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[Photos] Black-and-White Shots Depict Quotidian Details of 19th-Century Vietnam

These black-and-white shots are among the highest-quality documentation attempts of Vietnam at the end of the 19th century.

The collection was taken by Firmin André Salles, a French photographer and explorer. From 1896 to 1898, Salles traveled to and photographed much of French Indochina, excluding Laos. His trips were among the first to archive the scenes and life in the peninsula in photographic form. The result was a prolific collection of rarely seen sights.

Famous French photographer Numa Broc said of his predecessor: “In total, A. Salles left us several hundred negative plaques, of exceptional documentary value, preciously preserved today by the Société de géographie de Paris."

Have a closer look at Salles’ images below:

Vung Tau, then called Cap Saint-Jacques.

On the Saigon River.

The Ben Nghe Canal in Saigon.

That Phu Temple in Cho Lon.

Inside the Saigon Zoo.

Le Duan Boulevard.

The Saigon Governor's Palace in 1896; the building was destroyed in 1962. The new building is now the Reunification Palace.

The past iteration of the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City.

Saigon Post Office.

Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Cao Xuân Dục, the governor of Nam Định, at a ceremony honoring graduates of the Hương exam (Thi Hương).

Honored students walk past crowds of onlookers.

Waiting to hear the results of the exams.

Every three years, major provinces hdld a Hương exams for students. Those with high rankings would take Hội and Đình exams in the imperial capital the following year.

At the gate of the Kiep Bac Temple in Hai Duong.

Three children of the governor of Lang Son (on the chairs).

17-year-old Vi Văn Định (left), the son of Lang Son Governor Vi Văn Lý.

In the 20th century, Định himself became the governor of Thai Binh and then Ha Dong.

Embroidery artisan Phan Văn Khoan at his home during Tet.

The Mot Cot Pagoda with some signs of wear and tear.

The staircase leading into the pagoda.

Two egret statues in the Temple of Literature, Hanoi.

Part of the temple with the Khue Van Pavilion on the right.

At the entrance of the temple.

On the banks of Ho Tay. In today's Hanoi, Thanh Nien Street crosses this section.

Quan Thanh Temple.

The northern structure inside Ngoc Son Temple.

Thap Rua with a miniature Statue of Liberty on top.

Tran Ba Temple.

The Huc Bridge.

On the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake.

[Photos via Redsvn]

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