Kammerzell House, Strasbourg, France

Strassburg. Kammerzell’sches Haus.
On back:
Kammerzell’sches Haus.
Die alte freie deutsche Reichsstadt Straßburg hatte eine wechselvolle Geschichte. In der ersten Blüthezeit der Stadt, im 13, Jahrhundert, zählte diese bereits ca. 50 000 Einwohner. Von der hohen Entwicklung der Kunst in dieser Zeitperiode zeugen u. a. in. die Werke des berühmten Baumeisters Erwin von Steinbach, welcher die herrliche Fassade des Münsters schuf. Trotz vieler Kriegsverheerungen und Brände, die Straßburg in dem Wandel der Gieschichte heimsuchten, sind noch etliche Holzhäuser aus dem 15, Jahrhundert übrig geblieben. Das sehenswerteste unter diesen altertümlichen Privatbauten liegt nahe dem Münster am Münsterplatz und ist allgemein unter dem Namen : ”Kammerzell’sches Haus” bekannt. Es dient jetzt dem schönen Wein-Restaurant ‘”Zum Stiftskeller” für den Ausschank rein elsässischer Weine.
[From Google Translate:
Kammerzell house.
The old free German imperial city of Strasbourg had an eventful history. In the city’s first heyday, in the 13th century, it already had around 50,000 inhabitants. Evidence of the high development of art in this period of time is e.g. in. the works of the famous master builder Erwin von Steinbach, who created the magnificent facade of the Minster. Despite the many devastations of war and fires that have ravaged Strasbourg throughout history, there are still a number of wooden houses from the 15th century left. The most worth seeing of these ancient private buildings is near the cathedral on Münsterplatz and is commonly known as the “Kammerzell’sches Haus”. It is now used by the beautiful wine restaurant “Zum Stiftskeller” for serving pure Alsatian wines.]
Publisher: Ortmann & Co

Google Street View.

The Kammerzell House is one of the most famous buildings of Strasbourg and one of the most ornate and well preserved medieval civil housing buildings in late Gothic architecture in the areas formerly belonging to the Holy Roman Empire. Built in 1427 but twice transformed in 1467 and 1589, the building as it is now historically belongs to the German Renaissance but is stylistically still attached to the Rhineland black and white timber-framed style of civil (as opposed to administrative, clerical or noble) architecture.

Strasbourg. Vieille maison Strassburg. Altes Haus”, Library of Congress

Strasbourg is proud to present Maison Kammerzell as one of its most charming building, an authentic and traditional symbol of the city’s age-old values. The original architecture of the building, somewhat come straight out of a fairy tale, is a great example of the region’s traditional artistic past. Wooden sculptures, frescoes, spiral staircases and view angles are just some of the details that reveal the richness of the past of this monument. The late Gothic foundations date back to 1427. Later on in 1467 and 1589, three upper floors of timber panelling were added, increasing the originality of Maison Kammerzell. The rich decoration on the façade, both secular and sacred, was inspired by the Renaissance humanistic ideal mixing Roman antiquity with the middle ages. The 75 bottle bottom stained glass windows give an extraordinary lighting to the rooms.
Maison Kammerzell

Although this house bears the name of the grocer Kammerzell, its owner in the 19th century, it actually owes its current appearance to Martin Braun, a cheese merchant who acquired it in 1571. He kept only the stone ground floor, dating from 1467, and rebuilt the house with three corbelled out storeys and three floors in the loft in 1589. The rich decoration on the façade, both secular and sacred, was inspired by the Bible, Greek and Roman Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Visit Strasbourg

House of Denis Papin, Blois, France

BLOIS. – Maison de Denis Papin

Google Street View

Google Street View from other direction

The construction at 13 rue Pierre de Blois, known as Hôtel de Villebresme, or more recently, and for no justifiable reason, as the house of Denis Papin, in honour of the city’s inventor of the steam engine (hang on, wasn’t that James Watt?) and the pressure cooker, were built in the 15th and perhaps early 16th centuries. The two buildings on either side of Rue Pierre de Blois, constructed for a member of the Villebresme family, owners of Château de Fougères sur Bièvre, are linked by a wooden footbridge above street level, with prismatic mouldings, gothic decor, monstrous heads and acrobat.
Loire Daily Photo

Via Google Translate:
15th-16th century: entire construction for a member of the Villebresme family (the name Denis Papin’s house is recent and fanciful), two buildings located on either side of rue Pierre de Blois connected by a wooden footbridge spanning the street, prismatic moldings, gothic decor, engoulants, acrobats; 19th century: reduction of the property (part of the north building integrated during the construction of number 7 place Saint-Louis, building is annexed to number 16 large degrees Saint-Louis), resumption of the windows on the ground floor and the distributions (corridor, staircase).
Ministere de la Culture

Ground floor plan, Hotel de Villebresme known as Denis Papin’s House, Ministere de la Culture

Daprès une tradition locale Denis Papin serait né dans une maison iselée, située sur la place Saint-Louis . . . Aucune pièce décisive, à notre connaissance, ne vient confirmer expressément cette tradition; mais plusieurs circonstances la rendent vraisemblable. La façade orientale de cette maison la seule qui soit à peu près intacte, annonce une construction du xvi e siècle; et, d’autre part, un acte de 1661 (2), nous apprend que le père de Denis Papin demeurait dans la paroisse Saint-Solemne (aujourd’hui Saint- Louis).

[(Google Translate) According to a local tradition, Denis Papin was born in an isolated house, located on the Place Saint-Louis . . . No decisive piece, to our knowledge, expressly confirms this tradition; but several circumstances make it probable. The eastern facade of this house, the only one which is almost intact, announces a construction of the 16th century; and, on the other hand, an act of 1661 (2), tells us that the father of Denis Papin lived in the parish of Saint-Solemne (today Saint-Louis).]
La famille de Denis Papin, Louis Belton, 1880

Pont Du Gard, Nimes, France

Nimes (Gard) – Le Pont du Gard
Publisher: Riviere-Bureau

Google Street View.

The most visited ancient monument in France, listed a world heritage site by Unesco, the Pont du Gard aqueduct remains one of humankind’s great masterpieces. A marvel of Antiquity and a true technical feat, it is also a stupendous site that has regained its unspoiled state since its refurbishment. 48 metres high, it has three vertical rows of arches: 6 on the lowest level, 11 on the second level and 35 on the third and top level. Its upper part reaches a length of 273 metres (originally 360 metres when there were twelve extra arches). It served as an aqueduct until the 6th century before becoming a tollgate in the Middle Ages and finally a road bridge from the 18th to 20th century.
Avignon & Provence

“The Pont du Gard”, HUbert Robret, 1787 (cropped, from Wikimedia Commons)

Nemausus was the capital of the Volcae Arecomici before the Roman conquest. In 118 BC, the area came under Roman influence and the Via Domitia was built. In 42 BC the city received the status of a colony. The city prospered during the Principitate and the early Empire. A building program in the first century produced a six kilometre long city wall, temples, and an amphitheatre. A large spring was present inside the city walls, ornamented with an Augustaeum and Nymphaeum, but this was insufficient to serve the population and the baths. In the second half of the first century, therefore the Eure aqueduct was built. . . . The aqueduct of Nemausus starts at the Eure springs at Uzès. After passing a regulatory basin, it runs first south, then SE in a trench along the foot of the plateau of St-Sifflet. It crosses the steep gully of Bornègre and continues towards Vers, where it crosses two depressions on low bridges. From Vers, the aqueduct turns south where it runs almost continuously suspended over a series of three arcades and a two tier bridge in a broad loop towards the Gardon. It crosses the Gardon on the Pont du Gard, and the rough country of the Forest of Rémoulins along the slopes and over a series of small bridges to a regulatory basin at Rémoulins, the Lafoux reservoir, destroyed at the beginning of the 18th century. It then makes a loop around the depression of St Bonnet, crosses a low pass south of the village and continues SW towards Nemausus, through the two Sernhac quarry tunnels and a 400m long tunnel below the village of Sernhac. It then crosses below the drained lake of Clausonne and runs along the head of the Vistre valley, and along the slope of the hills towards the city, increasingly tortuous when approaching Nemausus. It passed below the town walls by the 400m long tunnel of Croix-de-Fer through a hill to the castellum divisorium in Nîmes.
Roman Aqueducts

“Materials and documents of architecture and sculpture : classified alphabetically”, 1915

The Pont du Gard is an outstanding example of bridges built in ancient times. It achieves a triple performance with its three levels of arches of unequal dimensions and is characterized by the use, for the construction of the arches of the lower levels, of juxtaposed rollers composed of voussoirs bearing engraved positioning marks. In the series of Roman aqueducts, this exceptional edifice is the result of an extensive adaptation to the river regime of the Gardon whose floods are sudden and devastating. The lips installed in front of the piers are designed to resist high water, and the opening of the principal lower arch (24.52 m instead of 21.87 m for the arches of the extremes) facilitates the flow of water.

Built, on the first two levels, of large stone blocks and, at the upper level, of small stone rubble which hold the abutting flagstones of the canal, the Pont du Gard is one of the most revealing monuments as to the construction processes of the early Imperial era. On the dressing of the stone can still be seen the marks of the quarrymen’s and stonecutters’ tools, and sometimes the coding of the stones, with figures and letters, showing their position in the assembly schema.
UNESCO World Heritage listing

Maison du Tisserand , Clamecy, France

CLAMECY (Nièvre)
Maison du XVe siècle, dile Maison du Tisserand

Google Street View (approximate).

The medieval centre of Clamecy has been classed by the French government as a “Secteur Sauvegardé” (protected sector) in entirety; the only such protected area in the whole of the department of the Nievre. The town has evolved in the typical concentric French manner, with a town centre consisting of 13th- to sixteenth-century houses (still remarkably intact), surrounded by nineteenth-century houses and buildings with 20th-century developments forming an outer ring.

(Via Google Translate)
The house of the Weaver (or of the Artisan)
Many half-timbered houses, mullioned windows and corbelling have been preserved in the city center, rue de the currency , rue du Puits Marande , rue du Marché and place Saint Jean. The most famous is the “Maison du Tisserand”, listed as a historical monument in 1923. It was the first half-timbered house restored in Clamecy in 1921 by the care of its owners, Mr and Mrs Neveu Lemaire. It comprises on the ground floor, two windows and two semi-circular arched doors, one of which, that of the cellar, is placed under the bottom of the lamp supporting the engaged turret, containing the spiral staircase. The stairwell is completely clad in wood and is sheltered by the cantilever of the second floor. During the whole month of September of the year 1921, visitors admitted to enter this house were welcomed by charming hostesses dressed in long dresses with wide sleeves and wearing the hennin. “The Morvan and the Nivernais”, edited by the Federation Morvandelle of Tourism in 1926, mentions ” a curious little 15th century Weaver’s House, where the weaver’s workshop has been reconstructed at his work, as well as his residence, with period furniture, which can be visited.”
Quelques maisons du vieux Clamecy

(Via Google Translate)
Opposite, at the corner of rue Romain Rolland and rue du Pont-Châtelain, is the Maison du Tisserand, undoubtedly the most picturesque in the city. Dating from the 15th century, classified as a Historic Monument in 1923, it has on the ground floor windows typical of the stalls of the time.
The semi-circular cellar door is placed under the cul-de-lamp supporting the spiral staircase. The highly corbelled second floor has direct access to the staircase. Admire the diversity of its half-timbering.
Clamecy, centre historique (tour of the town)

World War I, Chateau-Thierry, France

CHATEAU-THIERRY – Le Pont – Entrée Rue Carnot
[The bridge & entrance to Rue Carnot]
Publisher: Phototypie Baudiniere

Google Street View.

The village of Chateau-Thierry has lived through centuries of history, and German and AEF soldiers helped reclaim it from the ruins of World War I. In February 1919, the guns that echoed across the River Marne and shells that shattered the wooden rooftops and walls of Chateau-Thierry had been silent for eight months. The optimism of peace lured Chateau-Thierry residents back from hiding to rebuild their homes and lives despite the winter cold. The guns of war had scattered the survivors, but they were slowly gathering and returning. A hotel, hastily but thoroughly rebuilt, awaited American pilgrims. In February 1919, the Great War had been over for three months, since the Armistice of November 11, 1918.
. . .
Chateau-Thierry gained another measure of fame when in May through July of 1918, the French and American armies successfully halted the German Spring Offensive and drive toward Paris, only fifty miles away. The Germans bombarded Chateau- Thierry, giving it the distinction of being the farthest point of their Army’s 1918 offensive.The Allied Expeditionary Forces under General John J. “Back Jack” Pershing saw some of its first European action at Chateau Thierry. On May 27, 1918, the Germans attacked the Allied Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front and by May 30, 1918, German troops were shelling Chateau-Thierry. The American and French soldiers prevented the Germans from crossing the Marne River, decisively checking the German offensive. Thousands of young French, British, German, and American soldiers fell at Chateau-Thierry and the Marne and many Allied soldiers are buried near the Marne battlefields just west of Chateau-Thierry.
Windows to World History

[Carnot Street]
Publisher: Phototypie Baudiniere

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Casino & Tennis Courts, Mers-les-Bains, France

MERS-les-BAINS – Le Casino et les Tennis
[The Casion & the Tennis]
Publisher: Cie Alsacienne des Arts Photomécaniques

Google Street View.

(Translated with Google Translate)
On January 14, 1890, a treaty was signed between the municipality of Mers-les-Bains and Mr. Deflers for the acquisition of a building used as a casino, for an amount of 40,000 francs. This was rebuilt on the site of the first hot baths establishment, slightly set back (AD Somme, 99 O 2594). It is a pavilion from the Universal Exhibition of 1889, formerly the Duval restaurant, to which two bodies have been added on the ground floor at each end. This fourth casino is a building with an elongated plan, with corner pavilions, the central part of which consists of a square floor. Made of wood, it has lambrequins and large windows. In good weather, fabric awnings protect the terrace. Its dimensions are 39.39 meters long and 17.30 meters wide and 7.84 meters high under the ceiling in the central part. The cover is in zinc slate. This new casino projects 10 meters from the extended line of the facade of the Oppenheim house (block 15) and rests on a masonry base (AD Somme, 99 O 2594). In 1890, the central body included the performance hall as well as a location for the orchestra, a room for small horses and a coffee room in the left pavilion, a conversation room and a reading room in the pavilion of law.

In 1897, the casino scene was enlarged by the architect Edouard Boeuf, for a price of 1,000 francs. In 1907, a covered and glazed terrace was added on the side facades and on the front facade, on the plans of the architects Dupont and Lasnel, installed respectively in Mers-les-Bains and Eu. This gallery receives a café and a track of ‘ music hall’ with orchestra. At that time, the Grand Salon was transformed into a theater. In 1911, a rental lease was signed with Magherini (owner residing in Paris) until 1922, when we learn that the building consists of: a large main building in the beach esplanade composed of a basement -ground and a ground floor with glazed terrace; the basement is intended to serve as a cellar and equipment shed. Magherini may assign part of it to his personal accommodation. The ground floor is divided into eight rooms including in the center the performance hall and the music hall. According to the Joanne guide of 1912, the curtain of the theater is painted by Chapron. The garden adjoining the casino extends to the main road. There are six tennis courts . . . Requisitioned by the German army during the Second World War, the casino was destroyed in September 1943 to facilitate the installation of artillery pieces
Région Hauts-de-France – Inventaire général.

Solidor Tower, Saint-Servan, France

Cote d’Emeraude – Emerald Coast
Les Bords de la Rance – The Banks of the Rance
1688. — Saint-Servan-sur-Mer
La Cale – La Tour Solidor, édifiée en 1384 par le Duc Jean IV – G. F.
The Slip – Solidor Tower
[built 1384 by Duke Jean IV]
Publisher: Guerin, St Malo

Google Street View.

Solidor Tower (in French tour Solidor) is a strengthened keep with three linked towers, located in the estuary of the river Rance in Brittany. It was built between 1369 and 1382 by John V, Duke of Brittany (i.e. Jean IV in French) to control access to the Rance at a time when the city of Saint-Malo did not recognize his authority. Over the centuries the tower lost its military interest and became a jail. It is now a museum celebrating Breton sailors exploring Cape Horn.

The Solidor tower was built from 1369 to 1382 on a rocky ledge overlooking the outlet of the Rance, Saint-Malo. It is precisely a dungeon composed of three towers connected by curtain walls (fortified walls). The building built on behalf of the Duke of Brittany controlled the river and the estuary at a time when the town of Saint-Malo was beyond its control. A tax on goods transiting through the Rance was also levied at the Solidor Tower. The site already fortified beforehand included a chatelet which was transformed into barracks. In 1588, the tower passed under the control of the inhabitants of Saint-Malo and in 1756, the drawbridge was replaced by a real stone bridge. During the Revolution, the initial vocation of the tower became obsolete, it was transformed into prison.

Houses in the rock, Graufthal, France

GRAUFTAL Maisons construites dans le roc
[Houses built into the rock]
Publisher: La Cigogne, Strasbourg

Google Street View.

(Translated with Google Translate)
In 1899, the archaeologist Robert Forrer undertook to excavate the site of the troglodyte habitat of Graufthal. From these works we can conclude that after being used as warehouses in the Middle Ages, the rocky overhangs were converted into dwellings, probably around 1760, as indicated by a vintage, which has now disappeared, engraved on the lintel of a door. People of modest means settled using the rock cavities to reduce the surface area of ​​roofs and facades. These houses were occupied until 1958. . . . The troglodyte houses have two sets housed in two horizontal faults. The residential houses, embedded in the first fault, are located approximately 7 meters above the village. The Match Factory is located in the Upper Rift. These buildings are built directly on the rock, in rubble masonry, partially covered with flat tiled roofs, where the rocks do not completely overhang them. The frames are basic, the interior partitioning rudimentary. Access to the complex is via a passageway bordering a rock projection. A ramp provides fall protection.
Ministere de la Culture

The houses are set into caves in red sandstone cliffs. There are two sets of buildings in two horizontal caves, reached by a footpath. The houses are in the first cave, about 7 metres (23 ft) above the village street. A match factory is located in the upper cave. These buildings are built into the rock, with rubble masonry, and are partially covered with tile roofs where they are not fully protected by the rock ceiling. They are roughly built, with rudimentary internal partitioning. The houses have the same internal layout. On the ground floor there is a kitchen beside the room where the parents would have lived, and a stable with unplastered walls. Above that is a second floor holding a dormitory for the children and a hayloft and granary.

Part of photo “Felsenwohnungen in Graufthal”, after 1870. from Wikimedia Common

Barques, Lake Geneva

Barque du Léman
Publisher:Comptoir de Phototipie, Neuchatel

Lots of pictures (in French)

The magnificent sight of large wooden sailing boats silhouetted against the backdrop of the Alps is returning to Lake Geneva. A small but growing number of traditional barques are transporting schoolchildren and tourists back to the glory days of the lake. There are currently three renovated or replica barques, which are peculiar to the region, operating on Lake Geneva. They provide a poignant reminder of when these vessels were the principal means of transport in the region.
Traditional barques back in service on Lake Geneva (swissinfo.ch)

Now that the racing boats are ashore for the winter, it gives me the opportunity to talk about the old sailing barges that were used on Lake Geneva in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of those still exist and a group of enthusiastic sailors have built a replica called La Demoiselle which is now one of the biggest sailing craft in Switzerland, soon to be the first sailing training ship in the country. These sailing barges are an evolution of older designs and appeared on the lake around 1785 and are characterized by two latin sails, a large deck to transport materials and a long flat keel. Some of them sport a small jib as well. They were basically used to transport merchandise, in particular quarry stones from the east part of the lake to the different cities on the other side. Most were built in St. Gingolphe which sits on the border between Switzerland and France, some close to Geneva and others on the French shore of the lake.
Sail World

Barque du Leman
Dated & postmarked 1914
Louis Burgy & Co, Lausanne

(Via Google Translate)
A Lake Geneva barque (also known as a Meillerie barque ) is a type of boat with the main characteristics of a tall ship. These boats are powered by lateen sails (or by motor for the models renovated at the end of the 20th century) and are intended for lake navigation. This type of boat is used on Lake Geneva and was originally used until the beginning of the 20th century to transport heavy raw materials. . . . The boats of Lake Geneva were intended for boating activities and the transport of heavy materials, in particular that of cut stones from the Meillerie quarry in Haute-Savoie. Transport by boat made it possible to transport these building materials to the various ports on the lake, in particular to Geneva in Switzerland. They then used the inland waterways of Lake Geneva, having as other activities to ensure maritime transport and the transit of goods between the shores of the lake, or even commercial cabotage between the various ports of Lake Geneva.In 1900, Lake Geneva had sixty boats in operation. Since the middle of the 19th century , the activity of transporting goods has decreased, competing with road or rail transport, which is in full development.
. . .
Built of wood (generally local wood), the boats of Lake Geneva were designed to carry heavy materials directly on their decks. In their design, the risk of capsizing is sought to be avoided thanks to a wide beam (between 6 and 9 meters). They could thus carry up to 180 tons per trip. . . . The hull is most of the time built using oak beams , the keel is, for its part, made up of a piece of white fir supporting the frames . The bridge, made of larch, is curved so as to allow the loads to be distributed by arching effect and houses a lazarette. The length of the rudder can vary from 4 to 6 meters in total length — rudder and tiller.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes & Holy Water, Lourdes, France

LOURDES – La Basilique et les Pyrénées
Postmarked 1913
Publisher: Compagnie Alsacienne des Arts Photomécaniques, Strasbourg

Google Street View.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes (French: Sanctuaire de Notre-Dame de Lourdes) or the Domain (as it is most commonly known) is an area of ground surrounding the Catholic shrine (Grotto) to Our Lady of Lourdes in the town of Lourdes, France. The Sanctuary is a destination for pilgrimage; sick pilgrims are reputed to be miraculously healed by Lourdes water. This ground is owned and administered by the Roman Catholic Church, and has several functions, including devotional activities, offices, and accommodation for sick pilgrims and their helpers. The Domain includes the Grotto itself, the nearby taps which dispense the Lourdes water, and the offices of the Lourdes Medical Bureau, as well as several churches and basilicas. It comprises an area of 51 hectares, and includes 22 separate places of worship. . . .
The shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, in France, began in the 19th century AD. In 1858 from February 11 to July 16, a 14-year-old peasant girl, called Bernadette Soubirous, saw a vision of the Virgin Mary while playing in the stream with her sister and friend. . . . At the time of the apparitions, the grotto lay well outside town, on common ground which was used by the villagers variously for pasturing animals, collecting firewood, and as a garbage dump, and it had a reputation for being an unpleasant place. . . . Public interest in the apparitions grew, and curious visitors began to be replaced by pilgrims from increasingly far away, drawn by compelling stories of apparitions and miracles. A local priest, Abbé Dominique Peyramale, together with his bishop, Monsignor Bertrand-Sévère Mascarou Laurence, bought the grotto and the land around it from the commune in 1861, 3 years after the apparitions. Immediately they set about modifying the area to make it more accessible to visitors, and started work to build the first of the churches, which is now known as the Crypt.

LOURDES — La Grotte
[The Grotto]
Publisher: Alliance Catholique, Lourdes

LOURDES — La Grotte
[The Grotto]
Publisher: Alliance Catholique, Lourdes

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