One of the nicest photographs in the world is one of a city skyline. Whether it’s during a sunrise, sunset, or in a gorgeous night setting, the breathtaking view of a city skyline is something to behold. But aside from the aesthetic beauty is the rich history behind the skyline. We don’t often think about the years, even centuries of work that went into building such a city that would provide the views we all love so much.
In some cases, natural disasters drastically altered a city thus making the skyline completely different. In other cases, the unfortunate acts of horrible groups of people who decided to destroy major landmarks can have a tremendous impact. And in some of the more positive cases, pure innovation and scale have contributed to the growth and look of a city.
Today we’ve decided to condense some major skylines across the world into just a few pictures. The first picture of a skyline from a relatively early date. The second one is of a skyline that’s very recent. When you put the two side by side (or in this case one on top of the other) it’s astonishing to take note of the changes.
Here are 13 cities whose skylines have had dramatic change over the course of their development:
New York City skyline in 1964 across the Brooklyn Bridge
In 2016, it’s One World Trade Center that dominates
Dubai’s marina in 2000 which is mostly dirt.
Dubai’s marina today has grown quite a bit in less than 20 years.
London’s Westminster area in the late 1920s.
This is a view in 2012 which includes the London Eye Ferris Wheel
Abu Dhabi’s beach in 1961 that featured only water distillation plants
Today, Abu Dhabi is a tourist haven featuring skyscrapers and highest rated hotels in the world.
View from the Eiffel tower in France in 1889.
Today’s view is quite different
Doha, Qatar in 1977.
Here’s the Doha, Qatar skyline today
1930s Sydney Harbour Bridge
It’s hard to believe this is the same Sydney Harbour
Tokyo in 1976 was as developed as some countries today
Now it’s way more modern with some new additions
Hong Kong in 1957 was pretty advanced for its day
It’s even more advanced now
This photo was taken sometime around 1930, when “Christ the Redeemer” was in construction in Rio
Toronto in the early 1930s. Tallest building was 34 stories.
Toronto today. CN Tower is just a few more stories than 34!
Shanghai’s Pudong district in 1987
Three decades later, skyscrapers have shot up from the ground.
In 1917, the The Grand Kremlin Palace was the major feature on the banks of the Moskva River.
The only one that hasn’t changed much.