Historic City Views

Vintage B&W photos of Venice, Italy (19th century)

Vintage B&W photos of Venice, Italy (19th century)

In the late 19th century Venice flourished as a port and a manufacturing center. The railway reached Venice in 1846. However Venice did not prosper under Austrian rule. In 1848 revolutions swept Europe and Venice rose in rebellion against the Austrians. For a short period Daniele Manin became president of an independent Venice. However Austrian forces bombarded the city and…
Historic B&W photos of Milan, Italy (19th century)

Historic B&W photos of Milan, Italy (19th century)

The political unification of Italy cemented Milan’s commercial dominance over northern Italy. It also led to a flurry of railway construction that had started under Austrian partronage (Venice–Milan; Milan–Monza) that made Milan the rail hub of northern Italy. Thereafter with the opening of the Gotthard (1881) and Simplon (1906) railway tunnels, Milan became the major South European rail focus for…
Historic B&W photos of St. Petersburg, Russia in the 19th Century

Historic B&W photos of St. Petersburg, Russia in the 19th Century

With the emancipation of the peasants undertaken by Alexander II in 1861 and an industrial revolution, the influx of former peasants into the capital increased greatly. Poor boroughs spontaneously emerged on the outskirts of the city. Saint Petersburg surpassed Moscow in population and industrial growth; it developed as one of the largest industrial cities in Europe, with a major naval…
Historic B&W photos of Glasgow, Scotland (19th century)

Historic B&W photos of Glasgow, Scotland (19th century)

Glasgow became one of the first cities in Europe to reach a population of one million. The city’s new trades and sciences attracted new residents from across the Lowlands and the Highlands of Scotland, from other parts of Britain and Ireland and from Continental Europe. During this period, the construction of many of the city’s greatest architectural masterpieces and most…
Historic B&W photos of Zurich, Switzerland (19th century)

Historic B&W photos of Zurich, Switzerland (19th century)

Extensive developments took place during the 19th century. From 1847, the Spanisch-Brötli-Bahn, the first railway on Swiss territory, connected Zürich with Baden, putting the Zürich Hauptbahnhof at the origin of the Swiss rail network. The present building of the Hauptbahnhof (the main railway station) dates to 1871. Zürich’s Bahnhofstrasse (Station Street) was laid out in 1867, and the Zürich Stock…
Historic B&W photos of Dublin, Ireland (19th century)

Historic B&W photos of Dublin, Ireland (19th century)

Dublin suffered a period of political and economic decline during the 19th century following the Act of Union of 1800, under which the seat of government was transferred to the Westminster Parliament in London. The city played no major role in the Industrial Revolution, but remained the centre of administration and a transport hub for most of the island. Ireland…
Historic B&W photos of Naples, Italy (19th century)

Historic B&W photos of Naples, Italy (19th century)

After the Expedition of the Thousand led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, which culminated in the controversial Siege of Gaeta, Naples became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 as part of the Italian unification, ending the era of Bourbon rule. The kingdom of the Two Sicilies had been wealthy, and as many as 443.2 million ducats were taken from the…
Historic B&W photos of Rotterdam, Holland (19th century)

Historic B&W photos of Rotterdam, Holland (19th century)

The port of Rotterdam grew slowly but steadily into a port of importance. The greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The city and harbor started to expand on the south bank of the river. The Witte Huis or White House skyscraper, inspired by American office buildings and…
Vintage: Altstadt, Dresden, Saxony, Germany in the late 19th Century

Vintage: Altstadt, Dresden, Saxony, Germany in the late 19th Century

The city of Dresden had a distinctive silhouette, captured in famous paintings by Bernardo Bellotto and by Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl. Between 1806 and 1918 the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Saxony (which was a part of the German Empire from 1871). During the Napoleonic Wars the French emperor made it a base of operations, winning…
Vintage photos of Moscow in the past (19th century)

Vintage photos of Moscow in the past (19th century)

The city of Moscow gradually grew around the Moscow Kremlin, beginning in the 14th century. It was the capital of Great Russia, also known as the Grand Duchy of Moscow (or Muscovy), from 1340 to 1547 and then the Tsardom of Russia until 1712 (when the capital was moved to Saint Petersburg). It was the capital of the Russian Soviet…