What would you do first in Paris in 1900 ?

If the time machine was invented, would you like to visit Paris in 1900 ?

At that time, the “City of Lights” was widely considered to be the world’s capital.

Paris, 1900

But what would you do in 1900 Paris ? Well, pretty much the same things you cand do today….

Enjoy an actual 1900 Eiffel Tower light show…

1900 Eiffel Tower light show

Buy a baguette or a croissant, saying “Bonjour” to all members of the owner family…

Traditional bakery, Paris, 1900.

Walk in the parks and rent sailing boats to play with…

Old lady renting sailing boats, jardin de Luxembourg, Paris, 1900.

Still, some things are long gone…

“La Belle Epoque”

La Belle Époque was a period in European history that is conventionally dated as starting in 1871 and ending when World War I began in 1914. It was a period characterized by splendour, optimism, peace, scientific discoveries and economic growth.

The Belle Époque was named, in retrospect, when it began to be considered a “golden age” in contrast to the horrors of World War I.

Paris, 1900

Elegance was the keyword of those days…

source: vintage.es

source: vintage.es

The Belle Epoque, age of opulence

La Belle Epoque was also the beginning of automobiles and aviation… But would you buy a steam car ?

source : vintage.es

Traffic was not that bad and driving a car was only for the happy few….


Place de la Concorde, Paris, 1900.

Rue de Rivoli, Paris, 1900.

Michelin’s mascot, the Bibendum, was already there…

Bibendum, 1900

Or would you buy an aircraft ?

Air show in Grand Palais, Paris, 1909

The international exhibits

The 1900 World Fair Exhibition was probably one of the most incredible in history.

Paris World Fair, 1900.

The opening ceremony..


The World’s Fair gave people an opportunity to discover the world: visitors were transported by a moving sidewalk to see the sites, with pavilions from numerous countries lining the Seine.

1900 World Fair Exhibition, Paris.

1900 World Fair Exhibition, Paris.

Inaugurated with on April 14th 1900, by President Emile Loubet, the World’s fair spread on more thant 750 acres.

From April to November the World Faire attracted over 50 million visitors.

Paris will inherit this time the Bridge Alexandre III, offerd by the Russian Tsar, Nicolai IInd, the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais.

The ephemeral World’s Fair was also a display of old rivalries. The spendings equaled only the pride of the people, whose imperialist impulses lead straight to a first world war that will forever change the face of the world.

1900 World Fair Exhibition, Paris.

Le Petit Palais, built for the 1900 World Fair.

Le Grand Palais, built for the 1900 World Fair.

Alexandre III bridge, a present to France frorm the Russian tsar Nicolai II, named after his father.

1900 World Fair Exhibition, Paris.

1900 World Fair Exhibition, Paris.

1900 World Fair Exhibition, Paris.

1900 World Fair Exhibition, Paris.

1900 World Fair Exhibition, Paris.

1900 World Fair Exhibition, Paris.


Paris nightlife was surely interesting at that time.

Ball in Moulin Rouge, 1900, Paris.

Café de la Paix, around 1900.

A parisian cabaret dancer, around 1900.

The artists in Paris

At that time Paris was also the arts capital of the world. The city attracted artists from all over the world, and prosperity in Paris allowed the arts to flourish, and many masterpieces of literature, music, theater, and visual art gained recognition.

The headquarters of art, was at time, Montparnasse. La Coupole, La Rotonde and La Closerie des Lillas were some of the main attractions, still open in our days.

La Coupole, 1900 on of the artists meeting points.

La Closerie des Lillas, 1900

This is Claude Monet, painting, around 1900.

Claude Monet, around 1900

An artist with 2 models, Paris, around 1900.

Here are some masterpieces from that time…

“Féerie nocturne”, 1900 by Maxime MAUFRA

“Yvonne et Christine Lerolle au piano”, 1897 de Pierre Auguste RENOIR

“Amour et Psyché”, 1885 by Auguste RODIN

The first ever science fiction movie

Out on september 1st 1902, George Méliès, “A trip to the moon” is the first science fiction movie in history.

Watch Georges Méliès full movie (15 minutes)


Witches Sabbath in Paris, 1900.

The beginning of World War I

The Belle Epoque ended when WWI began. This one of the very early color pictures displyaing soldiers hanging out at the Exelmans metro station.

Preparing for WWI, Paris, 1914.

source : vellichor.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Couldn't connect to server: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known (0)