Tuesday, July 15, 2008

monte carlo or bust

My parents were visiting from Scotland a couple of weeks ago so we went for a day trip to Monaco.
Monaco , and Monte Carlo, is about 50 minutes away from Nice and the bus fare is the bargain price of 1 euro! [Public transport is heavily subsidised in this area to get people to leave their cars at home.]

We haven't visited Monaco very often , as its one of the places we tend to go to when visitors arrive. I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to take some photos of the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino building.

This is the back of the casino building -this side houses the theatre and Monte Carlo Opera house. The ballerina sculpture in the foreground is by Marco Lodola.

This is one of the amazing architectural details on the building - comedy and tragedy masks, quite appropriate for a theatre.
The mask theme is continued in mosaic

This photo give some idea of the scale of the place -its a massive complex. Even with my wide angle lens it was hard to get the full building into shot.

Many of the winged figures decorating the building all have butterfly wings.

The casino complex was designed by the architect Charles Garnier in the baroque style which accounts for the immense scale and opulence of the design.
It reminds me of an immense and lavishly decorated wedding cake with hardly a surface untouched by some beautiful ornament or moulding. It would be easy for something like this to look too busy or overdressed but instead its an amazing feast for the eyes.

This is one of the 'turrets' on the casino side of the complex- even the coloured roof tiles are arranged in a floral pattern.

Bronze sculptures decorate the roof. I loved this photo of the huge casino windows reflecting the mountains and clouds. This is one of the casino doors -though not attached to the main building. The doors acted like distorting mirrors from a funfair and everyone looks size zero and real size zero people must turn invisible.

This is the famous front entrance seen in the James Bond films etc. There were Ferrari's, Bentely's , Morgan's and other posh cars parked outside the casino entrance.
The hoi polloi from outside Monaco can visit the casino for a small fee but Monaco residents {Monegasques ] are not allowed to enter so a passport or ID papers need to be shown.

A zoomed in view of the casino clock.
As I was taking the photos, a little cock sparrow landed on the left hand statue by the clock. His little black bib is just visible.
This is a circular disc statue, fountain, and reflecting pool in the gardens opposite the casino. The huge building looks very small reflected on the disc but its probably the only way of getting most of the complex in the same shot.


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Magpie Magic said...

Cool pictures as always. Interesting bits about Monaco as well. :-)

Sue said...

I love Monaco, have visited during Grand Prix, but would love to see it on a quieter day! LOL!
Your photos are as always, excellent!

Alison Ashwell said...

Thanks sue and magpie magic =}

I'm hoping to go to the next Historic Grand prix in 2010 - I really like the old fashioned cars