Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Discover Paris of the Past with help from Hotels Paris Rive Gauche

The credit for writing this intriguing post does not go to me. In October 2010 I stayed with the Hotels Paris Rive Gauche group at the Hotel du Pantheon. This fascinating retrospective is part of the newsletter they email to those interested. If you are looking for a central left bank hotel in Paris, Hotels Paris Rive Gauche have five to chose from. Based on my personal adventures, I think you will have a wonderful, welcoming experience!
Discover Paris of the past with ‘The Commons’ on Flickr

Fifty venerable organisations – libraries, archives, museums – have got together to form ‘the commons‘, an rights-free image bank packed full of interesting stuff.

For example, the photos of Paris are fascinating, with parts of the city that have completely changed…

Paris Exposition: moving sidewalk, Paris, France, 1900. Moving Sidewalk Panorama Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_014 image 9893).

We think you really should go and check out the picture of Paris on Flickr, not those taken by today’s visitors, but shots from a century ago or more.

Paris has seen a lot of grand buildings that were later destroyed, especially those that feel after the universal expositions, but the city has also retained a number of iconic monuments that look today much as they did in the early 1900s. The city has nonetheless evolved, seen important events, been drastically remodelled by Baron Haussmann, been occupied by the Nazis, been rocked by riots…

The photos of the big expositions are impressive, especially when you know that not much of their huge constructions remains apart from the Eiffel Tower, le Pont Alexandre III bridge, the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. In some photos, it’s hard to believe that one is in Paris at all…

Paris Exposition: Champ de Mars and Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, 1900. General view of the Chateau de Mars taken from the Chateau d'Eau; Eiffel Tower prominent in view.. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_015 image 9900).

Paris Exposition: Cambodian Pavilion, Paris, France, 1900. Palace of Cambodia. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_015 image 1934).

Paris Exposition: Russian Pavilion, Paris, France, 1900. The National Pavilion of Russia. It is within the Trocadero Gardens.  Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_014 image 1554).

Paris Exposition: Italian Pavilion, Paris, France, 1900. The Pavilion of Italy located on the Eastern portion of the Quai des Nations. Royal Italian Pavilion. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_014 image 1525).

Paris Exposition: Giralda Tower of Seville, Paris, France, 1900. The Giralda Tower of Seville in the distance. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_015 image 1983).

Paris Exposition: Palace of Electricity, Paris, France, 1900. Interior of the Palais de l'Electricite. Machinery Building. Paris Exposition. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_014 image 1536).

Paris Exposition: Swedish Pavilion, Paris, France, 1900. The Pavilion of Sweden located on the western portion of the Quai des Nations.  Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_014 image 1555).

Paris Exposition: Vieux Paris (Old Paris), Paris, France, 1900. Vieux Paris: restoration of Old Paris Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection (S03_06_01_015 image 2114).

Other photos show everyday, yet extraordinary, events…

Paris -- German Shop smashed by mob , between ca. 1910 and ca. 1915

Paris Fashions, 1912 1912 (date created or published later by Bain)

Barricade at Paris gate, between ca. 1910 and ca. 1915

Taking Taxi from hole in Paris street, between ca. 1910 and ca. 1915

Paris -- Newsboys waiting for "Extras" , between ca. 1910 and ca. 1915
You’ll bump into some celebrities too, like the Statue of Liberty, Salvador Dalí and the sculpture prepared for Oscar Wilde‘s grave, which is still in place today in Père Lachaise and has just been restored…

Digital ID: 1161043. View of the external area of the workshop in Paris, showing construction materials, the head of the Statue of Liberty, and a group of men gathered in front of the left foot of the statue. Fernique, Albert - Photographer. 1883

Portrait of Salvador Dali, Paris. Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964, photographer. 1934 June 16

Monument of Oscar Wilde, between ca. 1910 and ca. 1915
And the area around our hotels is also well represented, with the Hôtel de Cluny (Cluny Museum) covered in lush ivy that is gone today, the Medici fountain in the Luxembourg Garden almost unchanged, and the Pantheon. But hey! What’s that on the right-hand side of the photo? Gosh, it’s the Hôtel du Panthéon! How amusing!

Paris - Hôtel de Cluny L. P. Giraudon (French, established 1877-present). Photograph date: ca. 1877-ca. 1895 Building Date: 1163-1345. Collection: A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library

Paris. Medici Fountain, Gardens of the Palais du Luxembourg. Architect: Salomon de Brosse (French, 1571-1626) Photographer: Bisson Freres (French, 1841-1862) Photograph date: 1857 Garden date: 1611-1629. Collection: A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library

Paris. Panthéon. Architect: Jacques-Germain Soufflot (French, 1713-1780) Photographer: Bisson Freres (French, 1841-1862). Photograph date: 1858 Building Date: 1757-1790. Collection: A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library

There are almost 900 photos to see in all, and wading through them is a wonderful way to see life as it was here 100 years ago.



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