Friday, August 30, 2013

Classical Gas

Have you noticed anything odd about this blog? Has it occurred to you that I live in Bordeaux, one of the most beautiful cities in France; that I blog about architecture; and that I’ve promised, several times in fact, to write about the architecture of Bordeaux. But, so far, I haven’t been true to my word. I always seem to be distracted by some other subject. Sure, one of my first posts was on the Palais Galien, Bordeaux’s only Roman ruin. And I did a little piece on the boot scrapers around town. And there was something on Corbu in the ‘burbs. But so far I’ve studiously avoided writing about the Classical architecture for which Bordeaux is justly famous.

Now why do you suppose that is? I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the past couple of weeks, as I continued to put off that long-promised post. And I finally realized that the answer is a complete no-brainer --- 18th century classical architecture may be beautiful, but it’s so rational and ordered that, to me, it’s just plain boring. 

The Bourse and the Fountain of the Three Graces

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Art Nouveau Paris: A tour of Auteuil

Man, oh man. I’m just all over the place with this blog. A few weeks ago I started on the subject of Gothic architecture and promised to describe its history and development. Then the weather heated up and that topic seemed way too heavy for the dog days of August. Instead I gave you a taste of Bordeaux’s Classical architecture with the promise of more to come.

Since that last post we’ve been to Paris, and now I’m going to change the subject yet again. But I promise, I will get back to Gothic churches and Classical Bordeaux.   In the meantime we spent a day trekking around Auteuil, a well-heeled suburb in the southeastern part of the city that was a laboratory for the development of 20th century architecture. Today I’d like to show you some spectacular Art Nouveau buildings and in the next post I’ll go back to the earlier topics. And I’ll try not to get sidetracked this time, although I have to admit that I'm really anxious to write about the fortified mills of the Entre-deux-Mers region.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wild Horses...The Monument to the Girondins

It’s nearly 100 degrees in Bordeaux and it’s August, so most of France is on vacation. Restaurants are closed, the streets are empty and the only thing Bruce and I can do is sit around our un-airconditioned apartment and sweat.

Because it’s so hot I decided that it’s probably not the best time to be writing about heavy subjects like the evolution of Gothic architecture. So for the next few weeks I’m going to take a break from posts that demand a lot of concentration. Instead, I’m just going to show you some of Bordeaux’s gorgeous architecture.