Monday, June 7, 2010

Porte Saint-Martin - Paris, France

There's a lot going on here, everything from horse-drawn carriages and bicycle deliveries to street cleaning, some probable flirting, and a very nice beer advertisement in the upper right corner of the card.
Here's a view of the same location today, remarkably unchanged, except for the ubiquitous automobiles.

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Porte Saint-Martin was one of the symbolic entrances into 17th Century Paris. Although it served only an ornamental function, it was built on the site of a former tollgate. There was once a Metro station here at Saint-Martin. It was closed at the beginning of World War II and only briefly reopened before being shut down for good. The station still features the old porcelain advertisements, but the Metro doesn't stop here anymore. Here's a website that shows some interior shots of the phantom station.


  1. What an excellent comparison of this wonderful photo taken over a century ago. This is a beautiful arch.

  2. The detail on the card is wonderful. For some reason we never seem able to capture as much detail in these days of digital photography, although why that should be so I don't know.

  3. You're right Alan. The old black-and-white photos always seemed crisper to me. I don't know if it had to do with the film itself, the developing process...?

  4. What a great card, lots of activity as you note. True about the detail captured in the old b&w pictures. I also enjoyed the link to the phantom station.

  5. This is wonderful, as you say so much going on and therefore so much represented in it from the daily life bustle on the street to the imposing monumental 'gate' and the Parisian architecture.



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