Lange Max, Koekelare, Belgium


Pièce du Leugenboom à Moere
Chariot pour transport de munitions de l’abri à la pièce
(Cart for transporting ammunition from storage to the gun.)
On back:
Service des Sites de la Guerre 1914-18
Vendu au profit des Œuvres des Invalides et Orphelins de la Guerre
c.1920
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)

Google Street View.

Lange Max Museum
Memories of the Great War: Leugenboom’s Lange Max (in French)

Batterie Pommern, also known as Lange Max, was the world’s biggest gun in 1917, during World War I. The German gun was of type 38 cm SK L/45 “Max” and had a modified design by Krupp compared to earlier German 38 cm gun types. The modification allowed the gun to shoot from Koekelare to Dunkirk, which is about 50 km away.

Batterie Pommern is located in Koekelare in the neighborhood called Leugenboom. It is part of Site Lange Max, next to the Lange Max Museum. Today, the immense artillery platform can still be visited.

The 15inch (38 cm) long range gun, protected by armour, was mounted on a steel bridge having a pivot in front. The rear part of the gun travelled along a circular rail-track in a concrete pit of about 70 feet in diameter. The gun was manoeuvred by means of electric motors. On either side were large shelters in reinforced concrete. In front of and below the platform there was an electric generator group. A large shelter of reinforced concrete on the right was probably the Post of Commandment. There was a dummy gun emplacement further on.
Wikipedia.

Hotel Lamartine, Amiens, France


1920-1940

No caption or other information. Probably a photo turned into a postcard.

Google Street View.

Over the door it says “G. Edwards/Late Australian Forces”.

A SOUTH AUSSIE’S WEDDING IN AMIENS CATHEDRAL.
A correspondent wrote to The Register from Amiens, in France, on April 12:— “In the thousands of homes in Australia represented by gallant sons the name of the city of Amiens is a household and historic memory, as well as the famous and noble cathedral which adorns it. The sons of Australia in the main were responsible for preventing the city from failing into the hands of the Germans, and thus they conserved for France and the Somme area a treasure of art and sentiment dear to the French nation. Following upon the Australians’ attack of August 8–just a week later–a memorable thanksgiving service was held in the holy edifice. This service was conducted from an improvised altar, which was draped with the Australian flag, at a later date dedicated and hung in the chancel.

This morning one of the most historic ceremonies ever performed in the cathedral took place, when Madamoselle Ernestine Sueur, of the Hotel Lamartine, Amiens, was united in the holy bonds of matrimony to Dvr. George Edwards, A.I.F., son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Edwards, Stanley Hotel. Clare, South Australia. By order of the holy dignataries of the cathedral the flag of Australia was temporarily removed from the chancel to the altar, at which the ceremony was performed, as a tribute to the Australian soldier, and the memory of Australia’s many gallant deeds. There were a large number of guests present, and the crowds of visitors thronged the cathedral to witness the memorable event, for Dvr. Edwards was the first British soldier to be married within the confines of the aged, sacred, and stately Gothic pile. Among the guests present were Mr. Russell Rayson, of Melbourne, and Capt. G. Bassett, base cashier for the British armies in France. Capt. Bassett, speaking at the sumptuous wedding breakfast, declared that it was the proudest moment of his life to be present at a digger’s wedding
The Register (Adelaide), 20 May 1920

Read moreHotel Lamartine, Amiens, France

Snake Charmer, Tangier, Morocco


TANGER L’arabe a la couleuvre
c.1910
Published: A. Benzaquen, Tangier

I thought this might just be a man with a snake, but the round thing behind the child looks like a bendir (frame drum) commonly seem in photos of Moroccan snake charmers.

Snake charmers
From Wikipedia Commons.

Turns out that Mohamed makes his living as a snake charmer. Never having met a snake charmer, we decided to hang around awhile in hopes of seeing him in action. The key, he said, is looking in a location with a lot of rat holes because the snakes hunt rats. Snake hunters dig into the rat holes hoping to find a Goldilocks Snake sniffing around the rat house.
Secrets of a Moroccan Snake Charmer

The Snake Charmers of Marrakech

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.

Native Boats, Kolkata, India


View of Native Boats on Hooghly, Calcutta
c.1910

Wikipedia Commons: Boats in West Bengal

“I was born on the banks of the Madhumati (a river in present-day Bangladesh),” said Biswas. “I am familiar with all the rivers of East Bengal. My father was a merchant and we used to own boats. As a child, I have seen boat races in East Bengal. If we were to step back in time by only a hundred years, in Bengal, for transport, for business, there was no option other than boats. You will find the term ‘nou-sadhan’ in many texts about Bengal.”

“This is riverine country,” said Biswas. “What we know and think of as Bengal is actually a large river delta.” Bhattacharyya explained further: “You will find different kinds of rivers in Bengal, from the shallow, rapid streams of North Bengal, to the Hooghly of Kolkata, with its slow and stately gait.”You will find different kinds of rivers in Bengal, from the shallow, rapid streams of North Bengal, to the Hooghly of Kolkata, with its slow and stately gait.” Each kind of river demands a specific boat. “If I were to go to a boat-maker today and ask him to make me a boat, the first question he would ask me is, on what river would the boat operate,” said Bhattacharyya. The dinghy, commonly seen at the ghats of Kolkata, works fine in the waters of the Hooghly, whose current is weak. “But it would be useless in North Bengal because a dinghy cannot travel against the current due to its shape.”
Quartz India: Inside a boat museum preserving eastern India’s disappearing river traditions

Oil Wells, Summerland, California


Oil wells in the sea, Summerland, near Satan Barbara, Calif
Postmarked 1924
Publisher: Western Publishing & Novelty Co., Los Angeles.

General location.

The Summerland Oil Field (and Summerland Offshore Oil Field) is an inactive oil field in Santa Barbara County, California, about four miles (6 km) east of the city of Santa Barbara, within and next to the unincorporated community of Summerland. First developed in the 1890s, and richly productive in the early 20th century, the Summerland Oil Field was the location of the world’s first offshore oil wells, drilled from piers in 1896. This field, which was the first significant field to be developed in Santa Barbara County, produced 3.18 million of barrels of oil during its 50-year lifespan, finally being abandoned in 1939-40.
Wikipedia

In California, Henry Williams by 1897 had successfully pursued the giant Summerland oilfield to the scenic cliff side beaches of Santa Barbara. With reports of “tar balls” on the beaches from natural offshore oil seeps, Williams recognized that the highly productive field extended into the Pacific Ocean. He and his associates constructed a 300 foot pier, mounted a cable-tool derrick, and began drilling. When California’s first offshore oil well proved successful, more than 20 petroleum companies rushed to Santa Barbara. They constructed 14 more piers, the longest extending 1,230 feet. Over the next five years more than 400 Summerland offshore wells were drilled.
American Oil & Gas Historical Society

Turkish Cemetery, Marsa, Malta


Malta – Iruhs Cemetry
c.1917

Google Street View.

A piece of land in the Ta’ Sammat area of Marsa was chosen as the new location in 1871. The new cemetery was commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz, and it was constructed between 1873 and 1874. Construction took over six months to complete. It was designed by the Maltese architect Emanuele Luigi Galizia, who designed many other buildings in a range of contrasting styles, including the mixed-denomination Ta’ Braxia Cemetery and the Catholic Addolorata Cemetery. The outcome and reception of the later was pertinent for the appointment of Galizia as the architect of the Turkish Military Cemetery. The design for the project was unique in Maltese architecture at that point. Galizia was awarded the Order of the Medjidie by the Ottoman sultan for designing the Turkish cemetery, and thus was made a Knight of that order. At the end of the 19th century the cemetery became a landmark by its own due to its picturesque architecture. On the turn of the 20th century it became an obligation to acquire a permission from the Health Department for each burial within the cemetery for sanitary purposes.

Due to the absence of a mosque at the time, the cemetery was generally used for Friday prayers until the construction of a mosque in Paola. The small mosque at the cemetery was intended to be used for prayers during an occasional burial ceremony, but the building and the courtyard of the cemetery became frequently used as the only public prayer site for Muslims until the early 1970s.
Wikipedia.

Galizia (1830-1906) needs little introduction in the local field of architecture. Apart from his revivalist affinities, this architect is acclaimed for his eclectic creativity which he acquired as his career progressed. Revivals and pseudo-styles were the norm around Europe. Galizia, who was a traveled man, took a great liking to this romantic movement and embodied it in some of his more famous commissions. The Addolorata Cemetery (almost complete by 1869) strategically set upon the Tal-_orr hillside is one such example. It stands as Galizia’s largest and most celebrated undertaking.

Just as civil works were nearing completion on this national necropolis, Galizia was engaged to design a more diminutive burial ground, this time for the Muslim community residing in Malta. His concept for this cemetery exploited the character of the brief he was given, together with his acquired tastes for exotic forms. Galizia went for Oriental-Islamic ornament with its typically intricate qualities. When on tour in England he most likely visited John Nash’s Royal Brighton Pavilion (1815-21). Again, this was a style very much in fashion in Britain and the colonies. Much of this inspiration came from India, back then regarded as the crowning glory of the British Empire.

The rectangular plot set in a relatively flat landscape was also opportune for the use of vertical members such as minarets with onion-shaped finials. As with the Addolorata, Galizia also introduced the use of architectural trees as part of the landscaping, this time for the Muslim setting using ubiquitous palm trees. The carved lace-like perimeter walls are pierced by a lofty, horseshoe arched gateway through which one enters the cemetery. The only rooms present are chambers in which funerary rituals were performed prior to interment.

The constrained geometry of the site seems to have inspired Galizia into designing the orthogonal layout of the burial ground, perhaps more akin with classical grammars. It is here that his inclinations towards a fusion of styles begin to manifest themselves. The result was a symmetrically apportioned garden-like necropolis interspaced with sober horizontal grave slabs and simply engraved tombstones. Galizia’s sensitivity towards landscaping is evident again in the presence of flowerbeds. During the spring the cemetery abounds with blossoms and flowers appropriately recalling the Muslim vision of paradise.
“The Muslim Cemetery at Marsa (1871-74)” in The Architect, (p.24)

Valletta, Malta


VALLETTA MALTA – Strada Marina
Dated on back: 15 February 1916

Google Street View

Many would find it hard to imagine Strada Marina more commonly known as ‘It-Telgħa ta’ Liesse’ as the commercial hub in the capital, as it had been dilapidated for decades. However, very soon, the street will be restored to its former glory as the Planning Authority has approved permits for restoration works.
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