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Day 197: Why so red?

I recently blogged about the Montsouris reservoir and if you look back again at the accompanying photo, you would notice a fountain from which water is flowing freely at its centre. Named Wallace fountain after its generous donor, Sir Richard Wallace, there are over 60 of these fountains around Paris to provide free potable water in public spaces from spring to autumn.

Normally dark green in colour, imagine my surprise when I came across one today that’s fire-engine red! Mais bien sûr, this particular fountain is situated in the heart of Chinatown area, and this is the one colour that Chinese loves most. Perhaps the residents nearby feel they require the fountain to “fit in”, culturally speaking?

Personally, I’d rather they be dark green than red.

Day 190: Réservoir de Montsouris

From the exterior, this glass building could pass for an old, disused metro station from the era of Art Nouveau. It’s pretty yet subtle, with names inscribed on the wall referring to rivers near Paris. This hints on the purpose of the site itself, formerly a stone mine but today a water reservoir that would serve the left bank and areas south of Paris.

Water channelled in from the aquaducts of Loing, Lunain, Vanne and Voulzie are stored away from plain sight, under grass-covered hills of which the glass building sits atop. The interior resembles a massive cathedrale which has been inundated with clear water (Google and you will see), and how I would love to see that for myself. However, as you can imagine, for health and safety reasons, a tour into the reservoir would just not be possible. What a pity.

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