Sunday, June 23, 2024

WHAT WAS LONDON LIKE 100 YEARS AGO?

London is one of the most famous and bustling cities in the world. Approximately the same atmosphere prevailed in the capital of Great Britain 100 years ago. The streets were crowded with lots of people and vehicles. Still, the fashion of the time, the shops’ appearance and transport were somewhat different. Some modern buildings didn’t yet exist in the 1920s. What did London look like at that time? What fundamentally changed in architecture throughout the century? Is it possible to reproduce that unique atmosphere in the modern world? Learn more at london-future.

General features of city life in the 1920s

The 1920s were marked by the end of the First World War. The population of Great Britain (mostly men) took an active part in this war. So after so much loss, people longed for stability and ordinary happiness. Although London didn’t suffer large-scale destruction, that period became a kind of revival for the city and people believed in a bright future. It also affected the appearance of London. The city became richer and the women of the country began to gain more and more positive results in the struggle for their rights. There were a lot of tourists on the streets of the city and the first fashion boutiques also started to appear. The nightlife was raging in the capital of Great Britain. Such social features became an impetus for the creation of new buildings and other architectural objects.

Architecture of that time and comparison with modernity

100 years ago, most tourists visited London to see its beautiful architecture. And one of the most popular locations has been Buckingham Palace, which attracts people from all over the world even in our time. Trafalgar Square was considered one of the cultural centres of the city in the 1920s. Double-decker buses, which looked slightly different from their modern counterparts, often passed by the well-known Piccadilly Circus. Then the square served as a transport hub. However, in our time, it is rather a tourist attraction. One of the most noticeable differences between the capital 100 years ago and today is the number of bridges. At the beginning of the 20th century, humanity wasn’t yet capable of creating such architectural projects. However, they are ordinary in the modern world. For this and many other reasons, the construction of the new bridge took a lot of time, materials and effort. Therefore, traffic jams were often formed on the bridges spanning the Thames. Sometimes, even pedestrian bridges were crowded. This testified to the rapid development of the city and the constant arrival of people. London’s Embankment has also undergone changes. 100 years ago, it wasn’t so developed. Many objects appeared here over time. In particular, the London Eye was created at the end of the 20th century. Today, it’s difficult to imagine London without it. Entertainment has always remained the main feature of London. There were many dance halls. However, in the modern world, they have been closed or turned into various studios. One of the interesting parts of London’s architecture was also the special bike racks. At that time, it was the main transport for almost every person. So, on weekdays, long lines of bicycles waited for their owners near their place of work.

Photo source: DE AGOSTINI PICTURE LIBRARY

In general, if you look at the pictures of London from a bird’s eye view today and 100 years ago, you will understand that the city layout has remained the same. The most famous buildings are located in the same places as 100 years ago. However, in today’s city, you will no longer see the first black cars and the legendary horse-driven carriages. In our time, it’s rare to find queues for the canteen and workers’ strikes have turned into peaceful demonstrations.

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