Petit Futé's opinion on THE ANIMALS OF THE PLACE
Born from the imagination of François Delarozière, artistic director of the company "La Machine", fabulous mechanical animals have taken up residence in the basins of the Place Napoléon. Some are reminiscent of Bonaparte's scientific expedition to Egypt, others are inspired by French fauna: a 9-metre Nile crocodile, a dromedary, a hippopotamus and a sacred ibis stand alongside a great horned owl, pink flamingos, an otter and frogs. These animals can be handled free of charge by the public during the opening hours of the control stations.
Information on THE ANIMALS OF THE PLACE
Closed in January. All year round: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Summer: every day from 10am to 8pm. Free of charge.
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Owner's Message THE ANIMALS OF THE PLACE
Once upon a time... the Animals of the Square
Legend has it that when the city was created, under the orders of Napoleon, scientists returning from the Egyptian expedition chose to keep a mechanical bestiary in La Roche- sur-Yon for the observation of nature. These animals, which had disappeared shortly after the city was built, were rediscovered during excavations when the city was being developed.
The public can operate levers and joysticks to set these mechanical sculptures in motion. Unique in their kind, these funny mechanical animals are accessible free of charge all year round.
During the competition for the development of the Place Napoléon, Alexandre Chemetoff proposed a collaboration with François Delarozière and the company La Machine to integrate a tourist and cultural facility intended to strengthen the attractiveness of the city centre.
Born from the imagination of François Delarozière, artistic director of the company "La Machine", a fabulous mechanical bestiary animates the Place Napoléon.
At the origin of this bestiary is the history of the city itself, inseparable from the figure of Napoleon. The scientific expedition that accompanied Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign thus directly inspired the tourist project imagined by Delarozière. On the Place Napoléon, an 8-metre long Nile crocodile, a dromedary and a sacred ibis stand alongside a little owl in eco-designed pools. The bestiary is interactive as the public directly sets these mechanical sculptures in motion by operating levers and handles that blend in with the plant environment surrounding the pools.
Installed in the ponds, the "Animals of the square" are perfectly integrated into the terraces, the banks and the islands of the square. They cohabit with the plants and the Koi carp.
The control stations are freely accessible to the public during opening hours (7 days a week in high season, 6 days a week in low season). The levers, transmission means, rods, cogs, pulleys are visible and participate in the narration. While manipulating the animal from a distance, the spectator can study the movement it has induced. The audience becomes both actor and spectator. An urban scene takes shape, the setting of which is the Place Napoléon
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