Friday, 12 June 2015

Building No 50

By way of a small personal celebration of reaching the 50th building I have chosen one of my favourite edifices: The Belvedere de Rayon Verte.
Started in around 1920 this incredible concrete structure follows the curve of the railway in Cerbère (small southern French coastal town that I have frequently gone on about on this blog). One of the first concrete buildings in France it was designed and used as a hotel in the 20s and 30s as at that time travelling from France to Spain (and probably vice-versa) involved several days of paper/passports checking etc.
Now, although rather crumbling, it is still a breathtaking structure on the Cerbèrian skyline, and is slowly being restored to its former brilliance, although I don't know if they will reinstate the tennis courts on the roof . . .
The most important highlight of the year for the Belvedere these days is the excellent art film festival held in early October for a week - link below. Visitors can watch films in the elegant 1920s cinema, eat in the pretty much untouched dining room and stay in one of the rooms on the top floor to be lulled to sleep by the rumbling trains and the singing railings of Cerbère.

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