Home / PhotographyPhoto Series Compares Modern-Day Flooding in Paris to Great Flood of 1910

Photo Series Compares Modern-Day Flooding in Paris to Great Flood of 1910

More than 100 years ago, the Seine River rose a record breaking 8.6 m above usual levels, causing the catastrophe known as the 1910 Great Flood of Paris. Over the past week, as the picturesque streets of the French capital city began to submerge once again, artist Julien Knez was struck by the similar atmosphere of fear and awe brought on by water slowly creeping up over the river’s embankments. This time around, though water levels peaked at 6.10m, Knez images demonstrate the striking similarities between eras as the landmarks of Paris are transformed by river swell, back in 1910 and now in 2016.

Last time the river flooded, it ended up costing the city nearly $1.5 billion dollars in damages, and parts of the city were submerged for nearly two months. This time, flooding was fairly sudden, causing widespread closure of transportation and several famous museums including the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. Masterpieces that were being stored in the basement of the former had to be moved elsewhere for protection, and thousands were evacuated from their homes. Even now, as water levels slowly return to normal in Paris, Knez’s photo comparisons capture the shocking power of nature as humans scramble to get out of its way.

Pont d’Arcole (Then)

Pont d’Arcole (Now)

Pont Alexandre III (Then)

Pont Alexandre III (Now)

Pont de Sully (Then)

Pont de Sully (Now)

Pont Alexandre III (Then)

Pont Alexandre III (Now)

Pont Saint-Michel (Then)

Pont Saint-Michel (Now)

Pont Saint-Michel (Then)

Pont Saint-Michel (Now)

Further images of the flood of 1910, which Knez created in summer 2015:

Quai des Grands-Augustins. January 1910.

Métro Odéon, January 1910.

Rue de Seine. January 1910.

Gare Saint-Lazare. January 1910.

Rue Massillon (Notre-Dame de Paris). January 1910.

Julien Knez: Website | Twitter

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