Isn’t it amazing how time can totally transform a landscape? Even more fascinating still is to see that change laid bare before your very eyes. Of course, photographs are an excellent way to view these contrasts and to get a real feel for the flow of history. This series of 20 pairs of photographs, then, shows how the forces of nature, human conflict and simply the passage of time can create intriguing juxtapositions to thought-provoking effect.
20. Notre Dame, Paris – 1850 and 2016
The splendidly Gothic-styled Notre-Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Here we see it in 1850, in the left-hand photo, some seven centuries after construction had started. The earlier image shows the cathedral minus its spire. This had been included in the original building but damage saw its removal in 1786. However, the spire was rebuilt in the 19th century after the 1850 photograph was taken.
19. Rysstad, Norway – 1888 and 2013
The village of Rysstad portrayed in this pair of photos separated by 125 years clearly shows the advances in Norway. From an 1888 setting that is decidedly rural, with its horse and buggy and timber buildings, the landscape has changed starkly by 2013. Now there are asphalt roads, brick buildings and cars.