Thursday, July 07, 2011

Place Jean Jaurès, Montrouge

Time has run so fast since last time I wrote in that blog… I did so many things, including another trip to China and some other stuff… My “frogs of the world” challenge starts pretty well, I will give you some news on this in a near future.

But for today I have chosen something different. I’m not going to speak about stamps. Well at least not at the beginning of this post. I’m going to speak about postcards. I do not collect postcards (except may be maximum cards when they fit into my topics). But I do have several friends who do. I recently had an interesting discussion with one of them. He was trying to convince me to start collecting postcards. But it did not really succeed. In order to show me how funny it could be, he told me that he could probably find postcards picturing the place where I was born or the place where I live. It triggered my curiosity. I was quite sure that no postcards exist picturing the place where I was born, but I was really surprised when he showed me postcards picturing where I actually live.
I live in Montrouge, a small city located in the suburb of Paris. It is in the south of Paris, at the border of the 14th arrondissement for those who know Paris. I live just near a nice place called Place Jean Jaures. This is a large place, with a large roundabout where a fountain is located. My friend found the following postcards that picture the place at different periods in time. I’m not sure I ordered the cards in the right chronological order, as they are not dated. Some are used so we can not the date form the cancel on the stamp, but some others are not used. What is sure is that the last one is the most recent one and pictures a view of the place which is very similar than the way it looks today.

The oldest card must date from the 30’s. It is interesting to see how much the pace has changed over the time. The central fountain seems to be a rather recent addition. It is also interesting to see how the people, the cars and all the rest have changed. This is like a sort of time travel.

Some information about the man who gave the name of the place. Jean Léon Jaurès was born in 1859 and he was a leader of the French socialist party from 1902. In 1905 his party merged with another one to become the SFIO (French Section of the Workers International). He was an antimilitarist and was assassinated in July 1914. He is very famous in France and his name has been given to a lot of places, streets and avenues in various cities.

As I am an incorrigible philatelist, I had a look to the stamps that were issued by French postal administration picturing Jaurès. Two stamps have been issued in 1936.

One was issued in 1959 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth.

One was issued in 1981 picturing the Panthéon that is located in Paris and that contains the remainings of distinguished French citizens, including Jaurès.

(all the stamp pictures of this post comes from the excellent website :
Phila Echange)

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