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December 19, 2022

Paris in 1959 Through Fascinating Color Photos

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 (2,753,000 in 1962, 2.3 million in 1972) before finally stabilizing in the 1980s (2,168,000 in 1982, 2,152,000 in 1992).

In the 1950s and 1960s, the city underwent a massive reconstruction, with the addition of new highways, skyscrapers, and thousands of new apartment blocks.

These fascinating color photos were taken by Nick DeWolf that show street scenes of Paris in May 1959.

Paris. Champs-Élysées, May 1959

Paris. Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, May 1959

Paris. Boucherie Chevaline, May 1959

Paris. Cavalry, French Republican Guard, near the Gare d'Orléans, May 1959

Paris. Chez Maxime, May 1959

Paris. Church of the Val-de-Grâce, May 1959

Paris. Fontaines de la Concorde, May 1959

Paris. Fontaines de la Concorde, May 1959

Paris. Kiosk, May 1959

Paris. Kiosk, May 1959

Paris. Marly Horse, Place de la Concorde, May 1959

Paris. Moulin Rouge at night, May 1959

Paris. Notre-Dame at night, May 1959

Paris. Notre-Dame, May 1959

Paris. Notre-Dame, May 1959

Paris. Obelisk of Luxor, Place de la Concorde, May 1959

Paris. On the banks of the river Seine, May 1959

Paris. Port des Champs-Élysées, May 1959

Paris. Statue de Lille, Place de la Concorde, May 1959

Paris. The Panthéon, May 1959

Paris. Tomb of the unknown soldier, Arc de Triomphe, May 1959

Paris. Triperie, May 1959

(Photo © Nick DeWolf)




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