The World’s Most Famous Carousels
These fancy-schmancy carousels will evoke more than just childhood nostalgia
Most of us have experienced a carousel ride in our childhood when a seasonal fair had pitched their tent in the neighbourhood. Truth be told, most of our experiences were on a rickety contraction. Nonetheless, we were sold to the thrill. Ever since its maiden taste, our mind had looked forward to any fair just for the merry-go-round. Imagine if we had access to a fancy-schmancy one. While that may not happen in a hurry, what about acquainting ourselves with the top of its elk.
Musee Des Arts Forains
Fantasy is cranked up to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus level with intricately sculpted horses emerging out of the large dark spaces, including a hot air balloon and every vintage type of rides imaginable. It’s French; it has to be artistic. Archived here are carnival art from the 1850s to 1950s.
House On The Rock
Spring Green, Wisconsin
Reputed as the largest indoor carousel in the world, every item here including the giant half-filled with organs, the 200-foot whale, the infinity room or the corridor of coin-operated machines, is a highlight.
The massive and complex interiors are done with angels flying on the ceiling, more than 20,000 lights, 182 chandeliers. There are 296 animals, but can’t find any horse.
Brooklyn, New York
Designed by an architect, this wonder rammed in on the Brooklyn waterfront between the Brooklyn and the Manhattan Bridges, is housed in a glass enclosure. While on one of the 48 carved horses and two chariots, one can additionally perceive the iconic New York skyline. Equally known for its resilience, it has survived the vagaries of collapsing economies and destructive calamities.
Salvaged from defunct motorcycles and disused materials including wood, metal, and leather, this is a part of Les Machines de l’Île kinetic art project that had travelled around Europe. The fun quotient goes up because the riders can control some parts of the mechanics like flapping the swan wings, bobbing the flying unicorn heads, spraying steam from engines, etc. At Nantes, more of the steampunk magic can be held including a tower in walking elephant.
Efteling, The Netherlands
Steam power of this Stoomcarrousel, as it is known in Dutch is its underline theme. Built in 1895, it was an itinerant attraction till it was purchased and anchored here. It became more surreal after 1996 when walks through the illuminated arcade began to be offered to the tent stacked with original Gavioli organs, as the rail tracks, on the carousel, lined with horses and pigs went around.