The Temple of Saturn served a dual purpose in the Roman Forum. It was built to worship Saturn, the god of agriculture and the harvest. It also served as a public treasury (aerarium). The temple ruins shown in these photos are the remains of the third Temple of Saturn on the site. A fire in 283 BCE destroyed an earlier temple on the site. Over time, most of the building had eroded away, leaving only eight Ionic columns to show its former grandeur. Between the 1866 and 2017 photos, archaeologists and architectural historians have taken steps to preserve and stabilize the ruins. One noticeable effort is the bands around the columns to help stabilize the structure. The main changes have taken place around the ruins. A cluster of buildings, which are contemporary to the 1860s, no longer stand in the Forum grounds, revealing more Ancient Roman structures.
New Orleans’s French Quarter is one of the oldest, and most famous, areas of the Crescent City. Royal Street may not have the notoriety of nearby Bourbon Street, but the history, commerce, and historic significance are similar. Royal Street dates to the 1720s, when New Orleans was a center of French trade. By the late 1700s, the city had fallen under Spanish control. The delicate wrought iron balconies reflect the Spanish influence on New Orleans’ architecture. The 1910 picture shows a streetcar line on Royal Street. By 1948, the city replaced most streetcars in the French Quarter with busses. Today, there is no public transit within the French Quarter section of Royal Street, transit stops are along the outside perimeter. Royal Street is open to automobile traffic during the day, but at night, barricades go up; no vehicles allowed. It becomes a busy pedestrian entertainment, shopping, and tourist corridor.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Paris, France, 1920 and 2016
Under the watch of an eternal flame and the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies as a symbol of the soldiers who died in World War I, never to have a tomb under their own names. The 1920 image shows the ceremony and burial of the solider selected to represent these unnamed fallen. War Minister André Maginot asked Auguste Thin, who guarded the coffins of eight Tomb candidates, to select one for the Tomb. Thin placed a bouquet of lilies on the sixth casket, and the coffin entombed on January 28, 1921. The 2016 image shows the wreaths and other honors still presented at the Tomb. Members of the Committee of the Flame and Association of Veterans re-light the Eternal Flame every evening as the sun sets in memory of those who gave their lives during World War I.
The 2013 image of the United States Capitol is recognizable by millions, the neoclassical façade with the white dome looming toward the sky. As the symbol of United States democracy, and where the Senate and House meet to create the laws that impact people across the country, it is one of the most important buildings for the nation. But in 1846, the building looked quite different. The most noticeable difference is the dome. The original dome, designed by William Thornton in his 1793 design, looked like the dome of Rome’s Pantheon, which particularly pleased third President Thomas Jefferson, a big fan of neoclassical architecture and the Pantheon in particular. The dome as we know it today wasn’t added until the 1860s, when the Capitol was expanded to create wings on the north and south sides of the building. These chambers would house the Senate and House of Representatives.
Warsaw’s Skyline, a City of Skyscrapers, 2010 and 2020
Although the two images are only ten years apart, they show a dramatic growth in Warsaw, Poland’s skyline. The Palace of Culture and Science, built in the 1950s, is a design that blends the geometric forms of Art Deco with neoclassical elements like colonnades and decoration along the roof lines. In 2010 it was the tallest building in Warsaw. By 2020 other skyscrapers overtook the Palace. The Varso Tower, currently Warsaw’s tallest skyscraper, exceeds the Palace by almost 80 meters (260 feet). More skyscrapers are in the works. Warsaw officials have stated they hope to have more skyscrapers than any other European city, and being the “most modern capital in Europe.” As of 2023, Warsaw has sixty-five skyscrapers already completed or in the works. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, it is currently the tallest city in Poland, sixth tallest in Europe, and 100th worldwide.
The Water Temple Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is a 17th century Hindu complex, featuring sculpted gardens and three pagodas. These shrines honor the gods, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and Dewi Danu, goddess of the lake. Vishnu’s pagoda, the tallest at 11 tiers, is dedicated to the god of maintaining balance. A seven-tiered shrine is devoted to Brahma, god of creation. The smallest shrine at only three tiers is dedicated to Shiva, god of destruction and renewal. While the pagodas haven’t changed a great deal, the setting has. The rustic setting from 1933 has been landscaped and turned into a garden. A Buddhist stupa within the complex, which predate the Hindu shrines, is a reminder of the close relationship Buddhism and Hinduism have shared throughout history.
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