Sunday, September 29, 2013

Architectural Details

Today we returned to the book "Secrets, Legends, and Mysteries of Old Paris" to find a few interesting things to look at.  At 57 rue Turbigo we found this sculpture on the front of the building.  It demonstrates that even though Baron Haussman dictated a unity of style in the redevelopment of Paris, there was still latitude for architects to display some unique touches.

This half-timbered house on rue Volta was thought to be the oldest house in Paris until 1979 when research showed it dates only to 1644 and the title of oldest house goes to the Nicholas Flamel house in the Marais.

On a building on the edge of Place du Caire there are three depictions of the Egyptian goddess Hathor with her cows' ears.  Above her are some faux hieroglyphics.  Sorry for the photo quality - the tree in the square made it difficult to get a good shot.

At the very top of this building, among the "hieroglyphs," is a depiction of a man whose nose is about the same size as his head.  In the early 19th century there was an apprentice artist named Bouginier whose nose was the subject of much joking among his friends.  His fellow apprentices left depictions of it all over Paris and this one in Place du Caire is the only one remaining.  Victor Hugo referred to Bouginier's nose in "Les Miserables."

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