First up is this undated, unused Les Editions postcard featuring an awesome alley in Collioure, a centuries-old village of about 3,000 people on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea in southern France.
Collioure is part of France's Côte Vermeille, or vermilion coast.
The centerpiece and main attraction of Collioure — a place that has inspired many writers and artists over the years1 — is Château Royal de Collioure, a huge castle with portions that might date to the 7th century (or even earlier).
This postcard fits into one of my favorite subcategories on Papergreat: Alleys and walkable communities. Other scenes featured have included:
- Fiskargränd in Visby, Sweden
- Odense, Møntestræde
- Three streets in western Eurasia
- Calle de la Almudaina in Palma, Mallorca
Also, these alley shots always have so many wonderful little details hidden within them.
Did you notice, for example, the girl on the balcony in today's postcard? She's shown at right, in a magnification.
Today's second postcard brings us back to Pennsylvania. This card, which has had its stamp and corner torn off, was postmarked 105 years ago — on July 10, 1907.2
Printed on the card is County Alms and Asylum, Lancaster, Pa.
And someone has added the note "A familiar scene" followed by something illegible.
The construction of the building dates to 1799. When it opened, it was primarily intended for the social control of the poor. To read more about it, here are two excellent websites, full of history and photos:
- Lancaster County Almshouse and Asylum on the AsylumProjects.org wiki
- An in-depth history article on the Lancaster County government website
One final tidbit from this Lancaster postcard. It was published by The American News Company, which was based in New York but had most of its printing done in the German citeis of Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin. This was its logo:
Update: Readers discuss postcard of old Lancaster asylum
1. Those who were captured by the spell of Collioure included Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Tsuguharu Foujita and historical novelist Patrick O'Brian.
2. There was a solar eclipse on July 10, 1907.