Weird History

Photos From The 1910 Paris Flood Are Oddly Beautiful

In 1910, the Seine River, which runs directly through Paris, France, ran over its banks – to the tune of a little over 26 feet beyond its normal level. The result of excessive winter flooding, the Great Flood of Paris, which took place in January of that year, brought Parisian life to a screeching halt, as flood waters filled the city's streets – for a moment at least. The resourceful and inventive Parisians of the day didn't let the legendary floodwaters stop them from moving about their city. They just got inventive, and photos of the 1910 Paris flood attest to this inventiveness.

From walkways built of chairs to gondola-like flatboats that could be poled around the city, images from the flood showcase the lengths that a community will go to in order to be able to navigate its surroundings. But the photos of the flood don't just showcase ingenuity; they're also hauntingly beautiful, like a city frozen in time, blanketed by snow – only wetter.

The flooding itself lasted for 35 days and cost the French government an estimated $1.5 billion in evacuations, damage, and rebuilding. Reaching its highest point at day 10, the water eventually receded in February 1910.