Canal, Bruges


Bruges — Qual du Pont de la Clef
c.1920
Publisher: Enrest Thill

Google Street View.

Sleutelbrug (Key Bridge)
Music lovers, go and visit this ancient bridge dating as far back as the year 1331. The ‘key’ in the name does not refer to the treble clef, but to the 15th-century brewery ‘De Sleutels’ (The Keys). This was located more or less where the hotel ‘Monsieur Ernest’ now is. However, it is the Speelmanskapel (Minstrels Guild’s Chapel) that plays first fiddle here. ‘Speelman’ is another word for minstrel or medieval musician. The Bruges musicians were united in a guild and came together in this chapel, one of the city’s last preserved guild chapels. Only they, and no one else, were allowed to officiate at weddings and celebrations in Bruges. Really nice people. Smart, too. The Sleutelbrug is somewhat hidden, but still close to the lively ‘t Zand Square with the Concertgebouw, Bruges’ contemporary music temple.

Visit Bruges

Budapest, Hungary


BUDAPEST. — Letkep. –  Totalansicht.
[Budapet – View]
Dated 1913

Google Street View (approximate).

The 19th century was dominated by the Hungarian struggle for independence and modernisation. The national insurrection against the Habsburgs began in the Hungarian capital in 1848 and was defeated one and a half years later, with the help of the Russian Empire. 1867 was the year of Reconciliation that brought about the birth of Austria-Hungary. This made Budapest the twin capital of a dual monarchy. It was this compromise which opened the second great phase of development in the history of Budapest, lasting until World War I. In 1849 the Chain Bridge linking Buda with Pest was opened as the first permanent bridge across the Danube and in 1873 Buda and Pest were officially merged with the third part, Óbuda (Old Buda), thus creating the new metropolis of Budapest. The dynamic Pest grew into the country’s administrative, political, economic, trade and cultural hub. Ethnic Hungarians overtook Germans in the second half of the 19th century due to mass migration from the overpopulated rural Transdanubia and Great Hungarian Plain. Between 1851 and 1910 the proportion of Hungarians increased from 35.6% to 85.9%, Hungarian became the dominant language, and German was crowded out.
Wikipedia.

Ru aux Cailles, Troyes, France


TROYES (Aube)
Vue prise sur le Traversin du Pont des Cailles
Curieuse perspective de lavoirs et autres édicules d’aussi grande nécessité que les maisons riveraines tiennent suspendus sur un lit d’ean saumâtre
Vue
c.1910
Publisher: Ch. Granddidier, Troyes

View down canal running behind houses, with laundries and similar structures hanging over the water. The “Rû aux Cailles” ran behind houses along Rue Célestin Philbois and under a bridge (Pont des Cailles) on Rue St Jacques, from which this photo was taken. It is now filled in.

Google Street View (approximate location).

Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic


Marienbad
Blick von der Carolahöhe
[VIew from the Carolahöhe}
Postmarked: 1900
Publisher: “Conditorei Walter, Marienbad i. B”

Card is covered with sparkles, which show in scan as white patches

Location

The period between 1870 and 1914 was Mariánské Lázně’s heyday, reflected to this day in its numerous renovated Art Nouveau spa houses, hotels, colonnades and churches, designed by architects such as Friedrich Zickler, Josef Schaffer, Arnold Heymann and Josef Forberich. The spa parks were enlarged, and idyllic viewing points were created high above the town. In 1872, the railway line linking the town with Cheb, Vienna, Prague and Pilsen was opened and in 1898 the line to Karlovy Vary was completed. During this period, many more great names came to take the waters in Mariánské Lázně – these include Gustav Mahler, Friedrich Nietzsche, Franz Kafka, Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, Thomas Alva Edison, Pierre de Coubertin, King Edward VII of England, the Czar Nicholas II and Emperor Franz Joseph I.
The Official Tourist Website for Marianske Lazne

Although the town itself is only about two hundred years old, the locality has been inhabited much longer. The first written record dates back to 1273, when there was a village of Úšovice. The springs first appear in a document dating from 1341 where they are called “the Auschowitzer springs” belonging to the Teplá Abbey. It was only through the efforts of Josef Nehr, the abbey’s physician, who from 1779 until his death in 1820 worked hard to demonstrate the curative properties of the springs, that the waters began to be used for medicinal purposes. The place obtained its current name of Marienbad in 1808; became a watering-place in 1818, and received its charter as a town in 1868. . . . Then came a second period of growth, the town’s Golden Era. Between 1870 and 1914 many new hotels, colonnades and other buildings were constructed or rebuilt from older houses.
Wikipedia.


Mariánské Lázně Map, 1896, from Wikimedia Commons

The district of the healing Springs on the brook of Auschowitz is since 1197 possessed by the abbey of Teplá. The healing power of the Springs has been known since the XVIth century. In the year of 1528 there has been attempted to get the salt from the source of Ferdinand, but without success. The systematical use of the sources, healing and economic, has been established till about the end of the XVIIIth century, by the effort of dr. Nehr and the abbots of Teplá. The previous attempts were only ephemeral. The conditions of the flourish of the place have been created by the chemical analysis of the water by the eminent specialists who declared its healing power. In the first decades of the XIXth century the sources have been couvered by constructions that are partly to see still nowadays. The first establishements date from the year of 1781 and about 1820 there was here already a great many of houses. The healing factors are the spring of Ferdinand, the Well of the Cross, the Spring of Maria, of Caroline etc., the mud-baths, the production of the salt of Teplá and the transmission of the healing water. Moreover, the beauty of the surrounding country adds much to the renown of our watering-place.
Mariánské Lázně, Františkovy Lázně (1930), “volume XVI of the series Přírodní, umělecké a historické památnosti (English translation: Natural, artistic and historical sights).”

Verona Arena, Verona, Italy


Verona | Interno Dell’Anfiteatro
1900s
Publisher: Gustavo Modiano & Co, Milan

Google Street View.

The Verona Arena is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy built in 30 AD. It is still in use today and is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there. It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind. In ancient times, the arena’s capacity was nearly 30,000 people. . . . The building itself was built in AD 30 on a site which was then beyond the city walls. The ludi (shows and games) staged there were so famous that spectators came from many other places, often far away, to witness them.[citation needed] The amphitheatre could host more than 30,000 spectators in ancient times. The round facade of the building was originally composed of white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, but after a major earthquake in 1117, which almost completely destroyed the structure’s outer ring, except for the so-called “ala” (wing), the stone was quarried for re-use in other buildings. Nevertheless, it impressed medieval visitors to the city, one of whom considered it to have been a labyrinth, without ingress or egress.[1] Ciriaco d’Ancona was filled with admiration for the way it had been built and Giovanni Antonio Panteo’s civic panegyric De laudibus veronae, 1483, remarked that it struck the viewer as a construction that was more than human.
Wikipedia.


Amfitheater van Verona, Fratelli Alinari, c. 1880 – c. 1895 (from Rijksmuseum).

The Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, is the most renowned Veronese monument. Today the Arena is set in the historical centre and acts as a backdrop for Piazza. But once upon a time, when the Romans built it, the monument was located at the margins of the urban area, outside the circle of the walls. The Arena summarises in itself almost twenty centuries of local history. Through time, it has become the very symbol of the city. Its cult has far away roots, that go back to Carolingian humanism. The fame that the amphitheatre has enjoyed in the civic consciousness of the Veronese has gradually led the monument to increasingly assume the character of the very symbol of ancient nobility. From here the measures for its conservation and many deep restorations originate. The Arena has always served the special purpose of spectacular events. During Roman times, for example, it was used for spectacles of gladiator fighting. In Medieval times and until the mid eighteenths century, games and tournaments were common events at the Arena.
Verona.com


Amphitheatre at Verona, 1898 (from Wikimedia Commons)

The Verona Arena dates back to the I century, built during Augustus’ Empire. Its central area is composed by sand (hence the name Arena, which in Latin means sand). All around there are 45 big stone steps “bleachers”, which can contain 30.000 viewers. After the Roman period, the Arena hoted games, tournaments and celebrations, but also trials and public executions. In 1183 an earthquake destroyed the external order of arches that surrounded the Arena. Today only a small part of it still stands. The interior perimeter of 72 arches is in perfect conditions. During the Middle Ages legal disputes were resolved here: each defendant could choose a trial by combat (yes, like in Game of Thrones) using professional wrestlers. Even Dante witnessed one of these trials and mentioned it in his Inferno. In the nineteenth century the Verona Arena hosted mostly equestrianisms, races, gymnastics, comedies and tombola games. In 1805 Napoleon assisted a bullfighting and in 1857 Emperor Franz Joseph participated to a tombola game.
My Corner of Italy

Istana Mahkota – Sultan’s Palace, Klang, Malaysia


A photo printed as a postcard so no publisher details or caption
c.1940

Between 1903 and 1957 there existed an older palace on the same site [as the palace of the Sultan of Selangor], known as Istana Mahkota Puri. It was built in 1903 during the rule of Sultan Sir Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah, who was the fifth Sultan of Selangor, and the design closely resembles the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur. The Sultan went on to live in the palace for 35 years until his death in 1938. In the 1950s it was briefly used as a student dorm for nearby schools. The palace was demolished in October 1957 and soon replaced by the present-day structure.
Wikipedia.

…taking the reign as Sultan Alaeddin Suleiman Shah, the grandson of Sultan Abdul Samad informed the State Council that he preferred for his seat to be in Klang instead of Jugra or Kuala Lumpur. . . Sultan Alaeddin found Klang’s fort too cramped for a palace site and the existing Malay graves there wasn’t much of a pull to him either. A 25-acre area along Langat Road was deemed suitable. With that site in mind, plans for Klang’s new palace was announced in the papers in October 1898. However, as you know, land matters are not always straight forward and so a new location had to be agreed upon. It was only by March 1899 that a final site was selected on a hill overlooking Klang’s recreation ground.
. . .
Records reveal that two design concepts were proposed by the team, one in a Mughal-Eclectic style reflecting the design of the New Government Office that Hubback and Row had worked on earlier. The other was in European style. Sultan Alaeddin selected the former, but his choice was met with slight resistance from the Secretary General, Henry Conway Belfield, as it was twice the allocated budget, sending Spooner’s team back to the drawing board to revise their design and estimates.

The Klang Istana was officially named as Istana Mahkota. Sultan Alaeddin was formally installed as the 5th Sultan of Selangor at the Istana in November 1903. Construction works at the palace however did not stop then. He had earlier in May 1903 insisted for a building extension, for which an additional $10,000 budget was approved.
Arthur Benison Hubback


Palace of the sultan at Klang near Kuala Lumpur, c.1910 Wikimedia Commons

From behind the veil of the harem peered a curious face, a feminine face, as you might imagine! Strangers in the palace of the Sultan of Selangor are a novelty, and the lady was evidently as curious about us as we, I must admit, were about her. Was she one of the 72-year-old Sultan’s several wives? We wondered.

While the Kangaroo was at Port Swettenham it was my good fortune to be permitted to see the handsome palace of His Highness the Sultan of Selangor, a fine building set on the crest of a green sloped hill at Klang, five miles from Port Swettenham.

One can’t help feeling a little flattered as a handsome, bearded Sikh slopes his bayoneted rifle and salutes at the entrance to the palace. And the surprise of this martial courtesy is still on you as you cross the cool, fern laden verandahs and enter the throne room. Even a man cannot repress a gasp of wonder at this exhibition of Oriental color and pomp. Against a glittering background stands the Sultan’s throne, richly ornamented and brilliantly colorful. Flanking it are the seats for the Resident, the High Commissioner and other dignitaries, all their chairs being richly upholstered in a vivid gold satin. Standing on the marble floor, I glanced round this big, luxurious room, and it was then that my eye caught a shadow behind the veil that my smiling Malay guide informed me in his perfect English was the entrance to the harem. Theshadow took more definite shape, a feminine head peered round the edge of the veil. I almost winked.

The Sultan was not home that afternoon. From this beautiful room we looked through the dining hall (where the photos of the King and Queen of England are displayed on the walls), the sitting room, where the Sultan sits with his wives—-but not always all together-—and then strolled down the slope to see the finest mosque in all Malaya.
Mirror, 23 December 1933, p. 4

The Sultan, who succeeded his father, who died a few months ago, will be crowned In the old palace at his capital, Klang. The Government suggested that a new palace be built before the coronation, but this will be held up until the revenues of the State increase.
Truth, 4 December 1938, p. 21

Church & boulevard, Tallinn, Estonia


TALLINN. Kaarli pulestee. | REVAL. Karls-Promenade
Postmarked 1926.

Google Street View.

Charles’s Church (Estonian: Kaarli kirik) is a Lutheran church in Tallinn, Estonia, built 1862-1870 to plans by Otto Pius Hippius. It is Tallinn’s grandest 19th-century church. Tõnismägi hill has been the location of a chapel probably since the 14th century. In 1670, during the time of Swedish rule, the Swedish King Charles XI commissioned the construction of a church on the site, for the use of the Estonian and Finnish population of Tallinn (as opposed to the Baltic German population). The church was named after the king. In 1710, during the Great Northern War, this first wooden church was burnt down. In the 19th century, reconstruction plans were put forward. Donations of money were started in the 1850s, and the cornerstone of the new church was laid in 1862. The church, still incomplete, was inaugurated in 1870. The two towers on the west side were enlarged in 1882.
Wikipedia.

Kaarli Boulevard is a part of the circle boulevard surrounding the Old Town. It was constructed as a 2‑lane road in the early 19th century. Later on, after the completion of the Kaarli Church the boulevard was widened up to a 4‑lane esplanade and fenced in on the outsides by a low iron fence. In 1912 and after the trees were planted on two outer sides of the boulevard as well. Therefore, in some places the boulevard got 6 lanes, though, the majority of the outer trees have unfortunately become extinct by now due to the environmental pollution.
Tallinn

Viru street & gate, Tallinn, Estonia


Tallinn. Viru tänav
Postmarked 1926

Google Street View.

The Walls of Tallinn are the medieval defensive walls constructed around the city of Tallinn in Estonia. The first wall around Tallinn was ordered to be constructed by Margaret Sambiria in 1265 and for that reason, it was known as the Margaret Wall. This wall was less than 5 metres (16 ft) tall and about 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) thick at its base. Since that time it has been enlarged and strengthened. The walls and the many gates are still largely extant today. This is one of the reasons that Tallinn’s old town became a World Heritage Site. The walls were enlarged in the fourteenth century, and citizens of Tallinn were required to turn out for guard duty, which meant to wear their armour and demonstrate their readiness to face off invaders.
Wikipedia.

The barbican of Viru Gate was part of the defence system of the Tallinn city wall built in the 14th century. A couple of centuries later, it already had 8 gates that consisted of several towers and curtain walls connecting them. The main tower of a gate was always square and the barbicans were equipped with one or two small round towers. As the entrances to the Old Town were widened, several gates were demolished. The Viru Gate had to pay its dues to a horse-drawn tram route that connected the Old Market with Kadriorg. However, the corner towers were preserved.
Visit Estonia

At one point in time, there were a total of 45 towers built into the walls that protected Tallinn. Twenty-six of those still remain. Two of the best preserved of the bunch are called Viru Gate. The gate dates from the 14th Century, as do most of the towers, and sits at the entrance way into the Old Town. . . . The towers used to be the fore gates to the city, and a larger set was built a little further in, which were held up by a set of square towers. Most of the gate was pulled down in 1880, in order to make room for more street traffic.
GPSMyCity


Tallinn. Viru värav
Postmarked 1926

Gold Mine, Burtville, Australia


Gaston & King’s G.M. Burtville W.A.
1910s

Google Maps.

Burtville is an abandoned town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, located 29 kilometres (18 mi) south east of Laverton. In 1897, Gold was discovered in the area by two prospectors, B. Frost and J. Trugurtha. The surveyor, J. Rowe, planned the town lots in accordance with the Goldfields Act in 1901. The settlement was initially known as Merolia which is the Indigenous Australian name for the district. The town was eventually named after the grandson of the first chief justice of the Western Australian Supreme Court, Sir Archibald Burt. Archibald Edmund Burt JP was the chief mining warden of the Mount Margaret Goldfield.
. . .
The population of the town and district rose to approximately 400 by 1903 as a result of gold mining. The town also had a water supply from a government well and a sealed pan sanitation system. A police station was opened in 1903 along with a school and two hotels. A ten stamp state battery and five stamp battery known as The Burtville Ore Reduction works were operated within the town from 1903 to 1906. Another privately owned ten stamp battery that allowed public access known as The sons of Westralia was also operating at the time. By 1916 the population had reduced to 45 and the police station was closed.
Wikipedia.

The Nil Desperandum was the original lease pegged on the field by its discoverers Billy Frost and James Tregurtha . . . in 1897. They gave the Nil Desperandum away, and instead worked the Wanderer lease for two years, which turned out a low grade affair. . . . From 1905 to at least 1920, Thomas King and Herbert Gaston owned the mine. Both appear to come from Adelaide, or least had residences in Adelaide during the period. King took no active part in the mine, relying on a dozen telegrams a day from Gaston, detailing all aspects of operations. Gaston was a former Major at Southern Cross, the postmaster at Burtville, and also a Justice of the Peace, which carried the responsibilities of a law judge in the town. The following is enlightening:

“Probably the most interesting thing at Burtville is the administration of the law. This is dealt out at periods when policeman Manning musters up a sufficient number of derelicts to warrant a court, over which an affiable party named Gaston, being the only J.P. in the district, presides in a building about the size of a couple of horse boxes. No matter how heinous the offence, the penalty rarely goes beyond the limit of a half a crown fine”. The writer goes on to say Gaston has to put up with the dregs of Burtville in his court, loathes his J.P role, and escapes as soon as he can back to his mine.

Around 1912, Gaston began expanding the lease, with neighbouring Surprise, Away from Home, Away from Home South, Golden Bell North, Adelaide, and Bateman Hill leases acquired. Development took place at least on the last three, and were said to be joined underground to the Nil Desperandum. In 1922, Gleeson and party, Richards and party, and Smith and party are all operating on the lease.
mindat.org

Sir,— I am sorry to have to trouble you again with one of my letters, but this one is not a personal letter. It is one for the public. I went to Burtville on Sunday to see Messrs. Gaston and King’s mine, the Nil Desperandum. I will give you my opinion of it as it looks now. I may be wrong, but I will give it. Mr. Gaston, the manager, was very kind to me and showed me around. The dump for the battery to look at it one would pass it by, as it does not look any different from any other, but when you break the stone or lode matter you can see gold in most of it. The battery will tell, and if I am not mistaken it will astonish the mining world. We went down ladders for 50ft. Then 40ft. or 50ft. west is the golden belt. It is not a reef, nor is it a lode. I don’t know what to call it. It has been driven on for 56ft. and they are not through it. Mr. Gaston knocked down about 50lb. of stone at the end of the 56ft. which showed splendid fine gold. It may go on for 50ft. or 100ft. more. There are no signs of any large stones whatever. As it looks now it means wonderful discovery for the mining world. I think it will be worked by an open cut, as it may be 100ft. wide. If it turns out as it looks it means another Kalgoorlie. The formation is on the west side of the general working on the lease. The work done on the lease is a credit to the holders. There is nothing whatever to lead one to believe such a thing was below. There are no signs of a reef of any kind. The shaft was put down, and the drive put in for mining exploring, and the explorers got their reward, which they must be given great credit for. Mr. Gaston takes things very quietly; yet he must know what it means to him and to the public also. Of course no one can tell until it is opened up, but one thing is certain, and that is that it is not a rich patch only. — Yours, etc.,
F. H. HANN,
Nambrook, 17th September.
This letter is taken from the last issue of the “Laverton Mercury,” and the hope of the many, friends of Messrs. Gaston and King is that Mr. Hannwill prove to be a true prophet.
Coolgardie Miner, 4 October 1913