Exhibition in Paris: “Globes: Architecture and Science Explore the World”

This was an exhibit on globe-shaped and globe-inspired buildings since 1700, some actually built and some just proposed, at a museum called Cité de l’Architecture (click to enlarge)

For example there were 160-foot diameter globes at the world’s fairs in Paris in 1900 and St. Louis in 1904. While the Paris globe was a literal celestial globe depicting the stars in the heavens just as a terrestrial globe depicts the earth, St. Louis went further and had a spectacular Disneyland-type boat ride:

“The highlight of the St. Louis World’s Fair, the world’s largest dome, called “Creation” or “Roltair’s Creation”, after the carnival magician/promoter who created it, set out to present nothing less than the history of the world, of humankind, and of divine creation under a giant blue dome 160 feet (45 m) in diameter. Past its monumental entrance with its giant statue of a bare-breasted female angel by French sculptor Léon Hermant, visitors embarked on an astonishing journey. It started from a great cascade with a 1000 foot (300 m) boat trip along a meandering course that brought into view the wonders of nature recreated in three dimensional painted decors. Next visitors entered a dark cave with a rocking floor — another invention of this master illusionist. Upon emerging into daylight, they discovered a lagoon and other panoramic scenes of civilisation. Then came the climax of the visit: under the central dome, a dazzling spectacle, complete with organ music, lighting and water effects, performers, and a mechanically rotating cyclorama, presented the biblical story of Creation, from the original from the chaos to Adam and Eve.” (from the exhibit text)




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