February 2, 2023

Chicby Karina

Think exceptional travel

These Vintage Photos of the Alps Show an Era of Untouched Snow, Hikers in Lederhosen, and the Earliest Skiers

Given the indisputable popularity of the Alps as a ski destination, it’s difficult to imagine a time when the slopes were clear of tracks; when “the first Alpinists were considered mad, and skiers were a curiosity,” as the team behind The Alps 1900. A Portrait in Color puts it. 

It’s this exact moment in time that the new Taschen book captures for readers. From author Agnès Couzy, a writer and mountaineer, and editor Sabine Arqué, a photo researcher, editor, and author, this 600-page tome pulls together postcards, photographs, and photochromes (color images produced from black-and-white negatives) of the Alps through the 19th and 20th centuries—all in full, living color. “These images have been selected for their beauty, their dreaminess, and because I love them,” says Arqué. “I’m not an alpinist but I’ve loved the Alps since I discovered them with my parents at the age of 15.”

The Alps 1900. A Portrait in Color

Below, Couzy and Arqué tell the story behind a selection of photos found across the pages of The Alps 1900. A Portrait in Color—from images of the now-receding Rhône Glacier, to glamorous mountain resorts like the Caux Palace Hotel beside Lake Geneva. You’ll be forgiven for needing to book a modern-day trip to the Alps immediately after reading.

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