It’s always been said that love lifts us up, but maybe that’s just because the Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris is holding all of our weight. Measured this way, love weighs approximately 45 tons, all of which comes from the famous “love locks” that tourists have attached to the Parisian bridge. Lovers have been affixing padlocks onto the grates of this structure (and many other European bridges and landmarks) since Italian author Federico Moccia’s novel, Ho Voglia di Te (I Want You) popularized the trend in the late 2000s.
Parisian architecture and a fantastical fairytale world collide in Laurent Chehere’s collection of flying homes. The whimsical series plucks ordinary suburban residences–eroding hotels, circus tents, trailers, and graffiti-covered structures–from their urban settings…
Dark Cities series photographer Daniele Cametti Aspri describes his most recent project–capturing cities at night–this way:
“When we go into a dark place from a bright one we live a kind of disorientation, our eyes struggle for the first minutes to get used to the dark.
With every passing minute, slowly, thanks to the residual light that filters under a door, or maybe from a street lamp far away, reality begins to take a different shape. The dim light rests on the surrounding structures by drawing a game of achromatic surfaces, painting more or less intense shades of dark gray that almost reach the black.”
As World War II raged throughout Europe, the “City of Light” transformed into a city of darkness. While the Germans declined to physically destroy the city upon its 1940 occupation, their presence greatly tested the Parisian psyche. Over two million Parisians fled as the Germans arrived, but those who remained in the capital faced interrogations, curfews, rations, shortages and arrests. The German occupation of France (1940-1944) remains a humiliating time in the history of Paris and, more broadly, France.
Millions of people travel to Paris every year. It has some of the most recognizable landmarks and tourist attractions in the world. However, few of them make the time to visit the city of light’s dark corners: the catacombs. Housing some of the largest ossuaries in the world, if you ever find yourself in Paris, make sure to visit the City of the Dead resting right beneath your feet.
So what is it? An ossuary is a site used as a final resting place for skeletal remains. Sometimes these can be just a box or a room or, as is the case with Paris, an entire underground lair. Down in the catacombs, you will find the skulls and other bones from over six million people.