The incredible photos you won’t believe were taken in Paris

You might think you've seen every possible photo of the French capital but this selection of incredible old images from the City of Light will leave you thinking "was that really in Paris?"

The incredible photos you won't believe were taken in Paris
Photo: Parisenimages

Paris is probably the most photographed city in the world, thanks largely to the fact it's remained so photogenic over the years. You might think you've seen every possible photo of Paris but this selection of old images from the City of Light will leave you thinking “was that really in Paris?”

Whether it's elephants being walked calmly through the streets, or sunbathers floating on beds on the River Seine, the incredible images, made available to The Local by the photo agency Roger-Viollet, offer a unique peek into the past.

Lovers of Paris can purchase their own copies of all the images via the site Paris En Images, which stocks around 120,000 photographs of Paris.

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Errr… “Ma cherie, I'm just going to take the elephant for a walk.” In 1941, you could have popped out to get a baguette and come across an elephant. Buy this image by clicking here:

Run out of milk? Just pop out and get some from the goat milk seller. At least you could do that in the first decade of the 20th century in Paris. Buy this image by clicking here:

Weighing scales on the Paris Metro! And you wonder where Parisian women get the reputation for being obsessed about their weight comes from? These scales were at the Invalides Metro station, January 1947. They've since been removed. Buy this image by clicking here:

Skiers at the Bois de Boulogne, in December 1938. Those were the days when Paris would get snow in winter. Dastardly global warming seems to have ruined all the fun. Buy this image by clicking here:

If the Metro ever floods, you'll know how to get to work in the morning. A rowing boat in the Metro on the North-South line, during the Great Flood of 1910. Buy this image by clicking here:

You hear about planes overshooting the runway but not trains overshooting the platform. This famous photo is of an accident at the Montparnasse train station. Paris, October 22, 1895. Buy this image by clicking here:

Yes, back in the day (1942) Parisian women would slip into their bathing costumes to get swimming lessons in the middle of the street. Hence the groups of Parisian men watching on. Buy this images by clicking here:

And continuing in the flood theme. Onlookers watch a bear stranded in a zoo at the Jardin des Plantes in the fifth arrondissement after the Great flood of the River Seine in 1910. Buy this image by clicking here

Taking a dip in the River Seine on a floating bed? Paris hipsters of days gone by (July 1914) were far more brave than today's bunch. Buy this image by clicking here:

Can you imagine modern Parisian women standing around a brazier warming their legs like this? This photo was taken at the Auteuil racecourse during winter, circa 1925. Buy this image by clicking here:

What?! A mailbox for motorists on the Champs-Elysées?! Can you imagine the chaos today if Parisian drivers stopped their cars to post letters? Oh all that beeping. This was the norm back in April 1959 however. Buy this image by clicking here:

Water Velib's. This is an idea the Mayor of Paris should look into. If it worked back in 1910, then why not today? Buy this image by clicking here:

A strike on the Paris Metro in 1935 forced Parisians to find alternative means to get to work. Actually Birdman here was on his way to an inventors competition and thought it would be best to take the Metro. Buy this image by clicking here:

Recognise that head anyone? At the 1878 World Fair in Paris, at the park of the Champ-de-Mars stands the planished copper bust of the head of Statue of Liberty by Auguste Bartholdi, (1834-1904) that ended up in New York, of course. Buy this image by clicking here:

That's one way to get a look at the beautiful Paris skyline. Henri Roger (1869-1946), French photographer, climbing the lightning conductor on the roof of the Paris Faculty of Law, on December 10, 1899. Buy this image by clicking here:


IN PICTURES: How the French are staying cool as mercury rises

As the country continues to heat up, the French have been finding ways to take the edge off the heatwave. Here's a look at how - in pictures.

IN PICTURES: How the French are staying cool as mercury rises
Feeling too hot in Aix-en-Provence? It's time to seek out the 'Umbrella Sky Project'. Photo: AFP

Temperatures in France are expected to reach a record-breaking high of a scorching 45C on Friday, leading to more school closures and traffic restrictions.

Many local authorities around the country have advised parents to keep their children at home and thousands of schools around the country were closed on Friday. 
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Friday morning that a total of 4,000 schools in France would be closed on Friday due to the extreme heat. 
Here's a look at how the French are cooling off in the extreme temperatures. 

In Paris, people weren't hesitating to make the most of any water they could find, including Canal Saint-Martin.

A young man dives into the waters of the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris. Photo: AFP

And some tourists took the opportunity to dip their feet into the fountain next to the Louvre pyramid. 

Photo: AFP

Meanwhile others sought out what little shade they could. 

A couple sheltering under an umbrella next to the Louvre in Paris. Photo: AFP

But for some tourists in Aix-en-Provence, one umbrella just wasn't going to cut it. 

The “Umbrella Sky Project” installation by Portuguese artist Patricia Cunha. Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

And who needs a beach when you have the Loire River?

People bathing in the Loire River in Tours. Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

… or even water jets in the city centre?

Children cool off under water jets in a fountain during the heatwave in Montpellier, southern France. Photo: AFP

It's not just humans who need to cool off in the heat. Here's an image of a jaguar taking a refreshing dip at the Bordeaux-Pessac Zoo in Pessac, southwestern France.

Photo: AFP

People were also making the most of the canals in the north eastern French city of Reims. 

Photo: AFP

And if all else fails, why not get involved with some “streetpooling”? To anyone who isn't aware, this is the word the French use to describe turning on fire hydrants – and it may get you into a spot of bother with the French authorities.