Monday, March 12, 2007

Le Carrousel @ Bryant Park

The weather in New York City improved a little this week. So I am posting a photo of this carousel at Bryant Park.

The carousel, from the Italian word garosello and Spanish word carosella ("little war"), was first built by Turkish and Arabian cavalries in the 1100s as a training apparatus for combat on horseback. Soldiers would practice their archery skills and sword plays while sitting on the moving wooden horses. These carousels were usually kept within the castle walls and not seen by the public.

In the early-1800s, colorful wooden horses suspended on a poles and powered by ropes and pulleys were unveiled at carnivals and fairs in England and Europe. Steam powered machines and music were added later and the popularity of carousels began to rise. The golden age of carousels were in the early 1900s when elaborate animals and decorative chariots were added to the rides.