Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Chateau Voltaire, Ferney-Voltaire

Near Ferney-Voltaire, a village on the French-Swiss border, you find the home of the famous philosopher Voltaire. It was built from 1758 to 1766, and he lived here for twenty years.

The Chateau Voltaire is in need of some maintenance
Voltaire came to Ferney in 1753, after he was denied access to Paris by King Louis XV. He lived here and was loved by the local population, and his name was added to the name of the village, Ferney-Voltaire.  At Chateau Voltaire he entertained distinguished guests, like James Boswell, Giacomo Casanova, and Edward Gibbon.

Chateau Voltaire is modest, as a stately home. It rests in a large park, just a short walk away from the small streets of the nearby village. It is slightly shabby, and in need of a little TLC, not only the main house but also the other buildings in the complex.

The park is on a slope leading down to Lac Leman
The Chateau was closed when we visited, but we were given access to the park. The park is breathtaking, a little overgrown with small statues and old fountains, but mysterious, with huge trees providing shade, and from the garden you can enjoy the view to the slopes going leading down to Lac Leman

More images from Chateau Voltaire
The Church on the grounds of the chateau with the plaque DEO EREXIT VOLTAIRE MDCCLVI ("Erected to God by VOLTAIRE")
Park: Romantic statue of a little boy
Park: A young farm girl.
A fountain in the park of Chateau Voltaire
Where to find Chateau Voltaire

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Stories from Ferney-Voltaire on Enjoy Food & Travel 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Istanbul: Ancient columns of the old Hippodrome

Obelisk of Tuthmosis III with the Blue Mosque in the background
The square named Sultanahmet Meydanı by the Blue Mosque used to be the Sporting circus in old Constantinople.  Here you find three fascinating columns from the Egyptian, Greek, and the Byzantic cultures. 
The Obelisque of Tuthmosis III
The top of the column with hieroglyphs
The oldest of the monument is the Obelisk of Pharaoh Tuthmosis III, originally erected at the Temple of Karnak in Luxor. It rests on a marble base from 390, the year Emperor Theodosius the Great brought it from Egypt to Constantinople and raised it in the middle of the hippodrome. 
Emperor Theodosius marble base from 390 AD

Serpent Column
The Serpent Column, or what is left of it
The Serpent Column was brought from Delphi by Emperor Constantine. It is also known as the Tripod of Plataea and is 1000 years younger than the Egyptian Obelisk.

It was made cast to commemorate the victory of the Greeks over the Persians during the Persian Wars in the 5th century BC. It used to have three serpent heads holding up a Golden Bowl. The bowl was destroyed during the 4th Crusade, and the Serpent Heads disappeared in the 17th Century.
The Walled Obelisk
The Walled Obelisk is "only 1000 years old"
The Walled Obelisk was built Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus in the 10 Century AD. It was erected on the other side of the Hippodfrome and was originally covered by gilded bronze plaques, removed during the looting of the 4th Crusade.

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