The "Gloriette de Buffon"

In a post about “Le Jardin des Plantes” some two years ago (see here) I mentioned that the “Gloriette de Buffon” was in bad shape and was in heavy need of restoration. Money was collected and the belvedere is now again in very good shape.

The “Jardin des Plantes” opened to public already during the 17th century and has since of course been considerably modified during the centuries with several museums, a little zoo…. This is my sixth post about  the "Jardin".

The “Gloirette” dates from 1788 (!!!) and stands on the top of a little artificial hill, actually and originally a medieval waste dump – the belvedere was preceded by a wind mill. The “Gloriette” is considered to be one of world’s oldest pure metallic structures (about a century before Eiffel) and was definitely worth being saved.

The design was made by an architect (Edme Verniquet, 1727-1804) and was actually executed by the park’s locksmith. The metal came from the “Great Buffon Forge”, created in 1768 by Count Buffon (Georges-Louis Buffon, 1707-88), who was also a leading naturalist and who become director of the “Jardin”. The belvedere was completed the year of Buffon’s death and it was obvious that the “Gloriette” should be linked to his name.

Buffon’s statue is of course to be found in the park. Buffon is a name that today, at least for a Parisian, makes you rather and spontaneously think of Gianluigi Buffon, considered as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, who just joined the Paris football / soccer team, PSG. (No statue yet.)

The inscription “Horas non numero nisi serenas”, I count only the hours that are serene, can now again be read. This Latin motto can be seen on a number of monuments around the world and is in general linked to a sun dial. On top of the “Gloriette” there used to a mechanism, long since lost, where a magnifying glass and a wick made a bell ring at noon (on a sunny day).

It may be interesting to know that the word “gloriette” has its origin from an old 12th century French word “gloire”, meaning a little room, and is supposed to be a building in a garden on an elevated site, respecting the surroundings.

The “Gloriette” is overlooking a cedar of Lebanon, which was planted here in 1734, 54 years before the construction of the “Gloreitte”.     


Ola said...

a very nice place to visit!

Bob Alescio said...

May you never run out of lovely things to share.

Maria Russell said...

En español llamamos "glorieta" a esa estructura.
Gracias por el tour y por las siempre increibles fotos.

Shammickite said...

What a gorgeous place to visit. And I hope the celebrated football goalie M. Buffon gets his own statue very soon!

Unknown said...

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and someone with a belvedere will likely have a great deal of beauty to behold. Given the origins of the word, belvedere is the ideal term for a building (or part of a building) with a view; it derives from two Italian words, bel, which means "beautiful," and vedere, which means "view." The term has been used in English since the 1570s.