Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Brasserie du Coq d'Or, Cognac

What could be better to celebrate France's Fête nationale than a proud cockerel on its mound, keeping an eye over its territory (although I must concede the French cockerel isn't golden). Cocorico!

The building where this mosaic can be seen was originally built in 1886 as Cognac's main post office. Following the opening of a new post office in 1906 on Place Bayard, it was partly rebuilt and enlarged to accomodate the Brasserie du Coq d'Or. The mosaic is most certainly the work of Maurice Audigier, whose building and decorating company was based in Cognac.

Although July 14 is called Bastille Day in English-speaking countries, what the Fête nationale officially commemorates isn't the storming of the Bastille itself but the Fête de la fédération which was held on the first anniversary of the event, on July 14, 1790. While the importance of July 14, 1789 couldn't be underestimated, it had been a bloody day. The party organized one year later on the Champ-de-Mars on the contrary had brought together French society in a peaceful celebration. That's why, when the deputies and senators voted on the creation of a national holiday in 1880, they opted to honour the second event, even if by then a majority of the population had and nowadays everybody has the first one in mind.

Location: Place François Ier, Cognac, Charente / Picture taken on: 03/06/2010

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