Thursday, April 5, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 33

Le Boulevard Saint-Martin, Paris, ca 1890

Intersection of le boulevard Saint-Denis and Saint-Martin with the Saint-Martin gate, ca 1900

Front view Porte Saint-Martin, Paris, 2006
[photo courtesy of Wikipedia]

Unlike some of the other postcards that I have collected most of the ones printed in France do not have the printer-publisher’s name on the reverse. Both cards above show a picture of the intersection of the boulevards St. Denis and St. Martin with the St. Martin’s Gate photographed from almost the identical angle. I did find a front view of the gate on Wikipedia and have included it here as well.

The top postcard shows only horse drawn conveyances while the second card shows a mixture of mostly horse drawn vehicles but a few motorcars and bicycles as well; therefore, they were probably taken some years apart. Notice what looks like a Mercedes emblem on the front of the automobile on the left side of the second card.

The original gate from medieval times was replaced at the order of Louis XIV. It was built in 1674 and later restored in 1988. It is constructed of limestone and marble with relief artwork and stands 18 meters high (59 feet). That would be about the height of a four or five story building. Paris was at one time a fortified city and this gate and the St. Denis gate were part of the fortifications. The St. Denis gate is located within walking distance to the west of this one.

For more information see:

If we have enough free time and can figure out how to use the Metro perhaps we will be able to visit this spot and I can put up a current photo later.

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