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.
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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”.
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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.

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

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.

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.
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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.
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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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Neighbourhood of Al-Darb al-Ahmar & Funerary Mosque of Amir Aytimish al-Bajasi, Cairo


Une rue du Caire
[A street in Cairo]
1900s
Publisher: Vegnios & Zacbos

Google Street View.

The area south of Cairo’s city walls, between Bab Zuweila and the Citadel, was initially the site of Fatimid and Ayyubid-era cemeteries. Under the prosperous reign of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad (between 1293 and 1341) the population of the city reached its peak and the area began to be developed in earnest. The city expanded southwards and many Mamluk elites were eager to build new establishments closer to the Citadel, the seat of the sultan’s power. Al-Nasir himself encouraged this development and even built some of the palaces northwest of the Citadel for his amirs (such as the Palace of Amir Qawsun), just as he was building his own palaces inside the Citadel. The Bab al-Wazir Cemetery also developed next to the neighbourhood at this time, just outside the old Ayyubid city walls.

As a result of this period’s development, most of the neighbourhood’s notable historic monuments date from the 14th century. From the late 14th century onward, however, Cairo suffered from the Black Plague and its population declined and did not recover until centuries later. Nonetheless, the area did develop further during the Ottoman period. The Qasaba of Radwan Bey (now part of the Tentmakers’ Street), for example, was a commercial urban complex developed in the 17th century along the old Qasaba road (now al-Mu’izz Street) and partly aimed at promoting urbanization of the area. The area received further urbanization impetus during the 19th century when Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha again redeveloped the nearby Citadel as a seat of power. He granted various plots of land in al-Darb al-Ahmar to important army officers who were thus encouraged to build in the area. The district was a center of craftsmanship for generations, but in recent years it has suffered from the liberalization of Egypt’s economy and the neighbourhood is hampered by poverty
Wikipedia.

Aytmish was an emir of Sultan Barquq who became a regent for Barquq’s son Farag, and subsequently fled Cairo when Farag came to power and was killed in Damascus in 1400/802 AH. His foundation here includes a mosque, tomb chamber, and sabil, along with funduq/rab adjacent to the mosque which may survive partially in the structure to the right of the main facade. A seperate haw-kuttab outside of the Bab al-Wazir were also included in the foundation. The (empty) tomb chamber has a distinctive brick and plaster dome, with ribs that rise straight up for the first quarter of the dome, then bend to the right and spiral up to the top, an example of the experimentation with ribbing that was popular from 1360 to 1400. . . The grille below is not original and the ground level has now risen above the bottom of the window. The Comité de Conservation des Monuments de l’Art Arabe restored the stonework on the main facade. The interior of the mosque is plain, and is in use as a neighborhood mosque. There is a newly-tiled mihrab, a damaged painted wooden ceiling over the main iwan, and a roof with a lantern over the courtyard.
ArchNet