Friday Fun: Vintage Cities

Having mentioned favourite countries and places in my last post, I thought I’d unearth some historical pictures of a few of my favourite cities. I’ve tried to acknowledge where I found them, but if those sites did not respect copyright issues, I may not have credited the correct place. What strikes me is that these European cities all look quite similar: I don’t know if it’s the grandiose architecture, or the black and white pictures. I’m sure it would be a different story if we looked at a different continent.

Bucharest in the 1930s, from RomaniaDacia.wordpress.com
London, Ludgate Hill in the early 1900s, from A London Inheritance.
Old Vienna, Kartner Ring, from Hip Postcard.
Lyon from the quay, late 19th century, Monovisions.
Berlin, Hallesches Tor, about 1890, from Monovisions.
Rocck’n’roll on the Quays of Paris, 1950, photo by Paul Almasy.

Friday Fun: Old Montmartre in Photos and Paintings

If I could live anywhere in Paris, and money were no object, I would choose Montmartre, despite the tourist hordes. The endless steps and steep roads would keep me fit, and there are still many quiet picturesque corners if you know where to look. Plus oh, the historical artistic associations! Of course, in the 19th century Montmartre was anything but posh and expensive: it was a scrappy little suburb full of rebellious smallholders (marking the start of the revolutionary Paris Commune in 1871), poor working class people, bars and cabarets. Artists flocked there because it was cheap and provided an excellent spot for people-spotting.

Moulin de la Galette in Montmartre.

Van Gogh’s representation of it.

Impasse Girardon in real life.

Utrillo’s version of Impasse Girardon.

The infamously steep road Impasse Trainee.

Impasse Trainee in winter, by Utrillo.

Rue St Vincent and the cabaret-bar Lapin Agile.

Yet another Utrillo rendition of the same spot.

Place du Tertre, which is now filled with portrait painters and souvenir stalls.

Antoine Blanchard’s rainsodden version.

The vineyards in Montmartre have existed since Roman times, but almost fell victim to property developers in the early 20th century.

Not quite the same angle, but Van Gogh was fascinated with these orchards and vineyards too.

The vines are flourishing now and celebrate an annual harvest festival. From montmartre-addict.com