Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Paris Places ~ 'Wait A Minute, Mr. Postman'

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesCuriosities ~ Cemeteries ~ 14th

Wait A Minute, Mr. Postman

My original question on the Paris Photo Quiz was:

"What's it for and where can you find it?"

Well, you can find these patriotic little postboxes in cemereries around the French capital, but... they're not postboxes.

They are, in fact, and I'm going to blatantly quote the winner of the quiz, Adela (thanks Adela), who elucidates things for us:

...it's a collection box for Le Souvenir Français, an association that was officially founded in 1906, but goes back to 1887.

Associations are deeply woven into the fabric of French society, and Adela goes on to tell us more about this one:

The group's purpose was to erect and maintain the tombs of fallen French soldiers. Written on the lower portion of the box: Familles, fideles a vos tombs pensez a celles des morts pour la France.

The boxes can be found in French cemeteries...Montparnasse, etc. The association is still active and has some 130,000 members.

Apparently they have around 130,000 members, and although I've only seen their collection boxes in Montparnasse (where this photo was taken) and Montmartre, I'm keen to find more 'for the record', so do let me know in the comments if you have seen any others around the place, won't you! There must be one in Père Lachaise, don't you think?

The box isn't really as grotty as in my first photo - that was for artistic effect, folks. Here's the same pic a little earlier down the post-processing route, only slightly Sabbified at this stage, and considerably less grimy, I'm sure you'll agree.

If you tell me you prefer the latter version, I'll understand, certainly, but we'll probably never be real friends...  ;-)

Having totally run out of anything vaguely resembling 'informative' on this little topic to share with you, other than the fact that cemeteries are generally full of dead people, and the Montparnasse and Montmartre ones seem to be no exception, I'll share a couple more pics I took recently, all on my famous telephone camera, which also highlight this doubtlessly worthy organisation.

This photo's origins have faded into the mists of my memory, but was certainly in the Montmartre cemetery itself, and shows a Souvenir Français stud, along with a rather flimsier sticker which was being given out in exchange for a donation for Toussaint, All Saints' Day, the Day of the Dead, no less.

The final picture shows an incredible coincidence, captured first in the mind, and then camera, by your intrepid street photographer: the striking similarity between the aforementioned Souvenir Français sticker and a sticker covered no-parking sign on a wall. Stunning, I'm sure you'll agree.

You can click on any of them to make them bigger if you wish.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I bet none of you, I mean none of you, can get the answer to my latest quiz, which is all about a strange plaque you can find on certain buildings scattered around Paris and whose origins and meaning are possibly lost in the smog of the city... and possibly not. Click on the picture to have a go!

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This item first appeared on my Paris Photo Quiz blog, where you can test your knowledge of Paris curiosities and maybe win some cool bookmarks. Check it out, and say Sab sent ya!
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© 2011 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and commissions always welcome!

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