Floods, Paris


PARIS INONDÉ (janvier 1910). — Rue Saint-Charles (Grenelle)
[Paris flooded (January 1910). Saint Charles Street (Grenelle)]
c.1910

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FLOODS IN FRANCE
ALL QUARTERS AFFECTED.
PARIS STREETS SUBMERGED. WIDESPREAD DESTRUCTION.

LONDON, Jan. 23.
Several streets in Paris are flooded, and residents along the quays are using boats. Inundations at the electric power stations caused a partial interruption of the metropolitan and East Parisian tramway services. Floods in the valleys of the Rhone, Aube, Loire, and Meuse have resulted in enormous damage.

Jan. 24.

The Seine is 12ft above its normal height at this season of the year, and, owing to falls of snow and heavy rains, continues to rise. Parisians have become alarmed at the flooding of the underground railways. Three lines have ceased running owing to sections being submerged. There is also is a danger that the river will reach the level of the sewers. The bear pit in the Zoological Gardens is flooded, and many streets leading to the Seine are submerged.

Parliament has been asked to vote £80,00 for the relief of the victims. The Rhone has risen 13ft. Disasters are reported from many provincial districts.
Sydney Morning Herald, 25 January 1910

The present floods throughout a great part of France would appear to be unprecedented. Certainly the like have never been experienced Paris. Happily in the French capital the houses nowhere abut directly on the river banks which throughout the entire length are protected by broad embankments, otherwise the damage would assuredly be greater As it is 20,000 people have been given from their homes[?] in the low=lying districts bordering the river. The greatest hardships seem to have been felt in the south-eastern portion where the Seine, having received the waters of its tributary the Marne, enters the city with a width of 636ft[?] and begins its meandering course of seven miles through the heart of Paris.

No fewer than 30 bridges span the river within the city built and several of these have had to be closed to traffic owing to the flood waters having submerged the roadway. The terminals of the Lyons and Orleans railways on opposite banks of the river have, the cable tells us, suffered considerable damage. The Quai d’Austerlitz, a fine thoroughfare which skirts the latter station on the left bank has also been undermined by water. The loss in goods and merchandise generally along the quays of the Seine must be enormous and one can picture the scene presented as the swirling torrent carried everything before it.
Sydney Morning Herald, 29 January 1910 (Extract)

ALL CENTRAL PARIS SUBMERGED.

The cup of Parisian bitterness is not yet full. The excited crowds which lined the quays of Paris on Friday, and greeted with shouts of joy the discovery that the waters were receding, have seen their high hopes blasted, for the flood fiend only relaxed his clammy grip in order that he might grasp and lay waste a more extensive area of the city of pleasure. Further violent rains on Friday caused the Seine to rise higher than it has ever been before, with the result that a great part of the city along either bank is completely inundated.

If it were merely a matter of the river overflowing its banks, the situation would be grave enough, but unfortunately the choking of the drains and sewers has added unforeseen terrors to those already heaped upon the stricken residents. Streets and roadways have been burst open by the pressure of the waters, others have collapsed, cellars and basements have been invaded, gas and water pipes have been wrenched away, and other service mains dismantled. In hundreds of instances houses have been rendered uninhabitable; in others people have been imprisoned for days by the engulfing waters, and have had to fight for their lives with famished and desperate rats, and cry pleadingly from their windows for bread.
Sydney Morning Herald, 31 January 1910

THE PARIS FLOOD.
QUARTER, OF A MILLION IN DISTRESS.
RIVERS FALLING.
STRAIGHTENING THE SEINE DEMANDED BY THE PEOPLE.

LONDON, Jan. 30.
Seven thousand residents of Gennevilliers, 21 miles from the city wall, adjacent to the numerous Paris market gardens, have been rescued from the flood waters.
Parisians are demanding the straightening of the course of the Seine at whatever cost, like Peter the Great Canal, in the River Neva, which has served as an outlet for that river in time of floods. When the quays were built along the Seine the river bed was restricted in order to deepen the stream. This has largely caused the present disaster.

M. Millerand, Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, estimates that 8000 Parisians are homeless and foodless. Direct telegraphic and telephonic communication with London has practically ceased.

The Seine fell 5 inches on Saturday, and the Marne, Aube, and Alane 6 feet.
Sydney Morning Herald, 1 February 1910


INONDATIONS DE PARIS (Janvier 1910). — Pont de Solférino
[Flooding of Paris (January 1910). — Solferino Bridge]
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

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The passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor, formerly known as passerelle Solférino (or pont de Solférino), is a footbridge over the River Seine in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It is served by the Metro station Assemblée Nationale. For a century, a cast iron bridge inaugurated by Napoleon III in 1861 allowed vehicles to cross between quai Anatole-France and quai des Tuileries. Built by the engineers of the Pont des Invalides, Paul-Martin Gallocher de Lagalisserie and Jules Savarin, it was named after the June 1859 French victory of the Battle of Solferino. Having weakened over time (particularly due to barges crashing into it), it was demolished and replaced in 1961 with a steel footbridge.
Wikipedia.

Dungeon of the Château de Loches, Loches, France


41 — LOCHES (L-et-L.) — Donjon. Cachot du Duc d’Alençon
(Dungeon. Prison of the Duc d’Alençon.)
1920s
Published by  Levy & Neurdein

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The castle (sometimes also called simply “dungeon”) of Loches, in the eponymous commune of Indre-et-Loire, 40 km south-east of Tours, is a castle built in the eleventh century in the heart of a city royal which also includes a “home” (palace) and a collegiate. The whole city situated on a rocky outcrop is surrounded by a wall. The dungeon was built between 1013 and 1035 by the Count of Anjou Foulques Nerra. It resists several seats and over the centuries, is equipped with new elements: a curtain (XII), towers (XIII), a house for its governor (XIV), a round tower and a barbican (XV). The fortified building is composed of two parts: the large dungeon, rectangular in shape of about 25 by 14 meters, formerly adorned with a crown, and a fore-body adjoining its north face, called “little dungeon”. The thickness of the walls varies from 3.40 m at the base to 2.60 m at the summit. In the 15th century, the castle became a royal prison, a vocation that he kept until the Revolution, then changing into a prison from 1801 to 1926.
France-Voyage

John II of Alençon (Jean II d’Alençon) (2 March 1409 – 8 September 1476) was a French nobleman. He succeeded his father as Duke of Alençon and Count of Perche as a minor in 1415, after the latter’s death at the Battle of Agincourt. He is best known as a general in the Last Phase of the Hundred Years’ War and for his role as a comrade-in-arms of Joan of Arc.

John was discontented with the Treaty of Arras, having hoped to make good his poverty through the spoliation of the Burgundians. He fell out with Charles VII, and took part in a revolt in 1439–40, (the Praguerie) but was forgiven, having been a lifelong friend of the king. He took part in the invasion of Normandy in 1449, but he had unwisely entered into correspondence with the English since 1440. (He had also accepted the Order of the Golden Fleece at this time.) Shortly after testifying at the “rehabilitation trial” of Joan of Arc in 1456, he was arrested by Jean de Dunois and imprisoned at Aigues-Mortes. In 1458, he was convicted of lèse-majesté and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted and he was imprisoned at Loches. He was released by Louis XI upon terms at his accession in 1461, but he refused to keep them and was imprisoned again. He was tried a second time before the Parlement of Paris and sentenced to death again on 18 July 1474, and his Duchy was confiscated. However, the sentence was not carried out, and he died in prison in the Louvre in 1476.
Wikipedia.


LOCHES (L-et-L.) –Le Donjon – Sculptures dans le mur la Salle d’Armes
The Dungeon – Sculptures in the wall (Room of Arms)
1910s
Published: A. Papeghin, Paris-Tours (1900-1931)


Detailed plain of the chateau (from Wikimedia Commons)


Detailed view of the dungon (from Wikimedia Commons)

Langres, France


On back:
Les Petits Tableaux de Langres
Les Vieilees Rues. Rue du Grand-Cloître vude de la Porta Henri-IV
The old streets of Langres : the “Rue du Grand-Cloître” (large cloister street), seen from Henry the IVth gate

Publisher: “MONA, 28 Av. Victor-Emmanuel, Paris”

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On back:
Les Petits Tableaux de Langres
Les Vieilees Rues : La Rue CLaude-Gillot
The old streets of Langres : Claude-Gillot Street

Publisher: “MONA, 28 Av. Victor-Emmanuel, Paris”

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Acheux British Military Cemetery, France


ACHEUX
c.1918

The VIII Corps Collection Station was placed at Acheux in readiness for the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the graves of July, August and September 1916, in Row A and part of Row B, are the earliest in the cemetery. A few graves in Row B mark the period of eighteen months during which the field ambulances had moved eastwards and the cemetery was little used. The remaining graves cover the period April to August 1918, when the German offensives brought the Allied front line within 8 kilometres of Acheux. There are now 180 First World War burials in the cemetery.
Remembering the Fallen

The Acheux British Military Cemetery is a World War I military cemetery located in the French Commune of Acheux-en-Amiénois in the Somme Region. . . . In 1916 the VIII Corps field hospital prepared a collection station in preparation for the Somme Offensive. The first burials occurred in the period between July and August 1916. A small amount of burials then occurred in an 18 month period from August 1916 to early 1918. The remaining graves belonged to those who were killed between April and August 1918, a period in which the German Army had launched the Spring Offensive bringing the front line closer to Acheux-en-Amiénois.
Wikipedia

Dinan, France


Côte d’Emeraude | DINAN — Vue sur la Rance – Le Viaduc
(VIew of the Rance – The Viaduct)
Dated 1912

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Dinan is a walled Breton town and a commune in the Côtes-d’Armor department in northwestern France. . . . Its geographical setting is exceptional. Instead of nestling on the valley floor like Morlaix, most urban development has been on the hillside, overlooking the river Rance. The area alongside the River Rance is known as the port of Dinan and is connected to the town by the steep streets Rue Jerzual and its continuation outside the walls the Rue de Petit Fort.
Wikipedia.

For centuries Le Vieux Pont was the only bridge in Lanvallay. This magnificent stone bridge is in perfect state of maintenance and boasts superb views of the Rance and its banks. However, only pedestrians and light weight vehicles can use it. Indeed, by the early 19th century Le Vieux Pont was already too narrow and too weak to sustain constant and increasing traffic. A new bridge was needed. The first stone (grey granite) of the Viaduc de Lanvallay was therefore laid on September 3, 1846. It opened to traffic in 1852. Ten arches support the 250m long x 40m high viaduct which connects Lanvallay, on the hillside, to the wall city of Dinan on the opposite side.
Travel France Online

Roman Theatre, Orange, France


ORANGE. – Le Théâtre Romain.
Le Théâtre remonte au règne de l’Empereur Adrien, la Façade haute de 36 m. 82 sur une longueuer de 103 m. 15 et 4 mètres d’èpaisseur.
(The Roman Theatre
The Theater dates back to the reign of Emperor Adrian, the facade is 36 m high. 82 over a length of 103 m. 15 and 4 meters thick.)
1920s
Publisher: Levy & Neurdein Reunis, Paris (1920-1932)

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The Roman Theatre of Orange (French: Théâtre antique d’Orange) is a Roman theatre in Orange, Vaucluse, France. It was built early in the 1st century AD. . . . It is one of the best preserved of all Roman theatres, and served the Roman colony of Arausio (or, more specifically, Colonia Julia Firma Secundanorum Arausio: “the Julian colony of Arausio established by the soldiers of the second legion”) which was founded in 40 BC. Playing a major role in the life of the citizens, who spent a large part of their free time there, the theatre was seen by the Roman authorities not only as a means of spreading Roman culture to the colonies, but also as a way of distracting them from all political activities.

Mime, pantomime, poetry readings and the “attelana” (a kind of farce rather like the commedia dell’arte) were the dominant forms of entertainment, much of which lasted all day. For the common people, who were fond of spectacular effects, magnificent stage sets became very important, as was the use of stage machinery. The entertainment offered was open to all and free of charge.

As the Western Roman Empire declined during the 4th century, by which time Christianity had become the official religion, the theatre was closed by official edict in AD 391, since the Church opposed what it regarded at the time as uncivilized spectacles. It was probably pillaged by the Visigoths in 412, and like most Roman buildings was certainly stripped of its better stone over the centuries for reuse. It was used as a defensive post in the early Middle Ages, and by the 12th century began to be used by the Church for religious plays. During the 16th-century religious wars, it became a refuge for the townspeople. It has since been restored to its former function, primarily for opera, along side its use as a tourist spot.
Wikipedia.

The exterior façade is divided into three levels. The first comprises three doors which open out onto the stage and secondary doors which open onto the corridors or rooms that do not have access to the interior. On the second level, the wall is bare of any decoration. You can see the stone corbels which supported the roof structure and a deep groove, the remains of the anchoring for the tiles on the roof. A blind arcade on the wall embellishes the third level. With the exception of the central arch and the arches located in line with the basilicae (towers positioned each side of the stage), each has a cavity that lets light in to the passage located inside the wall. At the top, there are two rows of 43 corbels which supported the velum, a large canvas canopy that protected spectators from the sun and the rain.
Roman Theatre & Museum of Orange


ORANGE. – Théâtre Antique | Une répétition générale par les artistes de la Comédie-Française
Publisher: M. F. Beau

The stage is flanked by two towers called basilicae. These towers housed the rooms that served as foyers. During the performances, actors, chariots and scenery were gathered here ready for their entry on stage. The upper level or levels are thought to have been used as stores for the scenery and props. 61 metres wide and 13 metres deep, the stage consists of a floor resting on beams. It had trapdoors set in it enabling actors or machinery to appear as if by magic. An ingenious system of cables, winches and counterweights allowed the actors and working scenery to be hidden from the audience using a curtain that was around 3 metres high.
Roman Theatre & Museum of Orange

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Temple of Diane, Nimes, France


NIMES – Temple de Diane, Interieur
Dated 1928

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Interior of the Temple of Diana at Nimes (Oil on canvas), 1783

Plan & details

The so-called Temple of Diana is a 1st-century ancient Roman building in Nîmes, Gard, built under Augustus. It is located near the gushing spring of “La Fontaine”, around which was an Augusteum, a sanctuary devoted to the cult of the emperor and his family, centred on a nymphaeum. Its basilica-like floor plan argues against it being a temple and there is no archaeological or literary evidence for its dedication to Diana. The building may instead have been a library. Its facade was rebuilt during the 2nd century and in the mediaeval era it housed a monastery, ensuring its survival.
. . .
Its roof construction is unusual in that it consists of several elaborate thick barrel-vaulted rooms using carefully cut ashlars supporting an upper floor. Partly dug into the side of Mount Cavalier, the building was originally flanked by annexes. The main facade is pierced by three large arches. The remains consist mainly of a vaulted hall of 14.5 x 9.5 m, flanked by two staircases to missing semi-detached buildings. The north side wall has a series of five rectangular niches surmounted by alternate triangular and semi-circular pediments. Between each niche was a column of composite order. Three other rooms have ceilings decorated with carved coffered ceilings.
Wikipedia.

Maison de la Reine Bérengère, Le Mans, France


LE MANS. — Maison de la Reine Bérengère, – Cour
House of Queen Bérengère, courtyard
Note on back dated July 1914 or 1919

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Wikipedia (French).

Berengaria of Navarre was queen of England as the wife of Richard I of England. She was the eldest daughter of Sancho VI of Navarre and Sancha of Castile. As is the case with many of the medieval English queens, relatively little is known of her life. Traditionally known as “the only English queen never to set foot in the country”, she may in fact have visited England after her husband’s death, but did not do so before, nor did she see much of Richard during her marriage, which was childless. She did (unusually for the wife of a crusader) accompany him on the start of the Third Crusade, but mostly lived in his French possessions, where she gave generously to the church, despite difficulties in collecting the pension she was due from Richard’s brother and successor John after she became a widow.
Wikipedia (English)

Bérengère (ca. 1165-1230) was Queen of the English as the wife of King Richard I of England. Musée de la reine Bérengère is a museum of Le Mans history located in three half-timbered merchant’s houses, ca. 1230. The museum is located on the old High Street that served to connect all the medieval city, both canonical and aristocratic houses. It is in the area known as la cité Plantagenêt. After being seized by William I of England, Le Mans fell into the hands of the Plantagenets in the mid-12th century. The houses were restored by Adolphe Singher (1836-1910) and acquired by the city in 1924.
CurateND

Château de Malmaison, Paris


MALMAISON (S.-et-O.) — La Chambre de Premier Consul aux Tuileries
Chamber of the First Consul in the Tulleries

1910s
Published: A. Papeghin, Paris-Tours (1900-1931)

Street View (exterior).

Virtual Tour

The Château de Malmaison is a French château situated near the left bank of the Seine, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of the centre of Paris, in the municipality of Rueil-Malmaison. Formerly the residence of Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, along with the Tuileries it was the headquarters of the French government from 1800 to 1802, and Napoleon’s last residence in France at the end of the Hundred Days in 1815.
Wikipedia.

The château de Malmaison, purchased by Josephine in 1799 was, together with the Tuileries, the French government’s headquarters from 1800 to 1802. When Napoleon moved to Saint-Cloud, Josephine stayed in Malmaison and commissioned a wide range of improvements to the house. She settled in permanently after her divorce in 1809 and died there on May 29, 1814.
Napolean.org

The linear and graceful style that characterises the interior decor of the Château de Malmaison is directly influenced by 18th century art but also features the innovative and visionary mark of the two architects Percier and Fontaine. Their style, created from a combination of Antiquity and Renaissance which they both immersed themselves in on their trip to Rome, is reflected in this old residence which became the archetype of consular style. There are no shortage of archaeological and historical references: Doric pilasters and stucco columns in the vestibule, decorative motifs inspired by Roman and Pompeian paintings on the library ceiling and in the dining room, and military trophies for bravery painted on the doors of the council chamber. While the mahogany arcs and columns in the library echo the Palladian-style motifs, the painted ceiling alludes to the literary authors whose works Bonaparte appreciated, and the council chamber with its fabric walls supported by fasces and pikes brings to mind the army tents used to decorate parks in Europe.
Musee national des chateaux de Malmaison & Bois-Preau


MALMAISON. — La Chambre de Josephine. – C.M.
The Bedroom of Josephine

c.1910
Publisher: C. Malcuit

The most significant transformation was that of Joséphine’s bedchamber, which was given the shape of an almost circular tent thanks to a red sheet enhanced with golden embroidery that was hung on the walls. The ceiling was covered in a painting by Blondel representing Juno on his chariot, and the walls were decorated with numerous mirrors as well as eight flower paintings by Redouté.
Musee national des chateaux de Malmaison & Bois-Preau

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