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.

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