B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

Marseilles Zoological Garden

"In the great Zoological Gardens we found specimens of all the animals the world produces, I think, including a dromedary, a monkey ornamented with tufts of brilliant blue and carmine hair--a very gorgeous monkey he was --a hippopotamus from the Nile, and a sort of tall, long-legged bird with a beak like a powder horn and close-fitting wings like the tails of a dress coat. This fellow stood up with his eyes shut and his shoulders stooped forward a little, and looked as if he had his hands under his coat tails. Such tranquil stupidity, such supernatural gravity, such self-righteousness, and such ineffable self-complacency as were in the countenance and attitude of that gray-bodied, dark-winged, bald-headed, and preposterously uncomely bird! He was so ungainly, so pimply about the head, so scaly about the legs, yet so serene, so unspeakably satisfied! He was the most comical-looking creature that can be imagined." (Page 100-101)

"Protected as historical monuments, the Longchamp Park, during reconstruction, was formed over time by layering different projects, conceived or made ​​on the site since the nineteenth century.
A Marseille, as in all Provence, the water management has long been a major problem. Construction in 1849, the canal de Marseille that feeds the city with the waters of the Durance, solve the problem and at the same time transformed the landscape of Marseille. To celebrate this event, the architect Henry Espérandieu is responsible, in 1862, to design a large-scale project. It is a monumental fountain flanked by two wings houses one the Museum of Natural History, the other the Museum of Fine Arts, which is accessed via a double staircase behind which extend gardens. Three gardens will be created finalements. The public garden called "plateau", will be launched in 1869, along with the water tower, while the "garden of the Observatory" will be carried out between 1863 and 1864.
Zoological Garden, meanwhile, created at the initiative of the "Society of Zoo Marseille" in the middle of the nineteenth century and managed by the City of Marseille from 1898 shows the passion of the Second Empire and the exotic travel. It will welcome visitors until 1987, and will close, a victim of public disaffection for this type of zoo, considered archaic, where the big cats themselves had only a few square meters to sell their boredom ... The cages, now deserted, tell the children a time with their parents may remember ..."

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