Two obelisks and a giraffe

Two obelisks from the entrance to Luxor Temple were offered to France by the Viceroy of Egypt in 1830. One thrones on the place de la Condorde still today. But did you know there was another precious gift from the Viceroy just a few years earlier? Rosa Bonheur moved to Paris from Bordeaux, she was 7 years old at the time and did not like Paris at all until she discovered Paris' latest phenomenon... Zarafa. In 1826 Muhammad Ali Pasha, the Viceroy of Egypt, gave Zarafa (Arabic for «Giraffe», literally «charming» or «lovely one»), the first living giraffe to set foot on French soil, to Charles X as a diplomatic gift. She was separated from her mother at 3 months of age, traveled 2000 miles down the Nile, then across the Mediterranean by boat, arriving in Marseilles, where she would spend her first winter acclimatizing. The following spring, she left for Paris on a 41 day walk (880km) accompanied by 55 year old French naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. Each stag…
Voir Plus about Two obelisks and a giraffe
  • 0