Photographer Julien Knez recently put together a collection of images to celebrate the anniversary of the city’s liberation from Nazi control, which occurred in August 1944. Knez found old photos of Paris taken during the 1940’s and blended them with modern-day photos of the same locations. These images include many historical locations, and the sharp contrast between the past and present provides a strange, eerie nostalgia. In these images, the ghosts of the past seem on the verge of leaping out at the modern-day pedestrians. Check out the images for yourself, for they certainly convey a profound, palpable sense of time and history.
This photo of marching soldiers was taken before the Louvre. At the beginning of World War II, the most important pieces of art were removed from the famous museum, such as the Mona Lisa, and were sent to Château de Valençay. During the war, the famous museum remained nearly empty.
Hôtel de Ville
In this photo, soldiers celebrate after the liberation of Paris in front of the Hôtel de Ville, which is actually the location of the city’s main administration. Since the French Revolution, numerous historical events have taken place by it, such as the proclamation of the French Third Republic in 1870.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe, an enormous arch situated near the Seine, is a famous monument in Paris. On the liberation of Paris, French forces, along with President Charles de Gaulle, held a parade that passed underneath the arch.
This photo was taken under the Eiffel Tower. At the beginning of the Nazi occupation of Paris, French people actually cut the tower’s lift cables. Nazi’s placed a giant “V” on the tower, along with a sign that translated to “Germany is victorious on all fronts”.