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)

Soliman Pasha Square/Talaat Harb Square, Cairo


CAIRO. — Midan-Soliman Pasha. 

Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)
Now Talaat Harb Square. Google Maps.

In those days the celebrated café-theatre extended from its present location all the way to the Midan. Then like now, hardly anyone recalled that most of the area southeast of the square was where the garden palace of Mohammed-Ali Tewfik stood. But as buildings cropped up all over the place, the perimeter wall surrounding the garden no longer ensured the prince’s privacy. Thereupon he decided to purchase a large tract of land in Manial al-Rhoda where he erected his new neo-Islamic palace with its unique garden. Acquired by the Egyptian Land Company in 1904-5 the old palace was cleared and the land parceled out and sold in 1921-2 to Café Riche’s Greek owner Michel Politis. Thereon Politis established a garden theatre where Um Kalthum and other rising singers performed for paltry sums.

Fin de siècle tourists knew Midan Soliman Pasha well. To begin with it was home to the Savoy Hotel where titled lords and ladies stayed before it was transformed into British army headquarters during WW-1. Later Swiss hospitality Czar Charles Albert Baehler would pull down the Savoy in 1924-5 replacing it in 1929-30 by two blocks of handsome apartment flats.
Soliaman Pasha Square

Although a remnant of its former ‘Paris on the Nile’ 19th century grace, the Midan Talaat, or Talaat Square, at the street’s intersection with Qasr el-Nil Street is circled with buildings having the strong elegance of French neoclassical architecture from the Soliman Pasha era, and were once the locations of some of Cairo’s most popular and successful shops and services.
Wikipedia: Talaat Harb Street

Port Tawfiq, Suez, Egypt


Port Tewfiek. – General View

Published: B Livadas & Coutsicos


Suez: Avenue du terre plein

Published: Cairo Postcard Trust


SUEZ. – Helene Street. –LL
c.1910

I have two copies this card with identical pictures (except one is more faded). One published by Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919) and published by Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932).

Statue of Lieutenant Thomas Waghorn

Pantheon, Rome


ROMA – Pantheon

No date or publisher information, c.1910

Street view

Unofficial website
Webcam (Piazza della Rotonda)
Media Centre for Art History: panoramas & photos of details

The Pantheon, from Greek Πάνθειον Pantheion, “[temple] of all the gods”) is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). It was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. Its date of construction is uncertain, because Hadrian chose not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa’s older temple, which had burned down. The building is cylindrical with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43 metres (142 ft). It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history and, since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been in use as a church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs” but informally known as “Santa Maria Rotonda”
Wikipedia.

The purpose of the building is not known for certain but the name, porch and pediment decoration suggest a temple of some sort. However, no cult is known to all of the gods and so the Pantheon may have been designed as a place where the emperor could make public appearances in a setting which reminded onlookers of his divine status, equal with the other gods of the Roman pantheon and his deified emperor predecessors. We are told, for example, by Pliny, the 1st century CE Roman author, that there were once statues of Venus (wearing a pearl once owned by Cleopatra), Mars, and Julius Caesar inside the Pantheon.
Ancient History