Saturday, December 22, 2012

French Inscriptions

During our trips to France we have recorded various building inscriptions. The French are good at keeping track of the births and deaths and doings of notable people. For you film fans here's Méliès birthplace near the Place de la République in Paris. The inscription says he was born in the building on December 8, 1861 and describes him as a creator of cinematic spectacles, a prestidigitator and the inventor of numerous illusions.

Any philosophy groupies out there? Here's Michel Foucault's birthplace in the city of Poitiers. It says it's "The birth house" of Foucault and describes him as a historian, philosopher and professor at the College of France.

This inscription commemorates Henri Becquerel's discovery of radiation in a laboratory in this building near the Jardin des Plantes. It would be even cooler if the words glowed.

Marshal up you aesthetes and decadents. This inscription marks the "house" (actually a hotel) where Oscar Wilde died. It's on the Left Bank in Paris. The hotel has been fixed up but at the time Wilde stayed there, it was a sad and dirty place. Wilde is described as a poet and dramaturge, born in Dublin, died in Paris.

The French keep track of some pretty old stuff. This sign in the Collegiate Church in the village of Candes-Saint-Martin in the Loire Valley indicates the place where St. Martin died in 397 CE. It says it is a place of contemplation and prayer.

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