23. THE GOBELINS.
Birds and Snakes, Crocodiles, Chameleons, and Tortoises are
kept in cages and sheds on the N. side of the garden.
The Botanic Garden is intersected by three beautiful avenues
of lime and chestnut-trees, and perfumed with the fragrance of
the choicest flowers, which render it one of the most delight¬
ful promenades in Paris. — Kitchen-herbs are denoted by green
labels, medical plants by red, poisonous plants by black, those
employed in dyeing by blue, and ornamental plants by yellow.
The Nursery of Forest-trees occupies the S.E. side of the
23. The Gobelins.
The 'Manufactures de tapisseries des Gobelins et de tapis de
la Savonnerie', Avenue des Gobelins (formerly Rue Mouffetard),
was entirely destroyed on May 2oth, 1871, having been set on
fire by the insurgents after they had been driven from the position
they occupied at La Butte-aux-Cailles in the vicinity. Some of
the most valuable pieces of tapestry had been removed to a place
of safety before the war, but the greater part of the valuable
collection preserved here was destroyed. It is probable that the
establishment will be re-erected, but a considerable time must
necessarily elapse before it can be re-opened.
At the S.E. extremity of Paris, on the 1. bank of the Seine,
the brook la Bi'evre skirts the city, and falls into the Seine above
the Pont d'Austerlitz. During several centuries its water has
been considered peculiarly adapted for dyeing purposes. In 1450
Jean Gobelin erected a dyeing establishment on its banks, which
was combined by his successors with a manufactory of tapestry.
These manufacturers had acquired such a high reputation
about the middle of the 17th cent., that Colbert, the minister of
Louis XIV., and an active promoter of industrial enterprise,
caused the establishment to be purchased and carried on at the
expense of government.
After the lapse of years, however, the manufactory was found
to yield profits totally inadequate to the expense of its mainten¬
ance. It was therefore converted into an etablishment for the
exclusive supply of the family of the reigning monarch with the
choicest fabrics which art can produce. Its manufactures were
also presented as gifts to foreign courts, personages of high
rank, ambassadors, etc.
The same remarks apply to the Savonnerie, a carpet manu¬
factory founded in 1604 by Marie de Medicis, which derived its
appellation from having been originally established in a soap
manufactory, but was in 1826 transferred to the same building
as the Gobelins.
About 150 workmen were employed in these establishments,
each of whom received 1000—3000 fr. per annum. These were