Garlands of flowers festoon the grid of enameled steel panels.  La Samaritaine, the grandest of Parisian grands magasins, was founded in 1870, extended through several different buildings on adjoining streets and finally closed its doors in 2005.  This is the art nouveau facade of magasin 2, in rue de la Monnaie, designed by architect Frantz Jourdain and completed in 1910.  After years of uncertainty the building is now in the process of complete renovation.

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The floral decoration of the facade is surprisingly varied and botanically accurate.  From street level there’s a general impression of flowery garlands on a yellow background but zooming in on the detail reveals roses, clematis, passion flowers and nasturtiums twining between the panels advertising the store’s departments.

Among hats and shirts, workwear, fishing and hunting supplies, the mysterious Amazone isn’t a department for explorers of tropical rain forests.  A French amazone is (or was) a horsewoman, probably riding side saddle.

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(Click on any photo for a larger image).

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Grid.”