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

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

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

Temple of Love, Petit Trianon, Versailles, France

Master post for Versailles


VERSAILLES. — Hameau de Marie-Antoinette – Le Temple de l’Amour
Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet – The Temple of Love.
Only publisher details: Editions d’Art “LYS”, Versailles, 9 Rue Colbert

This Temple of Love, which Marie-Antoinette could see from her room in the Petit Trianon, was erected by Richard Mique in 1778 in a neo-classical style. Fully decorated in marble, this precious building is especially remarkable for the quality of the sculptures by Deschamps which ornament the Corinthian capitals, the friezes and the inside of the dome.
Chateau of Versailles


 Le Temple de l’Amour — Temple of Love
Publisher: E. Papeghin, Paris


On back:
VERSAILLES (S.-et-O.)
416- Trianaon – Le Temple de l’Amour

Postmarked: 1955
Only publisher details: Editions d’Art A.P., 11 Rue Colbert, Versailles