Being a fan of travelling to new destinations but not being able to do so as often as I would like, I love being able to look at pictures of the places I wish to go. Seeing places in a photograph allows you to imagine yourself seeing it in person for the first time, but with modern technology you can be right in front of that famous monument with just a click of a button thanks to developments such as Google’s Street-View option in their maps.
Although, in 1893 before the time of the internet, and back when travelling across the world was not as easily accessible, people relied on picture books such as Thomas Knox’s “Scenes from Every Land” to see the famous places they wished to travel. And those people who could not see these sites with their own eyes were exactly who this book was directed towards, as General Lee Wallace addresses in the introduction, “ To the few who have traveled; to the many who would like to go abroad, , but are restrained by timidity; to the lacking in funds; to the sick and convalescent who promise themselves sight of the world when health will permit; more especially, to the multitude of unfortunates, who, on account of incurable ailments of whatever kinds, can never hope to escape the narrow confines in which their lots are cast, I venture to address this introduction.”
This particular book holds over 500 pictures from around the world, from Syria to New Zealand and famous buildings to museum galleries, this book shows it all. But one thing that is interesting to wonder when flipping through the pages of this book is how many of these famous sites have changed since the late 1800s, and thanks to Google Street-View we are able to see just how different, if at all, things are. Just click the links below each picture to see how they are today.
Westminster Abbey, London
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
Eiffel Tower, Paris
The Vatican, Rome
The Colosseum, Rome
The Campanile, or Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
Court of Lions in the Alhambra , Granada, Spain
St. Basil, the Beatified, Moscow
Great Pyramid and Sphinx, Egypt
Cleopatra’s Needle, New York
(The obelisk was originally in Alexandria, Egypt when this photo was taken but was later moved to Central Park in New York City in 1881)
Washington Monument, Washington D.C.