Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.

Learn more Got it

30 Before & After Photos That Show How Much Europe Has Changed Over Time

Published 2 weeks ago

It doesn’t take a history nut to know that many European cities were ravaged and almost completely reduced to rubble during WWII. Luckily, not all was lost – some parts of them were either spared or rebuilt and we can still catch a glimpse of how they looked in their glory days.

Re.photos collects amazing photos of buildings and monuments during WWII and now that perfectly illustrate just how much Europe has changed throughout the years. Check out the amazing before and after photos in the gallery below!

More info: re.photos

Read more

#1 Burning Peterhof

Image source: SergeyLarenkov

Burning Peterhof Palace after the Nazi invasion. 1941 September.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Sergey Larenkov.

#2 Avenue Foch (Occupation Of Paris)

Image source: nwolpert

On June 14, 1940, troops of the German Wehrmacht occupy Paris. The picture shows the victory parade of the German 30th Infantry Division on the Avenue Foch in front of General Kurt von Briesen 1886-1941.
Before photo: Deutsches Bundesarchiv, after photo: Nicolai Wolpert.

#3 Cinema In Żnin During German Occupation

Image source: Filip

Catholic house transformed by the Germans into a cinema. 1941.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Filip.

#4 Captured German Soldiers At Juno Beach

Image source: Lena

Captured German Soldiers at Juno Beach shortly before their deportation to England.
In the background, the villa “Denise et Roger” can be seen. It is one of the most famous places in the time of D-Day.
1994, June 6th.
Before photo: Ken Bell, after photo: Lena.

#5 Place De La Concorde (Liberation Of Paris)

Image source: nwolpert

A crowd celebrates the arrival of Allied troops during a victory parade for the liberation of Paris, as suddenly shots from a sniper on one of the roofs are heard. Quickly the Parisians scatter for cover. Although the city was officially abandoned by the Germans, small bands of snipers remained active, which made the victory celebrations risky.
1944, August 29.
Before photo: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, after photo: Nicolai Wolpert.

#6 Cherbourg-Octeville

Image source: Hegemonus

The city center and US troops in June 1944. Several US vehicles are parked on the Quai de Caligny west of the rotary bridge.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Hegemonus.

#7 Aachen Rathaus

Image source: nwolpert

Southside of the Aachen Town Hall at Katschhof at the end of World War II.
The town hall is one of the most important buildings in the historic center of Aachen. It was repeatedly rebuilt and expanded over many centuries. The oldest part of the monument is the Granusturm from the time of Charlemagne.
During World War II, the town hall suffered badly from several bombing raids. On 14 July 1943, the roof and both City Hall towers burned out, the steel skeletons of the tower domes bent by the heat dominated the appearance of the town hall for a few years.
Rebuilding followed in the 50s; last, the two-tower caps were finished in 1978.
Before photo: Stadtarchiv Aachen / Stadtbildstelle, after photo: Nicolai Wolpert.

#8 German Prisoners At The Station In Bernières

Image source: Lena

Captured German soldiers await their transport at the railway station in Bernières-Sur-Mer. Today, the old station building serves as the tourist office. 1944.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Lena.

#9 Notre-Dame (Liberation Of Paris)

Image source: nwolpert

Priest 105mm self-propelled guns of the French 2nd Armoured Division in front of Notre Dame in Paris, 26 August 1944.
Photo of the Imperial War Museum (IWM).
Before photo: IWM (BU 127), after photo: Nicolai Wolpert.

#10 German Soldier In Alkmaar

Image source: archiefalkmaar

German soldier in Alkmaar at the Langestraat. 1941.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Regionaal Archief Alkmaar.

#11 The Dam Busters

Image source: jamesvdm

In May 1943, the Allies dropped specially developed “bouncing bombs” on select dams in Germany’s industrial heartland. The Möhne dam was the hardest hit and 1600 civilians died in the flooding. The attack was dramatized by The Dam Busters (1955).
Before photo: Schalber, after photo: jamesvdm.

#12 Rue St. Placide

Image source: nwolpert

August 1944. Since 1940, Paris is occupied by German troops. As the Allied army approaches the capital, this encourages the Parisian population to resist. It comes to a general strike, followed by open revolts. Everywhere in the city (such as here in the rue St. Placide) barricades are erected, and around the 20th of August, the Resistance has taken control of the city. Although militarily inefficient, these barricades had a symbolic character for the Paris uprising.
Before photo: Jean-Jacques Lebel, after photo: Nicolai Wolpert.

#13 Villa Denise Et Roger At Juno Beach

Image source: Lena

The villa “Denise et Roger” is one of the most famous places of the time of D-Day. The region around Bernières-Sur-Mer was liberated by Canadian soldiers on June 6. 1944.
Before photo: Archives Nationales du Canada, after photo: Lena.

#14 Hoofdkwartier Wehrmacht

Image source: archiefalkmaar

German officers in the headquarters of the Wehrmacht in Huize Voorhout in Alkmaar. 1942.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Regionaal Archief Alkmaar

#15 Locals Welcome The German Soldiers

Image source: Lena

In the background is the Assumption Cathedral. 1941.
Before and after photo: Lena.

#16 Palais Chaillot

Image source: nwolpert

Paris in September 1944, shortly after the recapture. To protect against potential German counterattacks, an anti-aircraft gun is provisionally installed by American soldiers in the park of the Palais de Chaillot.
Before photo: anonym, Agence Gamma Rapho, after photo: Nicolai Wolpert.

#17 San Lorenzo, Rome

Image source: StuartSW6

San Lorenzo, Rome after the allied bombing on 19 July 1943.
Before photo: LaRepubblica, after photo: GoogleMaps.

#18 Rentforter Straße

Destroyed tram and houses in the Rentforterstrasse in Gladbeck, end of the Second World War. The house with the gabled facade in the background is the main entrance of the St. Barbara hospital.
Today there are no more tramways in Gladbeck. 1945.
Before photo: Vestische Straßenbahnen GmbH, after photo: Nicolai Wolpert.

#19 Opéra Garnier (Occupation Of Paris)

Image source: nwolpert

The Opera Garnier decorated with swastikas for a festival of German music during the Occupation of Paris. The Germans organized a series of concerts in the occupied city, including by the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. 1941.
Before photo: Deutsches Bundesarchiv, after photo: Nicolai Wolpert.

#20 Pont Neuf/Quai De Conti (Liberation Of Paris)

Image source: nwolpert

Barricade on the Pont Neuf at the intersection with the Quai de Conti, August 1944.
Since 1940, Paris had been occupied by German troops. As the Allied army approached the capital, this encouraged the Parisian population to resist. It came to a general strike, followed by open revolts. Everywhere in the city barricades were erected, and around the 20th of August, the Resistance took control of the city. Although militarily inefficient, these barricades had a symbolic character for the Paris uprising.
Before photo: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, after photo: Nicolai Wolpert.

#21 View From The Castle Of Caen On The Destroyed City

Image source: Lena

June 1944.
Before photo: A. Grimm (Bundesarchiv), after photo: Lena.

#22 Siege Of Leningrad

Image source: SergeyLarenkov

The school building destroyed by the Nazi bombing. 1941.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Sergey Larenkov.

#23 The Battle Of Porta San Paolo, Rome

Image source: StuartSW6

On 10 September 1943, Porta San Paolo was the scene of the last attempt by the Italian army to avoid the German occupation of Rome
On the evening of the 9th, the 21st Infantry Division “Granatieri di Sardegna” moved towards the center, engaging in fierce fighting on the Via Laurentina (Tre Fontane locality), around the Exposition Hill (current EUR district) and Forte Ostiense. The German troops marched on the Via Ostiense, towards the heart of Rome.
Despite the overwhelming numerical superiority and armament of the enemy, the walls of Porta San Paolo became a defensive bulwark of resistance, protected by barricades and vehicle carcasses. The grenadiers also fought here with courage, along with the numerous civilians.
Before photo: ComunediRoma, after photo: StuartSW6.

#24 San Lorenzo, Rome After The Bombing

Image source: StuartSW6

San Lorenzo after the bombing in 1943, Princess Marie-José inspecting the damage.
Before photo: Instituto Luce, after photo: GoogleMaps.

#25 Wehrmacht Soldiers In Schagen

Image source: archiefalkmaar

Wehrmacht Soldiers In the city of Schagen in The Netherlands. 1940.
Before photo: Foto Niestadt, after photo: Regionaal Archief Alkmaar.

#26 Part Of Lodz City Center

Image source: stefbra

Aerial shot of Lodz made at the end of WW2 (1942) compared with Google Earth’s view from 2017.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Google Earth.

#27 Old Bunker Alkmaar Flower Shop

Image source: archiefalkmaar

An old bunker is now used as a plant shop. Old Photo is taken in 1945, the new one in 2018.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Regionaal Archief Alkmaar.

#28 Battle Of Rome, Porta San Paolo

Image source: StuartSW6

September 9th, 1943.
Before photo: LaRepubblica, after photo: StuartSW6.

#29 Horses Bring Food To Civilians Hidden In The Abbey

Image source: Lena

After parts of the city have been liberated by the Allies, horse carts bring food to those who took refuge in the Abbey of Saint-Étienne. 1944, July 10th.
Before photo: National Archives Canada, after photo: Lena.

#30 Alkmaar Mobilization Dutch Soldiers

Image source: archiefalkmaar

Mobilization Dutch soldiers before the “Ambachtsschool” in Alkmaar, The Netherlands. 1939.
Before photo: Unknown author, after photo: Regionaal Archief Alkmaar.

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

Got wisdom to pour?

500-

Tags

before and after, beforeandafter, Europe, europe during world war 2, Germany, history, history now, Lena Meyer, Lena Weber, NowAndThen, photography, rephotography, rephotos, world war 2, World War II, WorldWar2, WW2, WWII
Tweet
9
Like deMilked on Facebook
Want more milk?
Hit like for a daily artshake!
Don't show this - I already like Demilked