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[Photos] A Bird's-Eye View of the Capital in the 1930s

Aerial photography has been around since the 19th century. During colonial rule in Vietnam, French photographers took to the air to show sights of Hanoi in ways previously only appreciated by birds. 

The following series of images, collated by Flickr user and archival image extraordinaire manhhai, includes rare snapshots of the city as seen from the skies. Taken by an unknown photographer during the 1930s, the photos reveal many famous landmarks, such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Long Bien Bridge and St. Joseph's Cathedral. One can also see how the Red River used to flood Banana Island during the rainy season of 1929, long before numerous dams were built to contain its flow. 

The untethered river meanders in the distance while sampans and fishing boats move beside an unbroken Long Bien Bridge. On land, St. Joseph's Cathedral appears far taller than surrounding low-rise Old Quarter houses. We see the Temple of Literature, the Presidential Palace and West Lake. Trees, fields and greenery remain extensive, and we even catch a glimpse of what must be Tam Dao Hill Station. 

Take a look below.

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