St. Florian’s Gate, Krakow


Kraków | Brama Florjańska
1920s
Publisher: St. Kolowiec

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Across from the Barbican – to which it was once connected via drawbridge over the city moat – stands the iconic Floriańska Gate. Erected in 1307, this Gothic gateway tower and its adjacent towers (plus the Barbican) are almost all that remains of the city’s ancient defences which once circled the medieval Old Town. As the most important of the city’s eight medieval gates, St. Florian’s Gate was spared demolition during 19th century Austrian occupation thanks to last-minute local efforts. . . Standing 34.5 metres tall, including the Baroque ‘helmet’ added in the 17th century, Floriańska Gate features a stone eagle on the side facing the Barbican, and a 19th century bas-relief of Saint Florian on the side facing Floriańska Street. There is an altar in the actual passageway, and a hidden chapel in the tower itself
In Your Pocket

Barbican in Cracow in 1799 (from Wikimedia Commons)

St. Florian’s Gate was built at the beginning of 14th century. It is the only one, of the original eight built in the Middle Ages, preserved city gate. It was once connected with the Barbican as a defense complex of the northern section of the city walls. This part of fortification featured stone watchtowers, fortified gates, and a moat. St. Florian’s Gate became the main entryway to the Old Town. The Gate is 34,5 metres high. In the late 15th century the tower was heightened and later, in 1660, a Baroque “helmet” was added. The face of St. Florian’s Gate from the Florianska Street, is adorned with an 18th-century relief of St. Florian. From the other side, the face bears a stone eagle, designed by Jan Matejko in 1820. It replaced a previous relief. Inside the gate, there is a classicist altar from the beginning of 19th century with the late-Baroque copy of the miraculous image of Virgin Mary.
Krakow.wiki

“Album widoków Krakowa i jego okolic” [Album of views of Krakow & surroundings], (from Wikimedia Commons)
Built under the orders of Prince Leszek II in approximately 1285, St. Florian’s Gate was one of 8 towers that formed the city’s new defences, and was itself protected by the adjoining Barbakan gateway. Named after the nearby Church of St. Florian, the gate became the main entrance into the Old Town.It was the starting point of the Royal Road in Krakow, through which many monarchs, foreign envoys, coronation processions, and distinguished guests progressed to the Main Square and eventually towards Wawel Castle over the years.
History Hit

Surabaya, Indonesia


SOERABAJA Krama Gentoeng
[Kramat Gantung Street]
Postmarked 1908
Produced by: H. van Ingen/Atelier Kurkdjian

Google Maps (location).

Surabaya is the capital city of the Indonesian province of East Java and the second-largest city in Indonesia, after Jakarta. Located on the northeastern border of Java island, on the Madura Strait, it is one of the earliest port cities in Southeast Asia. . . . The city was settled in the 10th century by the Kingdom of Janggala, one of the two Javanese kingdoms that was formed in 1045 when Airlangga abdicated his throne in favor of his two sons. In the late 15th and 16th centuries, Surabaya grew to be a duchy, a major political and military power as well as a port in eastern Java, probably under the Majapahit empire.[12] At that time, Surabaya was already a major trading port, owing to its location on the River Brantas delta and the trade route between Malacca and the Spice Islands via the Java Sea. During the decline of Majapahit, the lord of Surabaya resisted the rise of the Demak Sultanate and only submitted to its rule in 1530. Surabaya became independent after the death of Sultan Trenggana of Demak in 1546. . . . In the 18th and 19th centuries, Surabaya was the largest city in the Dutch East Indies. It became a major trading center under the Dutch colonial government and hosted the most extensive naval base in the colony. Surabaya was also the largest city in the colony serving as the center of Java’s plantation economy, industry and was supported by its natural harbor.
Wikipedia.

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Rawalpindi, Pakistan


West Ridge — Rawalpindi
c.1910
Publisher: Moorli Dhur & Sons, Ambala

Rawalpindi is located on the Pothohar Plateau, known for its ancient Buddhist heritage, especially in the neighbouring town of Taxila – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was destroyed during the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni before being taken over by Gakhars in 1493. In 1765, the ruling Gakhars were defeated as the city came under Sikh rule, and eventually became a major city within the Sikh Empire based in Lahore. The city was conquered by the British Raj in 1849, and in 1851 became the largest garrison town of the British Indian Army. Following the partition of British India in 1947, the city became home to the headquarters of the Pakistan Army hence retaining its status as a major military city.
. . .
Rawalpindi flourished as a commercial centre, though the city remained largely devoid of an industrial base during the British era. A large portion of Kashmir’s external trade passing through the city; in 1885, 14% of Kashmir’s exports, and 27% of its imports passed through the city. . . .Rawalpindi’s cantonment became a major center of military power of the Raj after an arsenal was established in 1883. Britain’s army elevated the city from a small town, to the third largest city in Punjab by 1921. . . .In 1901, Rawalpindi was made the winter headquarters of the Northern Command and of the Rawalpindi military division.
Wikipedia.

In the beginning of the present [19th] century the city became for a time the refuge of Shah Shujah, the exiled Amir of Kabul, and his brother, Shah Zaman, who built a house once used as a Kotwali. The present native Infantry lines mark the site of a battle fought by the Gakhars under their famous chief, Sultan Muqarrab Khan; and it was at Rawalpindi that on 14th March 1849 the Sikh army under Ohattar Singh and Slier Singh finally laid down their arms after the battle of Gujrat. . . . On the introduction of British rule it became a cantonment of considerable size, and shortly afterwards head-quarters of a division, while its connection with the Imperial railway system by the extension of the Punjab Northern State Railway, now the North-Western Railway, has immensely developed both its size and its commercial importance.
The cantonments were first occupied by troops in 1849, at the close of the Sikh rebellion, Her Majesty^s 53rd Regiment being the first quartered there. The final decision to occupy the station permanently with troops was arrived at by the Marquis of Dalliousie, when on tour in the Punjab in 1851. Since then Rawalpindi has uniformly maintained a high reputation for salubrity, and, owing to this and to its proximity to the hills, it is a favorite station for quartering troops on their first arrival from England.
. . .
The principal buildings of the town of Rawalpindi are the tahsil building. Police thana. Municipal Hall and City Hospital, which are situated at the point .where the, road from Cantonments, an extension of the sadr bazar enters the city. At the same point are situated the large and ample sarai, the Presbyterian Mission Church, and the Mission School,
“Gazetteer Of The Rawalpindi District 1893-94”, F A Robertson, 1895


MIlitary accounts office — Rawalpindi
c.1910
Publisher: Moorli Dhur & Sons, Ambala

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Safi, Morocco


SAFI. – La Grande Mosquée et la Rade
[The Grand Mosque and the Roadstead (harbour)]

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Built in the 12th century by the Almoravids as a place of worship, the Great Mosque of Safi has had a turbulent history. It has seen different civilizations come and go, it has been destroyed, rebuilt, and fallen into disrepair again, and for a period even served as a horse stable. Now, nearly nine centuries later, this important part of the Moroccan cultural heritage has been renovated and returned to its former glory. Just one mystery remains: why is the minaret separate from the rest of the mosque?
Marocopedia (video)

(Via Google Tranlate)
In the 15th century, Safi opened up to European trade. The Portuguese even appreciated its natural harbor so well that they seized it in 1488, by a combined operation, by land and by sea, mounted from their base in Mogador (Essaouira). Around the city, they raise a wall and build a fortress by the sea. But this occupation does not last long, because from 1541, the Portuguese who have just lost the city of Agadir evacuate Safi voluntarily. This does not interrupt trade with Europe, which on the contrary is intensifying. The French have their part in it. After 1541, the city played a major role in Morocco, as one of the safest and largest seaports in the country. . . . After Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah built the city of Mogador , he prohibited foreign trade in all Moroccan ports except his newly built city. Consequently, Safi ceased to play a leading role in Moroccan trade.
Wikipedia.

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]
c.1910
Publisher: Guerin, St Malo

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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.
Wikipedia.

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.
France-Voyage

Monte Estoril, Portugal


Estoril–Portugal | Monte Estoril
Postmarked & dated 1911
Publisher: S. R., Lisbon

Google Street View (approximate).

As Cascais grew, its beach a playground for aristocrats, the neighbouring localities prospered, mostly as beach resorts. Monte Estoril became a resort for high finance types while Estoril, through local investment, became a popular resort, and earned a casino and hotels
Time Out

Monte Estoril originated at the beginning of the 20th century as a result of the railways that connected the city of Lisbon to the village of Cascais. In 1910, when the Portuguese Republic was established, Monte Estoril was already a place of choice for the aristocracy due to its privileged location and beautiful landscapes.
“The Varied Architecture of Monte Estoril” (From Portugal with Love)

Hebron


Hebron. Vue generale. – Hebron gen View. – Hebron. Vista General. – Ebron veduta generale.
[Hebron: General View]
c.1910

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Hebron (Al-Khalil in Arabic) is located 32 kilometers south of Jerusalem and is built on several hills and wadis, most of which run north-to-south. The Hebrew word Hebron is explained as being derived from the Hebrew word for friend (haver), a description for the Patriarch Abraham. The Arabic Al- Khalil, literally “the friend,” has a nearly identical derivation and also refers to Abraham (Ibrahim), whom Muslims similarly describe as the friend of God. Hebron is one of the oldest continually occupied cities in the world and has been a major focus of religious worship for over two millennia.
Jewish Virtual Library

Late in the 19th century the production of Hebron glass declined due to competition from imported European glass-ware, however, the products of Hebron continued to be sold, particularly among the poorer populace and travelling Jewish traders from the city. At the World Fair of 1873 in Vienna, Hebron was represented with glass ornaments. A report from the French consul in 1886 suggests that glass-making remained an important source of income for Hebron, with four factories earning 60,000 francs yearly. While the economy of other cities in Palestine was based on solely on trade, Hebron was the only city in Palestine that combined agriculture, livestock herding and trade, including the manufacture of glassware and processing of hides. This was because the most fertile lands were situated within the city limits. The city, nevertheless, was considered unproductive and had a reputation “being an asylum for the poor and the spiritual.” Differing in architectural style from Nablus, whose wealthy merchants built handsome houses, Hebron’s main characteristic was its semi-urban, semi-peasant dwellings.

Hebron was ‘deeply Bedouin and Islamic’, and ‘bleakly conservative’ in its religious outlook, with a strong tradition of hostility to Jews. It had a reputation for religious zeal in jealously protecting its sites from Jews and Christians, but both the Jewish and Christian communities were apparently well integrated into the town’s economic life. As a result of its commercial decline, tax revenues diminished significantly, and the Ottoman government, avoiding meddling in complex local politics, left Hebron relatively undisturbed, to become ‘one of the most autonomous regions in late Ottoman Palestine’. The Jewish community was under French protection until 1914. The Jewish presence itself was divided between the traditional Sephardi community, whose members spoke Arabic and adopted Arab dress, and the more recent influx of Ashkenazi Jews. They prayed in different synagogues, sent their children to different schools, lived in different quarters and did not intermarry. The community was largely Orthodox and anti-Zionist.
Wikipedia.

Turnul Alb (White Tower), Brasov, Romania


Brassó. – Kronstadt. Király sétány. – Königs Promenade
[Brasov : King’s Promenade]
c.1918

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Interior photos

The White Tower was built between 1460 and 1494 and represents one of the most massive constructions of the fortification. The walls are 4 m thick in the basement and the tower is 19 m in diameter. It has battlements, holes for pitch and balconies. The tower is connected to Graft Bastion with a bridge. A fireplace is still preserved in the interior of the tower.
GPSMyCity

The White tower was built in 1494 on top of a rock. Its straight side closing a semicircle faces the city. The tower has 5 stories and its height ranges between 18-20 meters, depending on the grounds it is built on. It got its name from the whitewash that coated its walls. The top is bastion shaped and the offsets from which showers of stone were dropped on the attacking enemy are still standing on its sidewalls. The entrance of the tower was so high that a ladder was needed in order to get inside. Just like the other buildings, the tower also suffered damages in the 1689 fire which were remedied only in the 1723 restoring works. According to the town defense system the tin- and coppersmiths were responsible for the protection of the tower.
Welcome to Romania

(Via Google Translate)
Along its walls, the tower has ramparts, pit openings and balconies supported by consoles carved in stone. Being 59 m away from the fortress wall, the tower communicates with it through a drawbridge that connected the tower and the Graft Bastion. It overlooked Blumăna and, with its 5 floors, was the highest fortification point in Brașov. Inside the tower was kept the chimney above a hearth, which could also be used to heat the guards and defenders – tinsmiths and coppersmiths. In 1678, the tinsmiths’ guild bought back the obligation to defend the tower, the number of craftsmen being low.
Wikipedia.

Gate into the Grand Socco, Tangier, Morocco


TANGER. Portes de la ville conduisant au grand Soko
[City gates leading to the Grand Socco]
c.1910
Publisher: A. Banzaquen, Tangier

Google Street View.

The once bustling marketplace called the Grand Socco, is located in the middle of Tangier. Not so long ago it was filled with traders and buyers, snake charmers, musicians and creative storytellers looking for interested listeners. It is still busy, noisy and congested, but has now become a meeting point and a good central point for travelers who want to explore the city. The word Socco, or souk, means market and even though the Grand Socco in Tangier is not strictly a market place any more, visitors will still find a few traders and vendors here. . . . The Grand Socco is where old Tangier and new Tangier meet. One side of the city has wide streets and modernized buildings which eventually taper off at the point where the market divides the city. Visitors will then be greeted by narrow streets that wind their way through the original and historic side of Tangier.
Morocco.com