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

Aswan from Elphantine, Egypt


ASSOUAN, General View
c.1910
Pubished: Lichtenstern & Harari, Cairo (1902-1912)

Google Street View.

Elephantine is an island on the Nile, forming part of the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt. . . . Known to the ancient Egyptians as ꜣbw (Elephant), the island of Elephantine stood at the border between Egypt and Nubia. It was an excellent defensive site for a city and its location made it a natural cargo transfer point for river trade. This border is near the Tropic of Cancer, the most northerly latitude at which the sun can appear directly overhead at noon and from which it appears to reverse direction or “turn back” at the solstices. . . . According to ancient Egyptian religion, Elephantine was the dwelling place of Khnum, the ram-headed god of the cataracts, who guarded and controlled the waters of the Nile from caves beneath the island. He was worshipped here as part of a late triad of Egyptian deities. . . . Most of the present day southern tip of the island is taken up by the ruins of the Temple of Khnum. These, the oldest ruins still standing on the island, are composed of a granite step pyramid from the Third Dynasty and a small temple built for the local Sixth Dynasty nomarch, Heqaib. In the Middle Kingdom, many officials, such as the local governors Sarenput I or Heqaib III, dedicated statues and shrines into the temple.
Wikipedia.

The island of Elephantine rises out of the waters in the middle of the river. It has always been an object of wonder for travelers, and a certain Henry Light, sailing up the Nile from Cairo in 1814, described it as ”a scene composed of water, rocks, and buildings, which latter had the additional effect of being formed of cupolas, minarets, mosques, and ruins, interspersed amongst plantations of lofty palm-trees, and surrounded by mountains of deep red or sandy hue, on the tops and sides of which were other ruins of convents, churches and mosques.” Much of this scene remains. Elephantine still emerges from the water like a hallucination, upon it the now sparse ruins of the ancient city of Abu that once housed the frontier fortress of Egypt.
New York Time Magazine: Afloat on the Ancient Nile (2 October 1988)

Street & city gate, Cairo


CAIRO.– Near City Gate
On back:
LE CAIRE.– Un coin de la Ville Arabe.
c.1910
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

Google Street View.

Bab Zuweila is one of three remaining gates in the walls of the Old City of Cairo, the capital of Egypt. It was also known as Bawabbat al-Mitwali during the Ottoman period, and is sometimes spelled Bab Zuwayla. It is considered one of the major landmarks of the city and is the last remaining southern gate from the walls of Fatimid Cairo in the 11th and 12th century. Its name comes from Bab, meaning “gate”, and Zuwayla, the name of an ethnic group recruited into the Fatimid army from the town of Zuwayla in the Fezzan.

The city of Cairo was founded in 969 as the royal city of the Fatimid dynasty. In 1092, the vizier Badr al-Jamali had a second wall built around Cairo. Bab Zuweila was the southern gate in this wall. It has twin towers (minarets) which can be accessed via a steep climb. In earlier times they were used to scout for enemy troops in the surrounding countryside, and in modern times, they are hailed for providing one of the best views of Old Cairo. The structure also has a famous platform. Executions would sometimes take place there, and it was also from this location that the Sultan would stand to watch the beginning of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Sometimes the severed heads of criminals would be displayed along the tops of the walls. This was done as recently as 1811, when the severed heads of Mamluks from the Citadel massacre were mounted on spikes here. The corresponding gate on the northern side of the city was the Bab al-Futuh, which still stands on the northern side of the Muizz street.
Wikipedia.

Bab Zuwayla functioned as the southern entrance to the original Fatimid settlement from A.D. 969 (when ‘al-Qahirah’ or ‘Cairo’ was founded), and was reconstructed in stone in the late eleventh century A.D. by Badr al-Gamali, the de facto ruler of Egypt. During restoration work by ARCE it was discovered that the two massive doors of the Bab Zuwayla, each weighing almost 4 tons, moved on ball bearings, which were initially placed on display in the monument following the completion of the project. Colloquially, the gate is also known as Bab al­-Mitwalli after a popular Sufi saint who is associated with the location.
American Research Centre in Egypt

An Armenian himself, al-Jamali is reported to have employed Armenians from northern Mesopotamia as well as Syrians in a vast building campaign which he embarked on shortly after he assumed power. This work marks the beginning of a newly cultivated taste for stone in Cairo. The Byzantine and north Syrian stone details and techniques demonstrate the most direct encounter between neighboring regional building traditions, manifested in the importation of architects and possibly of manpower.
ArchNet

Dinan, France


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

Google Street View.

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

Delftse Poort, Rotterdam, Netherlands


Rotterdam
Postmarked 1914
Publisher: Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co, London & Manchester (1830-1920) “Views of Holland series”

The Delftse Poort was built in 1545 as part of the Rotterdam’s fortification, protecting it from raiders and attackers. Over the years and through the ages, the use for such a structure diminished, but the gate remained as a monument to the city’s past. The gate was rebuilt three times after the original structure had become unstable. In the 1930s, an attempt was made to demolish it to free up space for infrastructure, however, the people spoke up and eventually, the city decided to move the gate to a different spot instead.

Unfortunately, the WWII began and the gate—and city as a whole—was severely damaged in the course of multiple bombings. After the war, reconstruction began and the city slowly grew back. The medieval gate was forgotten until artist Cor Kraat sought to resurrect it. Cor Kraat was opposed to the gray and tasteless architectural style that was used right after the war. Calling the houses gray blocks, he spent much of his life trying to bring contrast and color to the city. The gate was put back in 1993 as a skeleton made out of orange metal beams to symbolize how Rotterdam is constantly under construction.
Atlas Obscura

Google Street View: reimagined gate


“In the foreground the Delftsevaart and the Haagseveer, affected by the German bombardment of 14 May 1940” (from Wikimedia Commons)

Kapellbrucke, Lucerne, Switzerland


LUZERN – Kapellbrücke
Postmarked 1902

Google Street View.

The Kapellbrücke (literally, Chapel Bridge) is a covered wooden footbridge spanning the river Reuss diagonally in the city of Lucerne in central Switzerland. Named after the nearby St. Peter’s Chapel, the bridge is unique in containing a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century, although many of them were destroyed along with a larger part of the centuries-old bridge in a 1993 fire. Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge. It serves as the city’s symbol and as one of Switzerland’s main tourist attractions.

Part of the bridge complex is the octagonal 34.5 m (113 ft) tall (from ground) Wasserturm, which translates to “water tower,” in the sense of ‘tower standing in the water.’ The tower pre-dated the bridge by about 30 years.
Wikipedia.

Lucerne is especially well-known for its wooden bridges. Today, the Chapel Bridge runs from the New Town on the southern bank of the Reuss to the Rathausquai in the medieval Old Town, zigzagging as it passes the impressive Water Tower. Lucerne’s landmark is considered to be Europe’s oldest covered bridge. It was built in 1332 and was originally a part of the city fortifications. The pictorial panels, which were incorporated in the 17th century, contain scenes of Swiss history as well as the Lucerne’s history, including the biographies of the city’s patron saints, St. Leodegar and St. Maurice. Lucerne’s water tower is a powerful yet attractive construction. This octagonal tower – over 34 meters high (111.5 ft.) – was built around 1300 as part of the city wall and used as an archive, treasury, prison and torture chamber.
Switerland Tourism


Bridge in 1996 (photo by me).

Lucerne, Switzerland


Luzern mit Pilatus.
(Lucerne with Pilatus))
c.1910
Publisher: Emil Goetz, Luzern

Google Street View (location).

Central building: Lucerne Railway Station

A new station was opened in 1896 with a large new building with a distinctive cupola. It was turned at almost 90° to the original station with its end to the north towards the bridge to central Lucerne, requiring a significantly changed approach line. The new approach had no level crossings of streets unlike the original route, but instead ran on embankments or in cuttings. The Brünig railway was also integrated into the new station. The tracks were electrified in 1922 along with the line from Olten. By 1910 the new station was nearing its capacity limits and an expansion plan was developed. However, the start of World War I prevented any work being carried out. On the morning of 5 February 1971 fire broke out in the staff quarters of station. The building burnt fiercely, and within an hour the cupola had collapsed, destroying the station frontage and concourse.
Wikipedia.

Building on left: Friedensmuseum (War and Peace Museum), moved to a new location in 1910.


(From Wikimedia Commons.)

Both buildings can be seen here.


Seenachtfest Luzern
Fête Vénitienne Lucerne

c.1910
Publisher: Photoglobe, Zurich

Fluelen, Switzerland


Flüelen mit Bristenstock (3074 m)
(Flüelen with Bristenstock (3074 m) [in the background])
c.1920
Publisher: Photoglob Co, Zurich

Google Street View (location).

Flüelen formed an important transshipment point on Switzerland’s transport system for many centuries, and at least since the opening of the first track across the Gotthard Pass in 1230. The various routes across the pass reached Lake Lucerne at Flüelen, and until the latter half of the 19th century the lake provided the best onward link to the cities of northern Switzerland.
Wikipedia.

Stolzembourg, Luxembourg


Stolzemburg
Dated 1918
Publisher: W. Capus, Luxembourg-Gare

Google Street View.

Stolzembourg is located in the charming valley of the Our, 6 km upstream from the tourist town of Vianden. The varied landscape invites all nature lovers to walk through vast forests and narrow valleys. In the village, the bell tower built before 1585 and the church bear witness to the long history of the village and its parish. The “castle(Stolzemburg)” itself lies on a rise in the village center. For the first time, the castle was destroyed by the governor Antoine Croy in 1454, and in 1679, a second time, by the troops of Louis XIV. It was rebuilt in 1898 in the Scottish style.
Stolzembourg

Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany


Rüdesheim am Rhein
1900s
Publisher: Ludwig Feist, Mainz (1900-1919)

Google Street View.

Rüdesheim am Rhein (also spelled Rudesheim or Ruedesheim) is a city in the Rheingau in Hesse, Germany, at the southern end of the Rhine Valley, across the river from Bingen. The town incorporates the village of Assmannshausen, also on the Rhine but on the other side of a bend in the river, and is also known as Rüdesheim am Rhein to distinguish it from the smaller nearby town of Rüdesheim an der Nahe.
Wiki Voyage

On 1 January 1818, Rüdesheim received town rights. After Prussia annexed the Duchy of Nassau in 1867 and divided the area into districts (Kreise), Rüdesheim became a district seat in the newly founded Rheingaukreis. It held this status 110 years until 1977, when in the course of municipal reform in Hesse the districts of the Rheingaukreis and the Untertaunuskreis were merged into the new Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis, and Rüdesheim had to yield the district seat to Bad Schwalbach. In 1877, the first foundation stone was laid for the Niederwalddenkmal, a patriotic monument above the vineyards which would be finished in 1883. It attracted many tourists who could reach it on a cog railway. Today, a gondola lift brings visitors up to the monument. Tourism has more and more replaced shipping as a source of income.
Wikipedia.