December 21, 2008

The Old Water Tower in Toulouse

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 8:36 am by classicalmusic

The Chateau d’Eau
Last week I was in Toulouse, France, for a few days. Toulouse, apart from being a very old city dating back to the Roman Empire, is where the Airbus is manufactured. Therefore, the city is very air and space oriented. But I am not so interested in “space” and its history and its future, so I didn’t want to visit the Toulouse Space Cite with all its exhibits. I decided to opt for a smaller museum which was also not too far from where I was staying.

The small and charming museum I discovered was the Chateau d’Eau (literally “the house of water”). It was an old water tower which, in 1997, was converted into a museum dedicated to photographic exhibits only. The building stands as it was originally built, of old dark red bricks, on the banks of the Garonne River. Inside you can see the two old water wheels which, at one time, churned the river waters up into the tower to provide water for the city. Now, of course, they are still and silent and all around the walls, on two floors, photographs are displayed.

On the day of my visit, the photographs on display were taken by one Eric Aupol. They were photos of the inside and outside of an old hospital, and most of them were pretty grim. I was impressed by the use of Aupol’s lighting but the subject matter was quite depressing. The nicest part of the visit was to see how this old building has been refurbished and put to use.

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