Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Nancy Art Nouveau houses in Saurupt

Lillian :  At the tourist office in Nancy you can hire an Audio guide to their Art Nouveau architecture, and if you follow the instructions without getting too lost, you'll see lovely buildings and hear all about them.  It is excellent value though it does feel a little strange to wander about the streets with an Audio guide held to your ear - they are just like the ones you hire in Art Galleries!  

Part of the Audio tour took us into the suburbs of Nancy - to Saurupt to see some really gorgeous Art Nouveau houses.

This is the Villa Henri-Emmanuel Lang (1905-1906), the architect was Lucien Weissenburger.

Audrey :  It is all the details that make these houses so lovely ...  and like us, those Art Nouveau artistes liked towers and turrets.

Audrey :  They also liked wonderfully fancy chimneys.

Lillian :  This villa has lots of different wall treatments - render, dressed stone, rough stone for the outer wall & striped brickwork.

The Entry

Brickwork, tiles & lead-light

Round the side - this bow window with a balcony on top and fantastic wood-work.


Audrey :  Reminds me of a pirate ship somehow ...

Well the next house we saw was the Villa Marguerite, 1903-05 - the architects were Joseph Hornecker (he also designed Nancy's Opera House)  & Henri Gutton.


Lillian :  A tower, balconies and just about every shape of window you can think of!

Audrey :  Such pretty iron-work and an oval port-hole.

Audrey :  French cyclists ... in front of the next Villa on the tour

 This dates from 1902 - 04, designed by Émile André.

Glycine is French for Wisteria - but the Wisteria was across the road - growing all over the Villa Les Roches ...

Lillian :  Trans. The Rocks - appropriate as the walls of this house are of undressed stone.  Émile André. was the architect of this house too - it is very different from its 'sister' across the road.
Gate Post

Lillian :  Les Roches had a painted frieze under the eaves - unfortunately now rather faded.

 Audrey :  Our people looked for this last building for ages and had given up trying to find it when ... there it was!

Maison Geschwindammer, 1905, by Henri Gutton & Joseph Hornecker (like the Villa Marguerite).

It has gorgeous mosaic - with golden tiles.

Iron-work at main door-way
another Door-way

Lillian :  The details as you look up - from that main door-way
Painted Detail

Lillian :  This is the  balcony in front of the window that is framed by the lovely mosaic - ceramic (I think) with poppy heads.   In our next post we'll show some more architectural details - some Art Nouveau, some Art Deco ...

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Party Time - over 5,000 views

The girls had a party to celebrate reaching 5,000 views on this blog - they invited all their friends and everyone had a lovely time.  Even though the Barbies made fools of themselves again and were a bit of an embarrassment.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Nancy - rue Henri Poincaré

Lillian :  In this post we are going to show you photos of 2 rather well known Art Nouveau buildings in rue Henri Poincaré, Nancy.

Audrey :  This wonderful building is the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie - all pale limestone and teal painted ironwork.

Lillian :  Built in 1908, the architects were Émile Toussaint et Louis Marchal - the marvelous iron work by Louis Majorelle.

Detail from the door

Audrey :   It is a big governmental building - we took photos of  some of the lovely details...

Audrey  :  Oak leaves & acorns because "From little things big things grow..."

Agriculture written beautifully - and is it plane tree leaves & fruit?
Quite lovely & slightly Egyptian?

 Audrey :  And that is a thistle made to look quite beautiful, even though really it is a prickly pesky plant - and an industrious agriculturalist would surely be busy trying to rid his farm of thistles! 
Lillian :  But remember - the thistle is one of the heraldic symbols of Lorraine, and Nancy.  The motto is "No one touches me with impunity".
 Audrey :  Well that is definitely true of thistles!

Lillian :  But now back to the building - the Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  There are lovely stained glass windows by that remarkably industrious member of l'école de Nancy - Jacques Gruber.

And these windows would be much better photographed from the inside - then you could see the details of the staining & painting on the glass.  **  edited to add:  I've found a photo of The Scientist window from the inside **  The first window shows nature - perhaps the edge of a forest near Nancy.

The next window has a town on a river or harbour.

 Then we have some industrious people. 

a Scientist
a Miner


And a glass blower.  Glass making was & still is an important industry for Nancy and the region - Daum is still making beautiful glass pieces and Baccarat crystal is still made in the town of Baccarat, just to the Sth East of Nancy.

  Audrey :  Well - back to the Art Nouveau architecture because just down the road from the Chamber of Commerce is l'Excelsior

and it certainly excels in architecture & interior design!  If only one could take a Tardis back in time and see this lovely place full of beautifully dressed ladies & gents from 1911 when the brasserie was brand new. 

Lillian : Our people were too shy to take many photos inside but if you click on the link above - there is a "panoramic" in the section "L'Ame du lieu".

The ceiling is just gorgeous with bracken fern fronds in every corner.

Lillian :  Here are some details from the outside - the architects were
Lucien Weissemburger & Alexandre Mienville.


Audrey :  The awning is decorated with pine leaves and glass pine-cones.   They looked as if made of opal and the photo doesn't really do them justice.

Lillian :  The stained glass windows are the work of .. guess who ...
AudreyJacques Gruber.  Delicate ginkgo biloba ...

pine and fern fronds.

Lillian :   Here is the detail of one of the light fittings - outside the windows.  Once again - the attention to every gorgeous detail is stunning.

Audrey :  And - across the road from l'Excelsior there is a wonderful chocolatier & confiserie  (trans: fabulous lolly shop) where our people bought lots of Bergamot lollies ... totally delicious.

Audrey :  But let's look at all the yummy things in the windows of the confiserie.  The pretty coloured chocolates at the top are labeled "chardons liqueur" - liquor thistles!    And because we were in Nancy at Easter time (2011) there were some easter eggs and bunnies but there were far more chocolate fish & even a lobster - beautifully detailed with coloured chocolate. 
 Lillian :  The Chocolate Fish are not really for Easter - they are Poisson d'Avril (April fish).  From a popular April Fool's Day prank when children (mostly) try to stick paper fish on the backs of as many people as possible.

Audrey :  Ok - well - here is a display of Mirabelles - glace mirabelles and mirabelles made from marzipan ...
Lillian :  Mirabelles are a small yellow plum and a specialty of the Lorraine region - especially Metz and Nancy.  Our photographer had a meal with Mirabelles in everything except the entree - as an aperitif a Kir Mirabelle (wine with Mirabelle liquor), the main course was pork with Mirabelle sauce, desert was some wonderful nougat ice-cream with Mirabelle coulis and the coffee had some of that Mirabelle liquor in it. 

Audrey : And we thought that in Lorraine people ate only quiche!   Come to think of it - we didn't even see a Quiche Lorraine and we were in Nancy for 6 days!  The closest to a quiche was this piece of frittata that we bought from a bakery for lunch one day.  It was massive & exceptionally cheap & tasted wonderful.