Grafton Street, Dublin, Ireland


Grafton Stret, Dublin
Postmarked 1905

Grafton Street is one of the two principal shopping streets in Dublin city centre (the other being Henry Street). It runs from St Stephen’s Green in the south (at the highest point of the street) to College Green in the north (the lowest point). The street was developed from a laneway from the early 1700s, and its line was shaped by the now-culverted River Steyne. Initially a fashionable residential street with some commercial activity, the character of Grafton Street changed after it was connected to the Carlisle Bridge and came to form part of a cross-city route. It suffered from dilapidation and prostitution through the 19th century, with several run-down buildings. During the 20th century, it became known for the coffee house Bewley’s, mid- and up-market shopping, and as a popular spot for buskers. It has been assessed as one of the most expensive main retail streets in the world on which to rent.
. . .
From its inception, the street held a mixture of residential and commercial development. Advertisements from the 1750s and 1760s describe first-floor apartments featuring a dining room, bedchamber and closet. The street was largely rebuilt in the late 1700s, following the completion of Carlisle Bridge (now O’Connell Bridge) in 1758, spanning the River Liffey, when Grafton Street came to form part of an important north-south thoroughfare. This was supplemented by the widening and rebuilding which took place as part of the work of the Wide Streets Commission, from 1841. By the latter part of the 19th century, the street was primarily commercial in nature.
Wikipedia

Zytglogge/Clock tower, Bern, Switzerland


Bern, Kramgasse mit Zeitglockenturmc.
Publisher: G. Metz, Basel

Google Street View.

First it was a fortified guard tower, then a prison, a lookout and fire observation tower, and finally a clock tower. Over the centuries, this landmark has fulfilled different functions for the city of Bern but has always played a key role. As Bern continued to grow and expand its city limits, the former guard tower gradually found itself closer and closer to the city center. After the devastating fire of 1405, the structure was rebuilt and given a new identity. Now known as the Zytglogge (Clock Tower), it began telling time for the inhabitants of Bern. As the official timekeeper, its location could not be more central and from then on, the locals listened for it to strike the hours. The tower was also an authoritative building for other matters in the capital city. For example, official travel times were measured from the Clock Tower and marked on stones along the cantonal roads. The ancient length measurements of cubit and fathom – which are still marked today in the tower entrance as meter and double meter – served as the reference length and for official checks.
Bern.com

“Details of the Zytglogge tower in Bern, Switzerland”, Sketches by cobbler journeyman Sebastian Fischer of Ulm, 1534 (from Wikimedia Commons

When it was built around 1218–1220, the Zytglogge served as the gate tower of Bern’s western fortifications. These were erected after the city’s first westward expansion following its de facto independence from the Empire. At that time, the Zytglogge was a squat building of only 16 metres (52 ft) in height. When the rapid growth of the city and the further expansion of the fortifications (up to the Käfigturm) relegated the tower to second-line status at around 1270–1275, it was heightened by 7 metres (23 ft) to overlook the surrounding houses. Only after the city’s western defences were extended again in 1344–1346 up to the now-destroyed Christoffelturm, the Zytglogge was converted to a women’s prison, notably housing Pfaffendirnen – “priests’ whores”, women convicted of sexual relations with clerics.[4] At this time, the Zytglogge also received its first slanted roof. In the great fire of 1405, the tower burnt out completely. It suffered severe structural damage that required thorough repairs, which were not complete until after the last restoration in 1983. The prison cells were abandoned[6] and a clock was first installed above the gate in the early 15th century, probably including a simple astronomical clock and musical mechanism. This clock, together with the great bell cast in 1405, gave the Zytglogge its name, which in Bernese German means “time bell”.
. . .
The Zytglogge’s internal layout has changed over time to reflect the tower’s change of purpose from guard tower to city prison to clock tower. The thirteenth-century guard tower was not much more than a hollow shell of walls that was open towards the city in the east. Only in the fourteenth century was a layer of four storeys inserted. The rooms above the clockwork mechanism were used by the city administration for various purposes up until the late 20th century, including as archives, storerooms, as a firehose magazine and even as an air raid shelter. The interior was frequently remodelled in a careless, even vandalistic fashion; for instance, all but three of the original wooden beams supporting the intermediate floors were destroyed.
Wikipedia.

The Clock Tower (Zeitglockenturm) was Bern’s first western city gate (1191 – 1256) and formed the boundary of the first city extension. Today it is one of Bern’s most important sights. The ornate astronomical calendar clock was created in 1530. The tower clock was the city’s main clock and therefore had an authoritative function in Bern. It was from there that travel times indicated on the hour stones along the cantonal roads were measured. Length units – formerly cubit and fathom, today meter and double meter – for public inspection are displayed in the arch of the gate.
Zeitglockenturm

Photos of inside

“Kramgasse mit Zeitglockenturm und Zähringerbrunnen” (Kramgrasse with the clock tower & statue), Adolf von Graffenried, c.1830 (from Wikimedia Commons).

In 1527, the Zytglogge’s movement had broken down. A local blacksmith by the name of Kaspar Brunner who had no previous experience in horology won the construction bid to repair the movement for around 1,000 Bernese Gulden. By 1530, Brunner had completed the astronomical clock’s new movement – even adding additional new features in the process. This new movement is still being used to power the Zytglogge today, without any major breakdowns along the way! For this great mechanical feat, Brunner is remembered fondly in Bern.
Montres Publiques

A journey inside Bern’s whimsical clock tower reveals how clicking gears and dancing bears changed the meaning of time. Deep inside a medieval watchtower, Markus Marti presides over the passage of time. Several times a week in the heart of Bern, Switzerland, the retired engineer leads a small group of visitors up a twisting narrow staircase. Then, using a wooden baton as a pointer, he explains how a maze of iron parts powered by a swinging pendulum has, second by second, counted off the last half millennium.
BBC Travel

The Zähringerbrunnen (Zähringen Fountain) is a fountain on Kramgasse in the Old City of Bern, Switzerland. It is a Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old City of Bern. The Zähringerbrunnen was built in 1535[2] as a memorial to the founder of Bern, Berchtold von Zähringer. The statue is a bear in full armor, with another bear cub at his feet. The bear represents the bear that, according to legend, Berchtold shot on the Aare peninsula as he was searching for a site to build a city. The armored bear carries a shield and a banner, both emblazoned with the Zähringen lion.
Wikipedia.

Teichmann fountain, Bremen, Germany


Bremen | Teichmannsbrunnen
c.1910

Google Street View.

The Teichmann fountain was inaugurated on the 22nd November 1899. The multipartite bronze ensemble was situated in a square fountain basin; the frame was made of Niedermendig basalt lava. A ship, threatened by mermaids and marine animals was depicted being pulled over the rocks by a Triton. A sailor on the helm was visible in the back part of the ship, the bow bore an upright Mercury with an olive branch and a bag of money. The edge of the boat bore the name “Teichmann”. The fountain was deconstructed between the 20th and 23rd April 1940 for the German metal donation programme.
Kunst im öffentlichen raum Bremen

Teichmann-Brunnen in Bremen, 1906, (from Wikimedia Commons)

Teichmann Fountain, a boat with Mercury, Neptune and Nixies in bronze by Rudolf Maison was a gift of Kaufmann Gustav Adolph Teichmann (died 1892) to replace an old well and stood from 28 November 1899 until melted down for scrap metal in 1940.
Wikipedia.

Marktplatz, Erlangen, Germany


Erlangen, Marktplatz
Dated 1914
Publisher: Eigentum Gebr. Metz, Tübingen

Google Street View.

360o view

(Via Google Translate)
Since 1694, a weekly market has been held in front of the majestic backdrop of the Margrave Castle on the market and castle square. Simply squarely good, because the square was planned with 91 x 91m when planning the new town. It already had names like “Green Fruit Market”, “Obstmarkt” or Victualien Market”. One thing has never changed. Since then, the square has been the central point of contact and offers a wide selection of fresh food.
Mein Erlangen

“Marktplatz Erlangen, Empfang von Studenten, die aus Protest eine Woche in Altdorf bei Nürnberg verbrachten. Im Hintergrund das am 14. Januar 1814 ausgebrannte und 1821 bis 1825 wieder aufgebaute Schloss” [Reception of students who spent a week in protest in Altdorf near Nuremberg. In the background is the castle that was burnt on Jnaury 1914 and rebilt between 1821 and 1825], 1822 (from Wikimedia Commons
(Via Google Translate)
The Schloßplatz in Erlangen, together with the neighboring market square, forms today’s center of the city. Together they are part of Erlangen’s pedestrian zone and the venue for numerous markets (weekly market, Christmas market, etc.) and festivals (Spring Festival, etc.). The two squares were laid out in 1686 as Grande Place to the west of the newly built Erlangen Palace according to plans by the margravial master builder Johann Moritz Richter. The 91 × 91 meter square Grande Place was crossed in the middle by the main street. At the corners there were originally wells seven meters deep, which no longer exist today.

In 1745, the Grande Place was divided up to provide different functions with their own space. The eastern part was used as a palace square for representation and parades. The western part was used for trade and was successively named Grüner Markt, Obst Marckt, Grüner Obstmarkt, Obstmarkt and Viktualienmarkt before it was given its current name , Marktplatz .

The statue of the university founder, Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth , has stood in the center of the Schloßplatz since 1843. . . . The Margrave Monument is the first statue in Germany to honor a university founder. It was donated by King Ludwig I in 1843 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Friedrich Alexander University . The design was made by the Bavarian court sculptor Ludwig Schwanthaler , and Johann Baptist Stiglmaier was responsible for the execution. The memorial shows the Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth larger than life, wearing a suit of armour, a magnificent cloak and holding the founding document of the university.
Wikipedia.

House of Denis Papin, Blois, France


BLOIS. – Maison de Denis Papin
1900s

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

Escolta Street, Manila


Manila, P.I.
On back:
MANILA, PHILIPINE ISLANDS
Escolta is the main street of Binondo, or new Manila, and is a well-paved thoroughfare, lighted by electricity. Large dry goods and other retail stores line its sides and throngs of pedestrians, market women, carts and carriages, add to its picturesqueness.
Postmarked 1909

One of the oldest streets in Manila, Escolta was created in 1594. Its name was derived from the Spanish word escoltar, meaning “to escort”. In Walter Robb’s essay Main Street, he states, “The gates of the walled city were closed at sunset, when curfew rang from the towers of all its churches; they were not opened again until dawn. Low, massive, stone-arched, typically medieval as you see them today, these gates were all furnished out with ponderous drawbridges lowered and raised by rude capstans, with strong porcullises of square iron bars which settled into place as the drawbridges rose upright.” After some individuals went missing “along the sandy path to the bridge,” Robb continues, a delegation petitioned the governor to station a detachment of halberdiers “along the path as a guard until after the city gates were closed.” “The governor assented, detailing a grizzled officer to arrange the escort, the escolta, in such a manner as to protect the path for a period of six months; and from this the winding path by the riverside got its name, la escolta, the escort, long before it was widened to the dignity of a street.”

Escolta was known for its concentration of immigrant merchants, mainly from Fujian, China, who came to make their fortune during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade. The street was lined with shops and boutiques selling imported goods from China, Europe and elsewhere in Latin America that arrived in the nearby port of San Nicolas. By the late 19th century, Escolta flourished into a fashionable business district hosting the city’s tallest buildings as well as the Manila Stock Exchange. The shops were replaced by modern department stores and an electric tram line known as tranvia plied the street. Escolta served as the city’s primary commercial district until its decline in the 1960s when the center of business gradually shifted to Makati.
Wikipedia.

Welcome to Calle de la Escolta—definitely the main haunt of the fashionable set in the early 20th century. Weekends have become much more exciting with many new establishments embellishing the avenue. Trendy business and shopping spots are opening here and there, thanks to American investors setting up shop. . . . The Salon de Pertierra, established by the Spaniard it was named after, was the first cinema in the Philippines, and brought Manileños their first silent foreign films. It would later be overshadowed by more modern movie theaters such as the Capitol and Lyric Theaters in the mid-30s. Save for the calesas on almost every street corner and a few buildings showcasing the original architecture retained from the Spanish period, it would have been easy to forget Escolta was in the Philippines. The heavily Westernized strip took a page from the streets of modernized America. The horse-drawn tranvia resembled the tourist trams of San Francisco, while the signage could easily be likened to the lit-up letters on New York’s Broadway.
Esquire: The Glory Days of Escolta, Manila’s ‘Queen of the Streets

Escolta Street in Binondo, Manila has a long history of being the business and cultural hub of the Philippines. It started all the way back from the late 16th century as it became the concentration of immigrant merchants, mainly from Fujian, China during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade. Eventually, Binondo, especially the Calle Escolta, its main thoroughfare, evolved into a “melting pot” of people and cultures, where Chinese apothecaries stood alongside British and German drugstores, and also where Hispanic-led companies founded their headquarters there in the 1800’s. It flourished through the centuries from its birth and became the country’s premier central business, art, entertainment and lifestyle district at the turn of the 20th century up to the 1960’s
Escolta

Mariinsky Palace & St Isaacs Square, St Petersbourg


С. Петербургь Государвтвенный совѣтъ Марiинская площадь
St.-Pétersbourg Consèil de l’Empire, et la place Marijnskaja
Postmarked 1914
Publisher: “Richard” St Petersbourg

Google Street View.

The Mariinskiy Palace occupies a prominent position in St. Petersburg’s historic centre, across St. Isaac’s Square and the Blue Bridge from St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The land on which it was built had originally been the site of the St. Petersburg residence of Zakhar Chernyshev, a prominent military commander who had played a key role in the Seven Years’ War and been Minister of War in the reign of Catherine the Great. In 1839, Emperor Nicholas I commissioned the court architect Andrey Stackensneider to build a palace as a wedding present for his daughter, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, who was about to marry Duke Maximilian of Leuchtenberg, the step-grandson of Napoleon Bonaparte and a keen amateur scientist and art collector. Stackensneider, who was also responsible for the Nikolaevskiy Palace and the Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy Palace, created a monumental neoclassical building with intricate decor inspired by medieval French and Renaissance architecture. The original palace interiors were equally eclectic, with each hall decorated in a different style.
Saint Petersburg.com

Mariinsky Palace (Russian: Мариинский дворец), also known as Marie Palace, was the last neoclassical Imperial residence to be constructed in Saint Petersburg. It was built between 1839 and 1844, designed by the court architect Andrei Stackenschneider. It houses the city’s Legislative Assembly. The palace stands on the south side of Saint Isaac’s Square, just across the Blue Bridge from Saint Isaac’s Cathedral. The site had been previously owned by Zakhar Chernyshev, and contained his home designed by Jean-Baptiste Vallin, which was built between 1762 and 1768. Chernyshev occasionally lent his home to foreign dignitaries visiting the capital, such as Louis Henri, Prince of Condé. From 1825 to 1839, the Chernyshev Palace, as it was then known, was the site of the Nikolaevskaya Cavalry School [ru], where Mikhail Lermontov was known to have studied for two years. The palace was demolished in 1839, and materials were reused in the construction of the Mariinsky Palace. . . . The Mariinsky Palace returned to Imperial ownership in 1884, where it remained until 1917. During that period, the palace housed the State Council, Imperial Chancellery, and Committee of Ministers, which after 1905 became the Council of Ministers. The grand hall for the sessions of the State Council was designed by Leon Benois.
Wikipedia.

“St. Isaac’s Square at the beginning of the XIX century” (from Wikimedia Commons)

St Isaac’s Square is St. Petersburg’s main administrative square. On its south side we find the Mariinsky Palace, which today houses the city’s legislature – while on the northern side of the Square we find Admitalty Prospekt. . . . In the early days, St Isaac’s was a market place, and was known as Market Square. It only got its present name in 1738.

The first stone-built buildings to appear on St Isaac’s square were built at the behest of Empress Anna Ioannovna. The architectural style to be seen on the square appeared during the reign of Emperor Alexander I. It was his dream to turn St. Petersburg into the world’s most beautiful city, and thus he invited the French architect Antoine François Mauduit. However, political upheavals at the time left the architect in a difficult position. This left the way clear for a different French architect – Auguste Montferrand – to undertake the design and construction of St Isaac’s Cathedral on the square. The Russian architect Karl Ivanovich Rossi was offered an unusual commission in 1847. At the request of Emperor Alexander II, he took overall charge of the layout of the square, and brought it into the appearance we see here today.
Another Russia

Sevilla Street, Madrid


Madrid. – Calle de Sevila
Pubisher: Hauser & Menet, Madrid

Google Street View.

(Via Google Translate)
Calle de Sevilla is a short street in the Central district of Madrid, in the Cortes neighborhood and very close to Puerta del Sol. It runs south-north between Plaza de Canalejas and Calle de Alcalá. Before it was called Calle Ancha de los Peligros
Wikipedia.

At the beginning of Calla Alcalá, on the corner, stands the old building of the Banco de Bilbao, now the Ministry of the Environment. The monumentality and architectural interest is reinforced by the statues that finish off the two towers on the façade: two bronze quadrigas sculpted by Higinio de Basterra. The chariots are mounted by two Charioteers standing on a pedestal, without any apparent direct mythological link, but as a symbol of the power of the banks at the beginning of the century. During the Civil War it was necessary to paint the sculptures black so that the brass covering of the chariots, shining in the sun, would not serve as a reference in the air attacks.
Fascination Spain: The statues that watch over Madrid from the heights

Ox Cart, Madeira


Madeira Corro de bois
c.1920

This cart without wheels, built with wicker and wood, with seats showing bright coloured fabrics, glided like a sled and was pulled by two oxen led by a “boieiro” (a herdsman dressed in white, with flat boots and straw hat). The herdsman carried a lamp with him to light the way in the absence of street lighting. The story goes that the first oxcart built in Madeira, in 1477, belonged to the English captain C. Balkey. Until the first quarter of the twentieth century this was the most popular form of transport in Funchal and it was classified into two categories: luxury carts and modest carts. The first was aimed at tourism services, weddings and funerals, and the other was used in all other situations.
Visit Madeira

The Madeiran ox cart will have been influenced by the model of the ox cart from the Northeast of Portugal and the traditional Madeiran cart, an unwheeled drag vehicle used for the transport of goods. It was a means of transport with capacity for four people, widely used in the first half of the 19th century, essentially in the city of Funchal, as it was unsuitable for the steep slopes and paths of rural areas. However, its use was not very common among the people. Only the more affluent classes had a yoke of oxen or horses to use as transport and would have conditions for the regular maintenance, necessary for this type of vehicles. . . . “It resembles a type of carriage, without wheels, dragged by oxen. It consists of a wooden box, or braided part of wickers, made of chestnut-tree wood, til or Brazilian mahogany, supported by piles of dynamometer half springs on the threshold, which is covered by a metallic ribbon”.
Cultura Madeira

Matanzas, Cuba


Paseo de Marti, Matanzas, Cuba
c.1910
Publisher: Harris Brothers, Havana, Cuba “Made in the USA”

Matanzas is the capital of the Cuban province of Matanzas. Known for its poets, culture, and Afro-Cuban folklore, it is located on the northern shore of the island of Cuba, on the Bay of Matanzas (Spanish Bahia de Matanzas), 90 kilometres (56 mi) east of the capital Havana and 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of the resort town of Varadero. Matanzas is called the City of Bridges, for the seventeen bridges that cross the three rivers that traverse the city (Rio Yumuri, San Juan, and Canimar)
Wikipedia.