czwartek, 9 lutego 2012

Nijmegen now and then

I was planning to write this post for already quite some time. Nijmegen is an adorable city, the oldest one in the Netherlands. Unfortunately in 1944 it was bombed by the Amarican army, who apparently took it for a german city. Well, the border is quite close... Maurice till this day blames them for this damage and it's just another reason for him to have not a very friendly feelings for this nation.

I did a little research and I found some great pictures from before the war in the city archives. Some of the places are almost impossible to recognise anymore. They have changed totally. I'd like to take you for a little citywalk and show you Nijmegen, the way it looks now and how it was before. Here are the effects of my little tour with the camera. 

The beautiful neorenaissance train station building, designed by CH Peters was opened in 1894. It was heavely damaged during the bombing and though the repairs, it was finally razed to the ground and replaced with a new one in a modern style.  

Burchtstraat in a direction of the Grote Markt. On a left side you can see a part of the Town Hall. In 1944 the renaissance building was burnt and restored in the coming years. You can also see that the street in this place seems to be a bit wider now. 

The same street also with the view of St. Stevenskerk tower. Once there were trams going here, now there are buses. Once there was Peek&Cloppenburg, now  H&M ;)

This place is completly unrecognizable anymore. There's nothing left except the name of the street. At the begining of the XX century there was the Kasteel Hallo here, and the steep road in the direction of the rivr was very popular in winter with children sliding down the hill. Today the building is gone and the road was replaced with same steep stairs. 

View at the same place but from the other end of the street. On the right side you can see the Valkhof park. Today the building of the Burgerlust Assosiation is gone. The only thing left is the statue Het Spoorweg, placed here as a symbol of the railway connection Nijmegen-Kleve.

The mall V&D by Grote Markt. What can I say... completly different view. The original building was destroyed during the bombing. The new building is not that pretty anymore. 

Molenstraat street with the St. Ignatius church. The church and the buildings were all damaged. In their place the new church was built and... the mall.

Broerstraat has changed totally. Not even a brick have left after the old houses. Same with the beautiful church by the end of the street. Despite the huge changes this street is still very lively and vivied thanks to many shops along.

I have to say , I had the most problems with this picture. Fitst I thought it was completly other street, but Maurice have checkes my photos, found the right one and matched them together. Another problem was with the frame... To make it closer to the black and white original i would have to take this picture standing in the middle of the bus deport. That's the best I could do. The photograph shows the Augustijnenstraat. Another church that was gone from the topography of the city in 1944. Just imagine how would the skyline of Nijmegen look like if these beautiful towers would still be there...

At the end the view of Grote Markt seen from the side of St. Stevenskerk. The same portal, the same building on the left, but the right side is somehow different...

I tried to take pictures from the same ankle, so the perspective wouldn't change much, but sometimes it was just impossible... I prefered not to risk my life by standing with my camera in the middle of the crossroads or the street. I hope you'll forgive me ;)

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