Urbanist Hanoi

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[Photos] Monochrome Images Capture the Calmness of the Capital in 1939

The following monochrome images, taken by an unknown French photographer in 1939, capture peaceful moments in corners of the capital, from the city center to outlying villages. 

The collection focuses on both the palatial and the pastoral. We see French colonial architecture from across Hanoi, such as Long Bien Bridge, the Old Quarter viewed across a placid Hoan Kiem Lake, the Opera House, the grandiose headquarters of the Indochina Ministry of Finance (now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and war memorials. 

The photos, featured via Flickr user manhhai, also explore agricultural activities on the outskirts of Hanoi. While the urban images depict a calmness that's almost impossible to find in the capital today, these latter shots show livelihoods that aren't too dissimilar from today: workers toiling on rice paddies, women carrying shoulder-slung baskets and buffalo roaming in the fields. 

Take a look at below: