Emperor Napoleon III cast a great shadow over France during his reign in the middle of the 19th century, and he brought a tremendous amount of change to the nation. Not all of that change was welcome, and some of it took the form of massive urban projects, such as the rebuilding of Paris. This lovely online collection created by the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections group brings together 201 remarkable stereoviews from the Second Empire period. For those who might not be acquainted with such matters, stereoviews are created through the use of stereoscopy, which is a technique used to create the illusion of depth by presenting two images to the eyes. Each image is taken from a slightly different perspective, and the resulting images, when viewed through a stereoscope, appear three-dimensional. Visitors to the site can browse through the images at their leisure, and they will find documentation of Notre Dame, the Arc De Triomphe, and the Boulevard de Strasbourg here. Those persons with an interest in urban infrastructure and the creation of modern Paris will find much to admire and enjoy here.


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