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Fountain in the Allée des Boulingrins

2010-07-14 10:37

The French word Boulingrins has been in use since the 17th century to refer to any ornamental parterre laid out with flowerbeds and fountains. In Monte Carlo it refers to the gardens which extend up the hill from the Casino. But the real fascination is the origin of the word.



© Jilly Bennett/Monte Carlo Daily Photo

Originally, French gardens of this type developed from simple smooth lawns named 'boulingrins' after the popular English  'Bowling Greens'. Soon, the name was adopted to refer to the game itself.  Hence, English bowling is known in francophone countries, especially Canada, as 'boulingrin'.  It would be hard to imagine anyone playing bowls in these gardens, however - there's too much of a slope! 

The fountain is a crucial statement in the symmetrical design of the Allée, producing the refreshing effect of a cascading dome of water, giving a particular focus to the gardens, and directing the wandering eye inescapably towards the Casino.

 

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