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May 27, 2022

Beautiful Life of Europe in 1950 Through an American Traveler’s Lens

The Fifties have a particular place in our collective imagination: the decade of elegance and sophistication, of the economic boom, of “the Golden Age” of radio, of the birth of rock and roll, of the beginnings of television, and the dawn of commercial air travel.

However, these iconic characteristics of the Fifties represent only one side of the decade, inspired by the bright and optimistic eagerness for change that spread all over Europe after the Second World War ended. The Cold War, the fear of a nuclear conflict, the authoritarian regimes in Spain and Portugal, a divided Germany, and a controlling conservative society were also part of European citizens’ everyday life.

These fascinating photos from Michael Leonard were taken by his father Max Leonard during his trip to Europe in 1950.

Austria. Melk Abbey, 1950

Austria. Pinzgau, 1950

Austria. Salzburg, Zell am See, 1950

Austria. Vienna Parliament, 1950

Belgium. Brussels, Hotel Metropole, Place de Brouckère, 1950

Belgium. Brussels, Place de Brouckère (center), 1950

Belgium. Brussels, Place de Brouckère (north), 1950

Belgium. Brussels, Place de Brouckère with trolleys, 1950

France. Besançon, walking on the Pont Battant, 1950

France. Donkey carts, 1950

France. Max on waterfront, 1950

France. Menton, 1950

France. Monaco harbor and boats, 1950

France. Monaco harbor, 1950

France. Monaco harbor, 1950

France. Monaco, Monte Carlo Casino, 1950

France. Nice, park, 1950

France. Nice, Promenade des Anglais. The hotel Negresco is at the far end, 1950

France. Palm lined street, 1950

France. Paris, Arc de Triomphe, 1950

France. Paris, Notre-Dame, 1950

France. Paris, Pont d'lena, 1950

France. Paris, top of Arc de Triomphe, 1950

France. Paris, view from Arc de Triomphe, 1950

France. Soldiers posing, 1950

French beach, 1950

French Coast, 1950

French coastline, 1950

Germany. Bavaria, 1950

Germany. Bavaria, 1950

Germany. Bavaria, Herren Chiemsee, 1950

Germany. Bavaria, Karlstadt, 1950

Germany. Bavaria, Lohr am Main, 1950

Germany. Bavaria, Max and Elise near Karlstadt, 1950

Germany. Bavaria, Miltenberg Town Square, 1950

Germany. Bavaria, Miltenberg, 1950

Germany. Leo and Max on the bank of the Main in Würzburg with the Marienberg in the background, 1950

Germany. Max in Wertheim, 1950

Germany. Old town square of Miltenberg, 1950

Germany. Schloss Erbach courtyard, 1950

Germany. Wertheim, 1950

Italy. Beach boulevard, somewhere near Ventimiglia, 1950

Netherlands. Amsterdam, Boats on Damrak, 1950

Netherlands. Amsterdam, Damrak Avenue, 1950

Netherlands. Amsterdam, inner harbor, 1950

Netherlands. Volendam harbor, 1950

Netherlands. Volendam street scenes, 1950

Netherlands. Volendam, Havendijkie, 1950

Netherlands. Volendam, Hotel Spaander, 1950

Netherlands. Volendam, Munnikeveld, 1950

Netherlands. Volendam, Noordeinde, 1950

Spain. Alley with woman and child, 1950

Spain. Carmona, church tower, 1950

Spain. Carmona, Puerta de Sevilla, 1950

Spain. Carmona, Town Square, 1950

Spain. Elise in alley, 1950

Spain. Gate in Carmona, 1950

Spain. Plaza in Carmona, 1950

Spain. Stone city plaza, 1950

Switzerland. Wassen, 1950

1 comment:

  1. The captions "France. Soldiers posing, 1950 - France. Max on waterfront, 1950 - France. Donkey carts, 1950" are wrong, it is not France but Italy, Rapallo. The driver with the donkey could be my paternal great-uncle.




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