Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mile Stones of French Architecture

We all are familiar with the fact that our home town is popularly known as “Mini France”. It is because of the architectural design of our town. So it made me curious to search for the reasons that are behind this fact. So here are some interesting facts that make our city unique in the architectural design.
Pondicherry town in its earlier stage of development is said to have followed the pattern of bastide towns (Medival towns of South west France, bulit according to a geometrical plan) in France with a wall around the town and main gates (Madras Gate, Valudavur Gate) leading to the market. The rest of the area was divided into rectangular blocks on the same pattern of Montpazier in Southern France.

Another notable feature of Pondicherry is the “Quai” which is found in many french towns. Most of the french “Quais” are bulit along the rivers flowing through the town. In Pondicherrry, this has been achieved through the town. In Pondicherry, this has been achieved through the formation of two promenades called “Quai de Gingy” and “Quai de Ambour” on the either side of the grand canal both of which were once lined with shady trees.
The Place du Gouvernement in Pondicherry is a brilliant example of french planning squares. Although it cannot be compared to any of the squares in its scale, it still epitomises the basic principles of the classical French squares. Another important characteristic is that all the main public buliding are lined along this square. Thus, these are few of the notable architectural designs of our city and it make the city on par with France.

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