The vibrant history of Paris as you’ve never seen it before: Colorized photos chart the City of Love’s evolution through the industrial revolution, World War I and foreshadowing Nazi occupation in WWII
Photographs showing decades of rapid change in Paris have been given new life in a series of colorized pictures, capturing key historical events in the city’s development. Ranging from 1856 to 1937, the pictures show France ‘s capital as it went through a period of change and development, in the form of the industrial revolution, followed by conflict in the First World War and a grim foreshadowing of Nazi conquest during World War Two.
1884: New York’s Statue of Liberty under construction in Paris. The statue was gifted to the United States from France, and dedicated in 1886. Colorizer Jean-Marie Gillet, 39, from the suburbs of Paris, brought the stunning images to life after getting into colorization when he transformed a selection of family photos several years ago.
1937: Germany’s Third Reich constructed a pavilion in front of the Eiffel Tower in a bid to outdo the Soviet Union at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris – just three years before Germany invaded France.
1919: American military police on duty along Place de la Concorde, at the end of the First World War and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The American Expeditionary Forces helped the French army, along with the British, Canadian and Australian armies, to repel German forces from Paris and France.
1895: A railway crash at Montparnasse Station on October 22, 1985. The train overran the puffer stop after the train was running late, and the driver was trying to make up for lost time. The train crashed through the buffer, crossed the station concourse and crashed through the station wall, falling onto he Place de Rennes below, where it stood on its nose. A woman in the street below was killed by falling stones, while six other people were injured.
1856: A view across the center of Paris, including the construction of the Pont du Change bridge, with Notre-Dame in the distance. The bridge was constructed during the reign of Napoleon III, and bears his imperial insignia.
1892: French tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower shortly after it was painted from Venetian red to brown ochre.
1867: Saint-Jacques Tower, originally built in the 16th century – which was the highest building in Paris before the Eiffel Tower was built. The tower is 171 feet (52 meters) tall, and is all that remains of the former 16th-century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie after it was demolished during the French Revolution in 1797.
1900: The Palais de la Navigation which housed exhibits on boats and sea trade at the Paris World’s Fair. The fair was held to celebrate the achievements of the past century, and to accelerate development into the next. It was visited by nearly 50 million people, and demonstrated many technological advancements, including the Grande Roue de Paris Ferris wheel, the moving sidewalk, diesel engines, talking films, escalators, and the telegraphone.
1935: Café de la Paix, a famous cafe situated on Boulevard des Capucines. It was designed by the architect Alfred Armand, who also designed the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel in which the café is located.
1900: A representation of what Paris would’ve looked like during the Medieval period exhibited at the World’s Fair in Paris.
1918: The Children’s Bureau Office building and the French Prisoner of War Office located on 12 rue Boissy d’Anglas.
A panoramic view of Paris from Petit Pont including the Prefect of Police on the left, the Hotel Dieu Hospital in the center, and Notre Dame on the right.