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May 18, 2022

50 Fascinating Black and White Photographs Capture Street Scenes of Paris in the 1950s

As romantic as it might appear in some of the defining images of the decade, life wasn’t always easy in Paris in the years after the Second World War.

At the end of the Second World War, most Parisians were living in misery. Industry was ruined, housing was in short supply, and food was rationed. The population of Paris did not return to its 1936 level until 1946, and grew to 2,850,000 by 1954, including 135,000 immigrants, mostly from Algeria, Morocco, Italy and Spain. The exodus of middle-class Parisians to the suburbs continued. The population of the city declined during the 1960s and 1970s before finally stabilizing in the 1980s.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the city underwent a massive reconstruction, with the addition of new highways, skyscrapers, and thousands of new apartment blocks. The suburbs began to expand considerably, with the construction of large social estates known as cités and the beginning of La Défense, the business district. A comprehensive express subway network, the Réseau Express Régional (RER), was built to complement the Métro and serve the distant suburbs. A network of roads was developed in the suburbs centered on the Périphérique expressway encircling the city, which was completed in 1973.

These amazing vintage images, taken by photographer Dominic Berretti, show what the streets of the French capital looked like in the 1950s:

(Photos by Dominic Berretti)

1 comment:

  1. Some of the BEST images from the "real" Paris life.




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