Parc Monceau, Paris


Parc Monceau
Postmarked 1908

Google Street View.

The Hector Berlioz Website (more old views of park)

When France’s royal family want an absurdist Anglo-Chinese garden filled with an architectural pastiche from around the globe, who dares say no? Parc Monceau was built in 1778 at the request of King Louis XVI’s cousin – the Duke of Chartres, Phillippe d’’Orléans – who dreamt of opening a park that would amaze and surprise all who passed through its gates by foregrounding his eclectic taste in landscape design and architecture. What resulted was a monumental act of public folly, albeit one that possessed a tender charm all its own.

Constructed with a distinct lack of care for either the epoch or people from which he was borrowing, Parc Monceau originally contained a Roman colonnade, a miniature Egyptian pyramid, a Tartar tent, a Dutch windmill, a water lily pond, an enchanted grotto, a temple of Mars, an Italian vineyard and numerous antique statues, all within arms’ reach of each other. At the time of its debut, the garden also featured servants in flamboyant dress and exotic animals like camels. Taken as a whole, none of it it made much sense, but that had never really been the Duke’s point; unlike the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale which was built to mimic foreign cultures for spectatorship, Parc Monceau was built as pure fantasy.
Atlas Obscura.

Parc Monceau had its beginning in 1769 when Louis Philippe, the duke of Chartres, who was also the cousin of Louis XVI and the father of King Louis-Philippe I and who would later become the Duc d’Orléans and be known as Philippe-Egalité, purchased a hectare of land on Boulevard de Courcelles. At this time he had architect Louis-Marie Colignon build a pavillion in the middle of a French-styled garden. During 1773-1778, he acquired twelve more surrounding hectares. He built on this property, with the designing help of painter Carmontelle, a windmill, a minaret, a pyramid, a Chinese pagoda, a Roman temple, a waterfall and the “Naumachie” which is a pond half-encircled by broken Corinthian columns. . . In 1793, the now Duc d’Orléans bought more of the surrounding properties and landscape architect Thomas Blaikie transformed the garden with trees and lawns into an English-styled garden. This was one of the first landscaped parks in Paris and it become a place of festivities.
Paris Walking Tours

After the monarchy was restored, the park was returned to the family of the Duke. During the Second Empire, the family sold lots within the park to real estate developers, who built luxurious town houses, reducing the size of the park by half. The remaining part of the park was purchased by the city of Paris in 1860. All that remained of the original folly was the water lily pond, the stream and the fantasy “tombs”, including the Egyptian pyramid.

In 1860, the park was purchased by the city, and in August 1861 Parc Monceau became the first new public park in Paris to be created by Baron Haussmann as part of the grand transformation of Paris begun by Emperor Louis Napoleon. Two main alleys were laid out from east to west and north to south, meeting in the center of the park, and the alleys within the park were widened and paved, so carriages could drive the park. An ornamental gate 8.3 m (27 ft) high was installed along a newly created avenue, boulevard Malesherbes, curving paths were laid out around the park for strolling. The pavillon de Chartres was also modified by the architect, Gabriel Davioud, who had a graceful classical dome added to the structure. He also built a bridge modeled after the Rialto bridge in Venice over the stream to replace the Chinese bridge by Carmontelle that had once been there. He preserved the other follies remaining from the original garden. Haussmann embellished the park with a rich collection of exotic trees and flowers from around the world.

The park is unusual in France due to its “English” style: its informal layout, curved walkways and randomly placed statues distinguish it from the more traditional, French-style garden. It includes a collection of scaled-down architectural features, or follies — including an Egyptian pyramid, a Chinese fort, a Dutch windmill, and Corinthian pillars. A number of these are masonic references, reflecting the fact that Philippe d’Orléans was a leading freemason. Parc Monceau includes statues of famous French figures including Guy de Maupassant, Frédéric Chopin, Charles Gounod, Ambroise Thomas, Alfred de Musset, and Edouard Pailleron.
Wikipedia.

Lake, St Leger Thermal Spa, Pougues-les-Eaux, France


Pougues-les-Eaux (Nièvre) – Le Lac
c.1910
Pubilsher: Thibault

A drive of a few minutes had landed us in the heart of this little Paradise, baths and Casino standing in the midst of park-like grounds. Apparently Pougues, that is to say, the Pougues-les-Eaux of later days, has been cut out of natural woodland, the Casino gardens and its surroundings being rich in forest trees of superb growth and great variety. The wealth of foliage gives this new fashionable little watering-place an enticingly rural appearance, nor is the attraction of water wholly wanting. . . . A pretty little lake, animated with swans, varies the woodland scenery, and tropical birds in an aviary lend brilliant bits of colour. The usual accessories of a health resort are, of course, here—reading room, concert hall, theatre, and other attractions, rapidly turning the place into a lesser Vichy. The number and magnificence of the hotels, the villas and cottages, that have sprung up on every side, bespeak the popularity of Pougues-les-Eaux, as it is now styled, the surname adding more dignity than harmoniousness.
“East of Paris: Sketches in the Gâtinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne”, Matilda Betham-Edwards (1902), p. 50

Pougues les Eaux is a town in the Center of France with a Spa and Gambling heritage. Although the Health Spa stopped in 1970, it was known for it’s miraculous water and gambling Casino since the renaissance.
Deserted Health Spa and Casino – Pougues les Eaux

Site is now Parc Saint Léger – Contemporary Art Center, which is here.

Suma Beach, Japan


The Beach, Suma ム望ナ山伏りョ演海浦の磨須

(Not sure on the transcription, it is hard to read in places. 須磨 is Suma.)

There is a white sandy beach in this ward, which attracts tourists to the Kansai region for sun bathing and popular events during the summer season. The same beach has appeared in the classic epics Genji monogatari, Heike monogatari, and Ise monogatari. Thus Suma is often referred as an utamakura or meisho, referenced frequently in waka poetry, Noh theatre, kabuki and jōruri.
Wikipedia.

“Suma, or Suma-no-Ura (4 M.), Shioya (6 M.), and Maiko (9 M.), all popular and attractive bathing-resorts W. of Kobe (main line of the Sanyo Rly., and the electric trolley), on the beautiful shore of the Inland Sea, possess fine shingly beaches (the delight of children), lovely sea views and a charm which has been the theme of native poets for ages. A day can be spent very pleasantly visiting the three places.
“…Many fishing-boats dot the placid waters, and long nets filled with silvery fish are often hauled up on the sandy shore [at Suma]. The sea-bathing is excellent and safe, with no heavy ground-swell or treacherous undertow.”
“Terry’s Japanese Empire”, T. Phillip Terry, 1914

Old Tokyo

There were three villages on this beach, Higashi-suma, Nishi-suma, and Hama-suma. None ofthese villages, however, seemed to have a distinctive local trade. According to an ancient poet, there used to be a great number of salt farms on the beach, but they must have gone out of existence years before. I saw small fish called kisugo spread on the sand to be dried. Some villagers–they hardly seemed professional fishermen–were guarding the fish against the crows that dived to grab them. Each had a bow and arrow in his hand. I wondered why these people still resorted to such a cruel means without the slightest sense of guilt, and thought of the bloody war that had taken place in the mountains at the back of the beach.
“Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and other travel sketches)”, Matsuo Basho, 17o2 (translated Nobuyuki Yuasa, 1966 Penguin Classics, p.88)

Niagara Falls, Canada & USA


General View of Falls from Canadian Side, Niagara Falls.
1920s

On back:
Niagara Falls is between Lakes Erie and Ontario, distant about twenty miles from Buffalo. Niagara River has a total fall of three hundred and thirty feet, in the thirty-six miles of its course as follows: The smaller Rapids above the Falls, fifteen feet; the principal waterfall, one hundred and sixty feet; the large Rapids below, fifty-five feet, and from the Falls to Lewiston, through the gorge, one hundred feet. The summer time clothes the margins of the the Falls with beautiful verdure, and it is then that they are visited by the largest number of tourists, drawn to this wonder spot from all countries of the world.


Horseshoe Falls from Goat Island by Illumination, Niagara Falls
c.1925

On back:
This new beauty of Niagara differs from the beauty that the Creator made working through inanimate life. For here He worked through the inventive genius of man, and gave Niagara a new glory that can be turned on and off at the mere pressing of a switch-button, throwing on the billion candle power batter of electric searchlight which floodlights the Falls, the batteries being hidden in the foliage work invisibly and in no way mare the scenery with the imprint of man’s hand. Nor does the conquest end here, for the searchlights of Niagara when sent upward into the sky may be seen for seventy five miles away.

Read moreNiagara Falls, Canada & USA

Niagara Falls, US & Canada


American Falls from Goat Island Niagara Falls
1900s
Souvenir Post card Co., New York & Berlin (1905-1915)

Known in the past as the premiere Honeymoon destination, this geological wonder is not only one of most popular tourist attractions in the state of New York, but also functions as one of the major power providers to the state itself. Comprised of three waterfalls — American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls — Niagara Falls water stems from the upper Great Lakes and the river is estimated to be 12,000 years old. The wonder of the falls has intrigued many and has prompted daredevils to “conquer” the falls in various contraptions from wooden barrels to rubber balls.

Niagara Falls consists of two waterfalls on the Niagara River, which marks the border between New York and Ontario, Canada: the American Falls, located on the American side of the border, and the Canadian or Horseshoe Falls located on the Canadian side. To the right of the American Falls is a smaller waterfall that has been separated from the American Falls by natural forces, which is usually called Bridal Veil Falls.
History.com


American Falls, view from Canadian Side, Niagara Falls, N.Y
Postmarked 1907
Publisher: Illustrated Post Card (1904-1914)

Read moreNiagara Falls, US & Canada

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

Suez Canal Company Offices, Port Said, Egypt

Street View


PORT SAID. Palais D’Administration du Canal
Might be postmarked 1906
Pubished: Lichtenstern & Harari, Cairo (1902-1912)


PORT-SAÏD. — Suez Canal Office. — LL
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)
On back:
PORT-SAÏD. — Bureaux de la Compagnie du Canal de Suez
Offices of the Suez Canal Company


PORT-SAÏD. — Suez Canal Office. — LL
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)
On back:
PORT-SAÏD. — Bureaux de la Compagnie du Canal de Suez
Offices of the Suez Canal Company

Mont Orgueil Castle, Jersey


Mont Orgueil Castle I — Jersey — Château du Mont Orgueil I
c.1910
Pictorial Stationary Co. (1897-1914)

Street View

Jersey Heritage: video tour

Mont Orgueil has been set onto its rocky outcrop above the town of Gorey since 1212. At the time, it was a state-of-the-art stronghold, and its construction was a matter of urgency. In 1204, Normandy – which lies just 17 miles to the east – had been seized by France, having been tied to the English crown since the Norman Conquest of 1066. What had been a friendly neighbour was suddenly the foe next door, and Mont Orgueil had a job to do, monitoring the Channel for any signs of enemy action. It never fell into French hands.

Although its soaring towers and sturdy walls were the best defence that money could build in the 13th century, by the 15th Mont Orgueil was obsolete, thanks to the hilly terrain which surrounds it – a landscape which left it open to cannon fire now that gunpowder had been invented.
The Telegraph: Five reasons why visiting Mont Orgueil in Jersey is a must

The castle is built on a rocky promontory facing the coast of Normandy and overlooking the Bay of Grouville. There are steep slopes and high cliffs on three sides giving an almost impregnable position. In 1204, King Philip of France took Normandy back but King John of England kept the administration of the islands. The Channel Islands became the front line between England and France and work began on Mont Orgueil under the Warden of the Isles, Hasculf du Suligny.

The site chosen had been used as a defensive place since the Iron Age and possibly as early as the Neolithic period. The earth rampart and ditch would have been degraded but would have provided a good start for the new fortress which was built on the rocky ridge. The shape of the stone buildings was determined by the narrowness of the ridge, with a hall being connected to two square towers by long passageways. Access to the hall was through an enclosed staircase. The area inside the ramparts below was further strengthened in 1224-5 when 1,000 tree trunks were sent to the islands from the New Forest to make palisades for the two new castles. In addition Jersey also received five cartloads of lead, the timber from 20 oak trees and 60 bags of nails to assist with the building.
The Island Wiki

Gatehouse Gazetter

Wikipedia