Whether with thousands of tourists lining up or soldiers marching for victory or defeat, Paris’ most iconic landmarks are as recognizable today as they were when the city was torn by war.
A clever collection of composite images by French artistic director Julien Knez brings together scenes from 1940s Paris with peaceful images of the city we are visiting today.
In front of Notre Dame Cathedral, tourists now enter and exit the revered example of Gothic architecture where Nazi artillerymen stood guard and tanks later paraded as soldiers later celebrated the liberation of Paris.
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The troops pass under the Eiffel Tower, the tourist attraction most synonymous with Paris, in 1940, the year that German forces took control of the city
The square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, with a Nazi gunner standing guard, differs greatly from today’s scene
A young woman and a soldier stand on a chariot in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the most revered Gothic churches in the world
Tourists enter and exit Notre-Dame Cathedral where floats marched on the occasion of the liberation of Paris
President Charles de Gaulle walks on the Champs Elysees, with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, after the Liberation of Paris
De Gaulle walks past the 2nd Armored Division on the Champs Elysees where tourist buses pass frequently these days
In another work, where Julien holds an old photo on a modern stage, troops pass under the Eiffel Tower, the tourist attraction most synonymous with Paris, in 1940, the year in which German forces took control of the city. city.
September of this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, following last year’s milestone marking the anniversary of the liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation in August 1944.
German soldiers brandish their weapons in surrender in the rue de Castiglione as they pass by what is now the Westin Paris, the hotel facing the Tuileries Garden which opened in 1878 as the ‘Hôtel Continental – this was the Inter-Continental Paris from 1969 before it took on the current title in 2005.
People celebrate the liberation of Germany in Place de la Concorde, the square where Marie-Antoinette and others were executed
Rue Saint-Michel in Paris, where thousands of visitors walk and shop today, was shut down in the 1940s
German soldiers brandish their guns to make their way to Rue de Castiglione as they walk past what is now The Westin Paris
President de Gaulle greets from the window of the Hôtel de Ville, seat of the City of Paris since 1357
Parisians take shelter at Place de la République, which of course takes its name from the French Republic
Locals rejoice on the Champs Elysees and what it looks like today in another artful composite image by Julien Knez
The soldiers parade under armed guard in front of the Louvre, where today thousands of people line up every day to visit the famous gallery
President Charles De Gaulle marches on the Champs Elysees, with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, after the Liberation of Paris in another coup with the 2nd Armored Division behind him.
This is now the place where the Tour de France ends and where tourist buses pass regularly.
Other images show fearful Parisians hiding behind cars in Place de la République and behind fountains in Place de la Concorde, as soldiers march under armed guard in front of the Louvre, where thousands of tourists today line up to visit the famous gallery.
Parisians hide from the fire behind cars in Place de la Concorde, where the famous guillotine was erected during the French Revolution
A couple embrace lovingly in front of barbed wire in the Tuileries, at the edge of a garden between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde
The camouflage of the soldiers is replaced by the pedestrians parading in front of the beautifully preserved Palais Garnier opera house
Photographer captures shooting in rue de Rivoli, now home to some of Paris’ hottest stores
The soldiers celebrate the end of the German occupation in front of the Town Hall, where the local government has been headed since
People hide from gunfire in Place de la Concordea behind a fountain, designed by German Jacques Ignace Hittorff
A soldier smokes in the historic Place de la Concorde, which has undergone several name changes according to the rulers of the time
Pedestrians text their cell phones in today’s rue Michel in Paris as a car burns down in the street in the 1940s
Children in a smashed military car on Avenue Mozart, Paris, where now modern cars park in the quiet tree-lined seat