Jules Verne and Leonardo

I was watching the morning news show a while ago and they showed a giant spider, about two stories high, coming down the street of a French city. I was intrigued and when I heard that this event took place in Nantes, a city about two hours away from us, I did some research and found we could see same spider and an enormous elephant as well. These creatures are at a place, an old abandoned ship yard, called Les Machines de l’Ile. The creator says these creations are a combination of Jules Verne and the mechanical drawings of Leonardo di Vinci. The place is enormous and you can see other creations, a workshop and, of course, the spider and the elephant. For four days in July the spider actually walked around Nantes, but we missed that.

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I’m not a fan of spiders but this was fascinating.

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There were lots of people underneath the body of the spider, eight of which worked the legs. The whole thing was actually attached to a big tractor like machine at the rear.

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“Poison” was sprayed as it passes by. There was interesting music playing too, kind of grand and creepy.

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Here’s the elephant. As you can see, people can ride it, which we did. It was much more exciting from the ground watching it as it moved and sprayed water from the trunk. It was a slow ride up on top but fun to see the expressions of people down below.

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The view of the head from behind while taking the ride. The elephant also did a trumpeting sound as it started. It scared a little girl beside us.

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Another view. It is made of lots of metal and wood and the ears were leather.

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There was also a three story carrousel made of sea creatures. This was the crab at the first level. Very like creatures in Jules Verne stories. Great place for the young and the young at heart.

Videos I did while there:

3 thoughts to “Jules Verne and Leonardo”

  1. This is amazing. It’s like Louise Bourgeois hooked up with an engineer.
    At the Christmas market in Brussels there was a carousel with very creepy, scary creatures and contraptions. A reaction to the sweet, Belle Epoque carousels found in most French towns?

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