In July 1939, Paris was just a peaceful city. People were happy, enjoying summer and not thinking about the upcoming war. Life magazine photographer, William Vandivert captured the city life months before it was occupied by Nazis and a large swastika hung from the Arc de Triomphe. Check out the collection of photos showing 1939 Paris.
1. Aerial view of Paris.
2. Night shot of the clubs in Monmartre.
3. A timeless flea market.
4. Posters along the Rue de Courcelles. The posters advertise, the national lottery, an art exhibition of posters, a festival, Jean Renoir’s classic film The Rules of the Game, and Maggi brand soup stock.
5. Shot of the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens.
6. Arc de Triomphe. It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to mark his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz.
7. The Neoclassic structure has a height of 164ft. and took 30 years to complete.
8. The Conciergerie seen from across the Seine.
9. Les bouquinistes (used-book sellers) along the banks of the Seine.
10. The roofs of the city.
11. The upscale Place Vendôme, home to the Hôtel Ritz Paris, where Coco Chanel lived at the time.
12. Patrons at a cafe (located in what appears to be Montmartre).
13. An outdoor flower market.
14. Bouquinistes have been a Parisian fixture since the 16th century.
15. Bastille Day Military Parade, held each year on the morning of July 14.
16. The parade passing down the Champs-Elysées heading towards the Place de la Concorde.
17. Bastille Day.
18. The Eiffel Tower.
19. Shot of a street in the artsy district of Montmartre.
20. Place de la Concorde, with the Luxor Obelisk (a gift from Egypt to France) standing between the two Fontaines de la Concorde. In the far background stands the Hotel Crillon (on the left) and the Ministry of the Navy (on the right).