Vincennes Zoo, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Achille Urbain
In 1860, the director of the National Museum of Natural History, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, wants to create a schedule to the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes to study the behavior of animals in a larger and more similar space in their environment original life. The project is mainly driven by a strong commitment to scientific experimentation, considered impossible to drive under the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes. Menageries, whose invention is old, have no scientific vocation. Rather, they are signs of wealth and power, and are a source of amusement and curiosity society. The Romans had a habit of keeping caged a number of mammals prepared to fight and used for circus games. European nobility was also a number of menageries from exotic animals to satisfy his pleasure and curiosity. The menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes, established after the Revolution, already breaks with this tradition by dedicating part in the research, a goal pursued at the time of the creation of the Vincennes Zoo in 1934.
The birth of the zoo is indeed marked by the ambitions of one of its founders, the scientist and professor Achille Urbain, more interested in botany and microbiology by the study of animals as such. The zoo embodies for him a place devoted to his experiences. It is particularly concerned with transposing veterinary methods of human medical microbiology.
[...] Scientism is part of this tradition. This is a form of positivism that experimental science has priority to interpret the world on other forms of apprehension of reality and especially about religion. Scientism wants to organize humanity scientifically giving total confidence in the principles and methods of the exact sciences in all fields. The late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century are strongly influenced by these currents in Europe and marked by significant scientific and technical discoveries. The period is characterized by improved auto and air transport, the first Boeing flies example in 1935. [...]
[...] Finally, Letrosne went very far in terms of the topology of the zoo through the technique of artificial rock, the most important is the Great Rock, now a symbol of the zoo. This technical feat from a height of 65 meters in height allows to hide a number of necessities such as s the water tanks or animal lodges. Its elevator is also long been the fastest in Europe. Transition : The zoo was opened on 2 June 1934 by Urbain (first director) and the President of the Republic Albert Lebrun, a resounding success from day one. [...]
[...] This is to provide a new space zoology conducive to science, research and the transmission of knowledge, in a context marked by doctrines claiming the explanation of the world and of man by science. Looking for a new space conducive to science In 1860, the director of the National Museum of Natural History, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, wants to create a schedule to the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes to study the behavior of animals in a larger and more similar space in their environment original life. The project is mainly driven by a strong commitment to scientific experimentation, considered impossible to drive under the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes. [...]
[...] Early on, the need for renewal arises for several reasons. First, the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes, the ancestor of the great zoo, has become obsolete and living conditions of the animals become increasingly inadequate for the conduct of scientific research and for the welfare of these . Scientists ideals increasingly present also involved in this need of renewal. Some projects, for example the introduction of different geographical areas within the animal circuit, need a more modern and technical space. [...]
[...] France is one of the last countries in 1932 without zoo so. The need for modernity becomes more and more important and French architects of the Vincennes zoo will then be modeled on the vision of Carl Hagenbeck, a zoologist at the origin of the Hamburg zoo, built in 1907. Resulting in an innovative layout of the zoo An official mission, composed of Paul Lemoine (director of the Museum of Natural History), of Édouard Bourdelle, Robert Martzloff (Director of Capital architectural services) Charles Letrosne (architect) and Achille Urbain ( veterinary microbiologist), will visit major European zoos Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Budapest and Rome. [...]
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