumel (Rhumel River) has carved deep ravines and gorges through the landscape, leaving rocky outcrops on which the city is built and creating a natural fortress that was easy to defend. Bridges connect the peaks and outcrops, creating spectacular vistas where the buildings seem to merge with the cliffs.
ASA Cultural Tours

Caves of Bellamar, Matanzas, Cuba


Caves of Bellamar, Matanzas, Cuba
1900s (1900-1910)

Approximate location.

The impressive halls and galleries are filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, krastic crystals, underground stream, fountains, crystallized domes and some other unique limestone formations. Indigenous paintings and fossils have also been found here. The explored area is 3 km (1.9 mi) long and contains 28 rooms; the area open to visitors is about 1 km (0.6 mi) long.
Varadero Travel Guide

Cuba’s oldest tourist attraction, according to local propaganda, lies 5km southeast of Matanzas and is 300,000 years old. There are 2500m of caves here, discovered in 1861 by a Chinese workman in the employ of Don Manuel Santos Parga.
Lonely Planet

Bellamar Caves are located on the north coast of Cuba, about five miles from the center of the city of Matanzas. Once inside the beautiful cave the visitor can see the effect of time on the beautiful stalactites, stalagmites and other formations.
The Cuban History–A Gift of Nature: the Caves of Bellamar, Matanzas, Cuba

Sugarloaf Mountain from Powerscourt Estate, Co. Wicklow, Ireland


Sugarloaf Mountain from Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow
Postmarked 1914
Publisher: E. Lynch, Bray

Google Street View

The beautiful Italian Garden truly offers the best in garden landscaping and design. The garden was designed to create a view that was part of the wider landscape and the result is a magnificent vista in every season. The exquisite series of terraces linking the house to the lake were constructed between 1843 and 1867 and were quite a feat to complete! Up to 100 labourers were employed in the work which took 12 years to complete. The design of the upper stone terrace nearest the house was influenced by Villa Butera in Sicily and the steep streets of Genoa and other Italian towns.
Powerscourt Estate

Truro Cathedral, Truro, England


Truro Cathedral Pulpit, Lectern etc.
c. 1910
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

Google Street View.

Church of England Online Faculty System and Church Heritage Record

Truro was not the only candidate for the siting of a new cathedral. Lostwithiel had been the home of the Dukes of Cornwall; Launceston had once been the administrative capital of Cornwall, as had Bodmin. St. Germans, the site of the original see of Cornwall, also put forward a claim but was deemed to be too far east. The vicar of St Columb even offered his large church! Eventually, Truro was chosen, and St Mary’s parish church became the new cathedral. However, St Mary’s was never going to be large enough and planning started for a new cathedral. The leading architect John Loughborough Pearson, who had experience of cathedrals elsewhere, was commissioned to design the new Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Work began in 1880.

The project was ambitious. Truro would be the first Anglican cathedral to be built on a new site since Salisbury Cathedral in 1220. For over 650 years no one had attempted to emulate the great cathedral builders of the medieval era. As well as this, it was initially uncertain if there would be enough money to complete such a project. The construction of the cathedral actually took thirty years. Foundation stones were laid on 20th May 1880 by the Duke of Cornwall, later King Edward VII, and work started immediately. There was an eleven year pause for further fund-raising between 1887 and 1898, but when work re-commenced things went ahead well. The central tower was finished by 1905 and the building was completed with the opening of the two western towers in 1910.
Truro Cathedral

Pearson’s design combines the Early English style with certain French characteristics, chiefly spires and rose windows. Its resemblance to Lincoln Cathedral is not coincidental; Pearson had been appointed as Lincoln Cathedral’s architect and the first Bishop of Truro, Edward Benson, had previously been Canon Chancellor at Lincoln. The central tower and spire stands 250 feet (76 m) tall, while the western towers reach to 200 feet (61 m). Four kinds of stone were used: Mabe granite for the exterior, and St Stephen’s granite for the interior, with dressings and shafts of Bath and Polyphant stone. The spires and turret roofs are of stone, except for a copper spire over the bell tower at west end of St Mary’s Aisle. The other roofs are of slate. The cathedral is vaulted throughout. Nathaniel Hitch was responsible for the decorative sculpture, including the reredos.

The original south aisle of St Mary’s Church survives, incorporated into the south-east corner of the cathedral and known as St Mary’s Aisle. It still functions as the city centre’s parish church. Three brasses were described by Edwin Dunkin in 1882: those of Cuthbert Sydnam (1630), Thomas Hasell (1567) and George Fitzpen, rector of the parish. As the cathedral is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it has no Lady Chapel. A Jesus Chapel and the Chapel of Unity and Peace are reserved for quiet and prayer throughout the day.
Wikipedia.

Read moreTruro Cathedral, Truro, England

The Blue Grotto, Capri, Italy


On back:
CAPRI – Grotta Azzurra
Publishers: Trampetti & Migliaccio, Naples; c.1910

During Roman times, the grotto was used as the personal swimming hole of Emperor Tiberius as well as a marine temple. Tiberius moved from the Roman capital to the island of Capri in 27 AD. During Tiberius’ reign, the grotto was decorated with several statues as well as resting areas around the edge of the cave.

During the 18th century, the grotto was known to the locals as Gradola, after the nearby landing place of Gradola. It was avoided by sailors and islanders because it was said to be inhabited by witches and monsters. The grotto was then “rediscovered” by the public in 1826, with the visit of German writer August Kopisch and his friend Ernst Fries, who were taken to the grotto by local fisherman Angelo Ferraro.
Wikipedia

The Blue Grotto is 60 meters long by 25 meters wide. The clear blue waters below the boat are 150 meters deep. The unearthly blue light effect is caused by the refraction of daylight through the above water cave opening and a larger submerged opening. The acoustics inside the grotto are famously beautiful. At the back of the main cave, three connecting branches lead to the Sala dei Nomi, or “room of names”, named after the graffiti signatures left by visitors over the centuries. Two more passages lead deeper into the island, before it becomes inaccessible. For many years it was thought that the fissures at the back of the cave may have been ancient stairways leading up to the Emperor’s pleasure palaces, but it now seems that these are merely natural passages which narrow and then end, no palace in sight.

Three statues of the sea gods Neptune and Triton were recovered from the grotto floor in 1964 (now on display at a museum in Anacapri), and seven statue bases were found in 2009. The Roman historian Pliny the Elder described the statues in the grotto as “playing on a shell” – the position of the now missing arms of the Triton statue, usually depicted with a conch shell, indicate that these were the statues that he saw in the 1st century AD. Four more statues may yet be hidden in the sandy depths.
Atlas Obscura

Palace of Versailles: Gardens

Master post for Versailles


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


VERSAILLES. — Terrasse du Château (côté Jardin). — Terrace of the Castle (Garden side).
Only publisher details: Editions d’Art “LYS”, Versailles, 9 Rue Colbert

Read morePalace of Versailles: Gardens

The Organ Pipes, Gasparee Caves, Trinidad


The Organ Pipes, Gasparee Caves, Trinidad.

Published: Davidson and Todd Ltd, Port of Spain Spain
Photo: Briant
c.1920

Just fifteen minutes by boat from the mainland, Gaspar Grande (also known as Gasparee) is the most accessible of the islands. The eerie Gasparee Caves at Point Baleine – “Whale Point”, named after its former role as a whaling station – were once used by pirates to hide their booty; these days, the only thing that glitters are the walls and the huge, green-tinged stalactites and stalagmites. It’s also an excellent place to observe the fruit bats, which inhabit the caves and the many local species of bird, which congregate outside them.
Rough Guides

The terrain on the island is predominantly limestone. The caves were formed when water deposits of carbon dioxide dissolved the limestone into crystals of calcium carbonate. Over time, the accumulations of crystals create stalagmites, which extend downwards from the roof of the caves, and stalagmites which extend upwards from the ground. Those that stem all the way from the ceiling to the ground are called pillars. There’s a natural blue pond inside the cave formed by an underground source, it is about 10-20 feet deep.
Life in Trinidad & Tobago

Street View–approximate location

The Abbey Grotto, Gronant, Wales

The Abby Grotto. Gronant.

Publisher: Marimax Ltd, Colwyn Bay

Street View: Talacre Abbey

The next terrace contains the folly tower and grotto, both thought to be contemporary with the house (c. 1824). These can be reached by pathways just to the north-east of St Benedict’s Lodge or to the south-east of the house. The ruined folly tower is constructed of a mixture of brick and stone with a coating of mortar. In the basement floor are the remains of a shell room. A path leads around what appears to be the tumbled ruins of the tower, also of mortared stone and brick. The path continues around the pile of rubble, steps having been cut into the natural stone, and finally leads to the entrance of the grotto. This is built of the same material as the tower. It has several chambers connected by winding passageways. One of the chambers is open to the sky. Features include a (Mostyn) lion’s head with a hole for the mouth. A fire lit at the back of the hole could fill the ‘mouth’ with flame and smoke. There is also a cyclops, a ghostly figure delineated on a passage wall, and in the innermost chamber the headless life-sized figure of a seated monk.”
Archwilio.org