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Phoenicia - Expo Paris 1889

Phoenicia at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1889

A small people settled in Syria, the Phoenicians, who have rightly been called the English of the ancient world, traded with Assyria as well as with Egypt.

They were therefore influenced by the art of these two countries and spread their goods throughout the Mediterranean basin.

The cities of Phoenicia were surrounded by strong walls to protect them from the enemy.

As they were densely populated, the houses were quite high, so that they could accommodate the entire population, and the streets were very narrow, leaving very little space.

The rich merchants had country houses outside the walls, where there was no lack of land as in the city, and they could indulge their most ruinous whims at ease.

The houses were provided with concrete terraces, from which the water flowed down into private cisterns, because the lack of running water made it necessary to conserve rainwater.

They had inner courtyards surrounded by porticoes, and, on the upper floors, covered wooden galleries in the form of loggias.

The type represented by M. Garnier is particularly noteworthy for the important place given to wood in the construction and ornamentation.

The decoration lacks neither elegance nor lightness. A sort of square cradle surmounts the left-hand corner of the building, whose ornamentation is very meticulous.

© L'exposition de Paris - 1889