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.

Fitzgerald Bridge, Pune, India


The Bund Bridge. Poona

Google Maps

The Fitzgerald Bridge (also known as the Bund Garden Bridge) is an historic structure located in Pune, India. It was constructed in 1867 during the British India period. It was the first spandrel arch bridge in the city of Pune, connecting the Bund Garden to the Chima garden. The bridge crosses the Mula-Mutha River. It features a representation of a Medici lion at each end of the bridge. The bridge was designed and constructed by Captain Robert S. Sellon of the Royal Engineers. It was built for the sum of ₹ 2 lakh. The Bridge is named for the Governor of Bombay at the time, Sir William Robert Vesey Fitzgerald.
Wikipedia

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

Houses of Parliament, London


Houses of Parliament, London
c.1900

Street View

Website.

The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London, England.

Its name, which derives from the neighbouring Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building-complex destroyed by fire in 1834, or its replacement, the New Palace that stands today. The palace is owned by the monarch in right of the Crown and, for ceremonial purposes, retains its original status as a royal residence. Committees appointed by both houses manage the building and report to the Speaker of the House of Commons and to the Lord Speaker.
Wikipedia.

In the middle of the eleventh century, King Edward the Confessor had moved his court to the Palace of Westminster, situated on a central site near the river Thames. In 1265 a parliament was created with two houses: the Lords and the Commons. The House of Lords met at the Palace of Westminster while the House of Commons did not have a permanent location. After King Henry VIII moved his court to Whitehall Palace in 1530, the House of Lords continued to meet in Westminster. In 1547 the House of Commons also moved here, confirming Westminster as the central seat of government, a position it still holds today.

In 1834 a fire destroyed the Palace of Westminster, leaving only the Jewel Tower, the crypt and cloister of St. Stephens and Westminster Hall intact. After the fire, a competition was organized to create a new building for the two houses of parliament. A design by Sir Charles Barry and his assistant Augustus Welby Pugin was chosen from ninety-seven entries. They created a large but balanced complex in neo-Gothic style and incorporated the buildings that survived the fire. The whole complex was finished in 1870, more than thirty years after construction started. It includes the Clock Tower, Victoria Tower, House of Commons, House of Lords, Westminster Hall and the Lobbies.
A View on Cities


London.–House of Commons, c.1910