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.
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 ...
Audrey : Jacques 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.
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.