Paris then and now is this the best photo mashup ever?


Most people come to Paris for croissants, the Moulin Rouge and gloating, in that order. But for history buffs, and anyone who aspires to buffdom, it’s like walking back in time.

Julien Knes is a french photographer who gets the whole ‘living history’ thing. He was commissioned by the editors of Parigramme to do a photo series on Paris’ past, comparing present-day sites like the Seine and the Eiffel Tower with days gone by, when people walked around in black and white and said things like ‘Tallyho, my good man!’ (but, you know, in French). We don’t use the word’ juxtaposition’ often, but we’re gonna use it here. We sat down with Julien and asked him about the laborious process of matching old photos with present day Paris. “Taking each photo took about 10 minutes to arrange, plus an hour of photoshop work to get the images to match. The cars on the streets and roadworks made it pretty difficult.”

The following photos are from Julien’s new book: “Paris: Fenêtres sur l’Histoire.”


Passersby at bouquinistes (aka riverside booksellers) in 1900.


Bookseller stalls on the Quai Saint-Michel in 1914.


The Moulin Rouge before Baz Luhrmann happened to it. Circa 1900.


When the Metro tracks flooded in 1910, passengers travelled by boat (aka the scariest boat ride since Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory).


The Moulin Rouge before Baz Luhrmann happened to it. Circa 1900.


Why did Paris ever get rid of these things?!


The Grands Boulevards near Porte de Saint Denis in 1910. Transport was so classy.


The Eiffel Tower in 1900. Note lack of selfie sticks.


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