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An extraordinary exploration through Paris' past and present by Julien Knez


“You can’t escape the past in Paris and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden.” — Allen Ginsberg 

French art director Julien Knez set himself the task of exploring the history of his beloved Paris and attempting to connect it with the modern existence.

As Bored Panda points out, Knez spend a summer taking photos of the iconic Parisian streets, starting to overl his lens with vintage photos from the past to create a real-life collage. Using vintage photos which range from dates between 1871 to 1968, Knez manages to highlight key moments in French and Parisian folklore.

In a time that captures everything from the great flood of 1910 to the city’s Nazi occupation and subsequent liberation, Knez collated his images in his photobook Paris, fenêtres sur l’histoire : De la Commune à mai 68. 

Here, Far Out delve deep within the work to offer you a glimpse inside the past:

Place Vendme, 1871

Rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, 1871

Jardin du Luxembourg, 1895

Le Moulin Rouge, 1900

The Moulin Rouge, which opened in 1889, drew clientele from all over, all eager to see the French cancan.

Quai de Conti, 1900

“Passersby at the bouquinistes, or riverside booksellers.”

Arc de Triomphe, 1909

“The now-defunct double-decker trams dropped passengers off next to the Arc de Triomphe.”

‘Odon’ Station (Mtro), 1910

“Passengers travelled by boat when the metro tracks were flooded in January 1910.”

La Seine. Notre-Dame, 1930

Le Printemps. Boulevard Haussmann, 1930

Place de l’Opra, 1940

“June 23, 1940, the day after Germany established occupation of France, Hitler made a lightning trip to Paris. His two-hour tour of the capital included Notre Dame, Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe and, as seen here, the Opera.”

Notre Dame, 1944

“A joyful Liberation scene on August 25, 1944.”

Le Grand Palais, 1944

Htel-de-Ville, 1944

“Two friends celebrate the liberation of Paris at Place de l’Htel de Ville, in August 1944.”

Rue Gay-Lussac, 1968

(All images have been sourced via Bored Panda)