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Amusement Park - Expo Turin 1911

Missing picture

The subway of the Isabella Bridge and a secondary entrance on the same bridge lead to the third part of the Exhibition, located upstream, on the banks of the Po.

The Isabelle Bridge, which had marked the extreme limit of the 1884 and 1898 Exhibitions, now serves as the entrance to an exhibition as important as that of Valentino, from which we have just emerged.

The Exhibition has a cheerful opening: the Amusement Park.

The mechanical games, the wooden horses, the giant wheels, the roller coasters, the slides, which would have disturbed the severe calm of the Valentin, have been gathered here in a large park which delights the little visitors and even the grown-ups. There are more than 15,000 square metres of land on both banks devoted to amusements; they remind us of the Tivoli, the Luna-Park, the Kermesse and other amusement parks abroad.

If the left bank is home to mechanical amusements, on the right bank, on the other hand, a whole Oriental city in miniature emerges. The Orient, which exerts such a great charm on the minds of Western peoples, has erected here, on the banks of our most important river, its tents, its low domes, its minarets, a varied and picturesque ensemble if ever there was one. The flexible palms have raised their slender trunks towards the sky, shading white Moorish houses, caravanserais, huts of savages, camels advancing, as in the desert, with a serious and balanced step.

The eastern city is divided into several sections which give an idea of the life and customs of the countries they represent. Here is Egypt, which we like to see again, after the Egyptian Village of 1884 and the City of Cairo in Milan, in 1906, with its great Mosque, the School, the Harem, the Café. Near Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia. Further on, we go to the centre of Africa with the villages of Congo, Senegal, Niger, Dahomey, Madagascar, where European civilisation penetrates more and more every day among the Negroes with their half-naked bodies, their wide and flat faces, their wide eyes or their childish laughter wandering over their white teeth.

Oriental life, transplanted to the northern coasts of Africa, has its origins in Asia. This is represented here by Siam, China, Indo-China and Japan. The scenes, painted with exquisite taste and an inimitable stamp of local colour by Jusseaume, the artist who decorated the two largest theatres in Paris, are of interest not only to those who visit the park for amusement but also to those who enjoy studying the history of humanity. They show the gradual, almost imperceptible passage from the huts of the savages of the Congo to the first dwellings of Senegal adorned with rudimentary decorations, and the Siamese, Indochinese and Japanese progress, all of which show a great ethnic affinity.

The amusement park was organised by Mr. Ernest Pourtauborde, who had already arranged the similar exhibitions of Cambodia and Algeria at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900.

©Guide Officiel de l'Exposition Internationale de Turin 1911