List of historical images that can't be replicated

Sometimes I set out with a beautiful photograph of a scene from a hundred years ago - only to notice that it is impossible to retake the picture. Whole Buildings have gotten replaced, trees have grown in front of the scene or a volcano has demolished a gate completely.

To spare others the disappointment I’ll now list my failed attempts. Please join me and list those images that can not be replicated under any circumstances. If the site becomes more popular, photographers will be able to use the search function to check whether their composition has been tried before.

**Indonesia > Bali > [Pura Gunung Kawi](**

The above images originate from and are today inaccessible due to the growth of trees and jungle.

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Indonesia > Bali > Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Images from

Images above are obstructed by newly built halls and big trees.

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Beautiful images, that’s really a pity! It’s a nice idea to create a place to list those images. Maybe they could be posted together with the photos of nowadays, even if under a very different perspective. It would still be interesting to compare.

Maybe it would be better to structure this a bit?

Yes, a structure is indeed necessary. Feel free to contribute any ideas! :slight_smile:

Ultimately, an archive or a database with a map and a proper description would be the best, I believe.

Yes, or maybe one could create a category for these images on the user profile.

Unfortunately I can add only one image per post, is it possible to change this?

That’s because your trust level in the forum was too low. Some features are only accessible by users with a certain trust level to avoid spamming. I just pushed you onto the next level and you should be able to post as many images as you like now.

I think it’s possible to transform posts into wikis so that users can work collaboratively on one post. If you two think that it would help to organize the content I could do that.

I don’t know - we could also first wait and see if enough images are collected such that it becomes necessary to organize.

Here some examples of Paris-photos that could not be replicated:

Porte St. Denis

Many photos of Paris seem to have been taken from a bit above, like a platform, like in this old photo of Porte St. Denis.

Magasins du Printemps

The Magasins du Printemps is one of the oldest shopping centers in the world, it sells clothes and luxury articles.

Rue de Seine (Great flood of 1910)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France

During the flood of 1910, Paris seemed a bit like Venice especially in the roads close to the Seine, which were only accessible with boats.

Pont de Bir-Hakeim

A metro bridge over the Seine close to the Tour Eiffel.

Place St.Michel

Rue de Lobau

Petit Palais

Petit Palais in Winter, around 1910. Such masses of snow are extremely rare in Paris.


Malaysia > Kuala Lumpur

Old Survey Office (near Merdeka Square)

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Old Chartered Bank Building (has been completely changed) and Printing Office


France > Paris

Église de la Trinité

Neue Photographische Gesellschaft, 1902

Place de Clichy

Unknown author, around 1900

Rue Lepic

In the 19th century, Montmartre was still full of windmills. Today, very few of them are left, like the one in Rue Lepic (today top of a restaurant).

Eugene Atget, second half of 19th century


Germany > North Rhine-Westphalia > Erle (Raesfeld)

Erler Femeiche

The Femeiche in Erle is one of the oldest oaks in Germany, its age is estimated between 1000 and 1500 years. It had a significant role in the middle-ages as a place of courts; severe crimes like murder, violation and robbery were judged here (convictions led to death by hanging). It might have been used as court (“Thing”) already in germanic times.

Albert Weskamp, around 1902

Nicolai Wolpert, 2016


France > Paris

Gare/Musée d’Orsay

The former train station Gare d’Orsay today houses a museum for French art.

Anonym, around 1900

Nicolai Wolpert, 2014


Germany > Osnabrück


Rudolf Lichtenberg, 1914 (mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Museums Industriekultur)

Nicolai Wolpert, 2016


Thailand > Bangkok

The Northen part of Khu Mueang Doem Canal now covered by the approach road to the Phra Pinklao Bridge (built 1971-73). It would be hard to take a picture today from the exact same spot of the 1968 picture as you would be hit by cars… The 2012 picture is from Google Street View.


Thailand > Bangkok

Entrance to Phadung Kasem canal: 1946 versus 2017. Here also, except with a drone, it is difficult to take a picture from the exact same spot.