Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Nantes, la Place Royale, Passage the Pommeraye and la Petite Hollande - The 11th of January 2014 (afternoon)

Upon having left the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany I walked towards Place Royale with its sculpted fountain representing the city of Nantes on the top, the river Loire in the centre and its tributaries beside.

As I walked a bit farther down I must confess I was astounded to come across a statue representing Prince Henry the Navigator. 

Having soon "recovered" from the unexpected encounter with a Portuguese fellow man I continued towards the Passage of Pommeraye which was located very close by - an indescribable arcade-like shopping centre built in 1843 between two streets, whose decoration included quite a few Renaissance sculptures.

From there I walked onto the Bourse area. Several "mascarons" (door and window ornaments) influenced by mythology and exoticism could be seen decorating the houses of la Petite Hollande and displaying the opulent life style of the 18th century, which had mostly depended on two major sources of income, the ship building and the slave trade. The quay de la Fosse and the island of Feydeau are said to have been overloaded with colonial products (in the past), amongst which were coffee, cocoa, pepper, indigo and even exotic wood.

Strolling along the once said to have been the shores of the Loire was very interesting if I didn't think back onto the rather cruel past which had been directly responsible for its opulent beauty.

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