Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday's postcards: Black-and-white scenes from the past

Here are three wonderful old postcards featuring human-scale streets1 in western Eurasia.2

Oud Scheveningen

Text on back: "Uitgave: J. v. d. Hoek, Den Haag - Nadruk verboden No. 354"

This alley in Oud Scheveningen probably no longer exists.

Scheveningen is one of the eight districts in The Hague (Den Haag), Netherlands. It is now a tourism-based seaside resort known for its beaches (including a nudist beach), windsurfing, kiteboarding, fireworks, movie theaters, bars and gambling halls. Tourists can also check out the miniature city of Madurodam.

Garmisch, Frühlingstraße mit Waxensteine

Text on back: "3010 Verlag C. Schweizer, München 19, Frundsbergstr. 21"

Garmisch is now the mountain resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, thanks to Adolf Hitler. Garmisch (in the west) and the much-older Partenkirchen (in the east) were separate towns for many centuries. But, in 1935, in anticipation of the 1936 Winter Olympics, Hitler forced the two towns to combine. The Bavarian town, located in extreme southern Germany, has a population of about 26,000.

With the Waxenstein and Zugspitze mountains in the background, this is a popular perspective for photos and postcards. Here are links to a few others I came across:
And here's one that I really love -- a postcard image of snow-covered Garmisch, which was featured on the German eBay site:

Bodrum, Turkey

Text on back: "A View of BODRUM ancient Halicarnassus TURKEY"

Finally, here's an undated (1930s or 1940s?) view of the port city of Bodrum, Turkey. In ancient times, this was the Greek city of Halicarnassus, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (only one of which still exists3).

I love the detail of the small Mobiloil station in this photo of Bodrum. A sign, of course, that the Automobile Culture was starting to elbow its way into this ancient place.

The people and the details are what make these old photo postcards fascinating. They're time capsules of places -- except perhaps for Garmisch-Partenkirchen -- that can no longer be seen as they once were.

1. More Papergreat postcards of human-scale streets and alleys:
2. How many continents are there really? And what should we teach our children? The six-continent model featuring Eurasia is certainly compelling.
3. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of the Seven Ancient Wonders that remains intact.

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