09-Mar-2013 -- We spent 3 days in Lille to visit our daughter who lives there for more than one year to complete her education in a business school. As she was quite busy on Saturday afternoon we took advantage of the situation and try to visit N51 E2 on the French north coast.
As already described by previous visitors the point is very easy to reach at low tide. There is a parking lot available at 775 m south of the CP in the city of Oye-plage / les Hemmes. The weather conditions were bad on the day of our visit with heavy overcast, cold north wind and intermittent showers. As far as we could see the beach was deserted and left us with a feeling of “world end”; very different of the Harrrel’s visit back in 2010, who had the chance of meeting all kinds of people there.
Not much to see in the area but we wish to highlight a very nice place in the old city of Lille that many confluencers would enjoy. This place is the “Hospice Comtesse” museum in Lille. The collections are displayed in an impressive medieval building that was built during the 13th century. The buildings served as a charity hospital until 1935.
But the most interesting thing for my dear fellow confluencers is at the 1st level of the museum. The visitors can see a very nice replica of the CORONELLI GLOBES. The Coronelli globes are 2 huge models constructed from 1681 to 1683 as a present for the french king Louis XIV. There is one terrestrial globe and one celestial globe each measuring 4 meters in diameter and weighing 2 tons. The 2 globes were built after the gathering of all the cartographic knowledge up to 1680. For instance, California is still depicted as an island on the terrestrial globe.
To share the knowledge contained by the 2 original globes, a number of replicas were built by other scholars and artists allowing the replicas to be displayed all over the French kingdom. Of course the models displayed in the Lille museum are much smaller than the originals which can be seen in Paris in the french national library.
The Lille models were built by J.B. Nolin at the beginning of the 18th century. One sentence wrote down on the little sign just beside the museum globes struck me ; it says : “building of the Coronelli globes were made possible by the encyclopedic means and the considerable work of collection of cartographic data operated by Coronelli”.
This is probably one more thing that the Degree Confluence Project brings to the world and to all participants : be part of the human everlasting search for knowledge and sharing. Thanks again to the founders of the project and to all coordinators.