Published on April 11th, 2016 | by Geckos Tales Team


Old meets new: are these the coolest Paris pics ever?

Read time: a bit over 1 minute

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.


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


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


Why did Paris not think to keep these things?!


Two ladies in the Luxembourg Gardens in 1895. Check out them ruffles.


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


Place de l’Opéra before a dirty big Metro exit was built.


The Grands Boulevards near Porte de Saint Denis in 1910

Want to explore Paris? We’ve got your back. Check out our Geckos small group adventures.

All images copyright Julien Knetz 2016. 

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About the Author

We run awesome trips around the world. But when we're not on the road, we're sitting here and writing loads of travel-related insights, tips, information and advice. Geckos Tales is your go-to source for whenever you need to find something out about pretty much anything.

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