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Old November 19th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #101
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #102
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Does 'Zeleznicka stanica' means railway station ?
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #103
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Quote:
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Does 'Zeleznicka stanica' means railway station ?
Yes.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #104
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Funny yellow and white '80' sign
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Old November 19th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #105
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Great new source for old pics: http://images.google.com/hosted/life



Us army tanks somewhere on the Autobahn:



It's probably the first motorway in history:

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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:09 PM   #106
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Where exactly is that?
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #107
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It's the Turin - Milan autostrada, the very first one.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 12:06 AM   #108
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Ok, I thought it was in Poland, because "Autostrada" is also used in Polish
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Old November 20th, 2008, 12:22 AM   #109
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Well, we had some visions about motorways before WWII, the proper polish name for it is 'droga samochodowa'' it is just same meaning as autostrada or motorway
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Old November 20th, 2008, 01:45 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLH View Post
It's probably the first motorway in history:

I don't see any motorway here.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 03:54 AM   #111
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The very famous Nationale 7, or N7, which is the road going from Paris to Lyon, then Marseille, then the French Riviera and finally the Italian border after Monaco. Originally, during Napoleon's Empire, it was the road from Paris to Rome, both cities being the end of the road.

Nationale 7 was dubbed the "route des vacances" in French (i.e. the "holidays road") because it was the road used by people going to the Mediterranean when mass migration during summer holidays started after WW2. The N7 was immortalized by Charles Trénet in 1955 in a famous song that is still one of my favorite French songs.

In the 1960s they started to build the Autoroute du Soleil (the "Sunshine Motorway") from Paris to Lyon and the Mediterranean, and so most people stopped using the N7 for long travel, and today the Autoroute du Soleil is one of the busiest motorways in Europe in summer, while the N7 is relatively quiet (but trafic on the N7 in summer in the 1950s was bumper to bumper... how times have changed!).

Here is the song by Charles Trénet, with some views of the N7:


In the 1950s, there was no Périphérique beltway around Central Paris. You left Central Paris at the Porte d'Italie ("Italy Gate") and the N7 started there. You crossed about 30 km of suburbs on the N7, but it looked like a suburban boulevard for 30 km, with trafic lights... and trafic jams.

In the southern suburbs, the N7 crossed Orly Airport underneath the airport. At the time it was the newest and largest airport of Paris, French authorities were very proud of that "modern" airport, and CDG didn't exist yet.



30 km south of Porte d'Italie you reached Corbeil-Essonnes where the suburbs finally ended and the open countryside started.



N7 in Corbeil-Essonnes:


80 km south of Paris you reached the big roundabout by the obelisk in the middle of the Fontainebleau Forest. The obelisk was erected in 1783 in the honor of Marie-Antoinette. There, several roads branch out towards southern France. You had to carefully choose the correct road towards Lyon otherwise if you took the wrong road you ended up in the Massif Central wildlands!



In Nemours you were almost at the end of Île-de-France and the border of Burgundy was near. You crossed the Loing River on a bridge (picture below) inaugurated by Pope Pius VII in 1804 on his way to the coronation of Napoleon I in Paris.



South of Montargis you could stop for lunch or dinner at the Auberge de la Route Bleue (i.e. the "Blue Road Inn", the "Blue Road" was another nickname for the N7, in reference to the blue Medditeranean). The Auberge de la Route Bleue had several stars in the Michelin Guide.



The N7 crossed through the center of Cosnes-sur-Loire, Burgundy (in fact the N7, like all roads prior to the motorway era, always went through the center of cities, without beltway or circling roads).



South of Cosnes-sur-Loire, you could stop at "Les 200 Bornes" (literally "The 200 kilometers" in French slang, maybe because it was 200 km south of Paris) to have some food and fill in the tank of your car.



In Nevers the N7 originally went right through this arch called the Porte de Paris ("Paris Gate"). In the 1950s they deviated the road away from the arch.



The crossing of the Loire in Nevers was spectacular, on a bridge built in the 18th century.



A gas station in the 1930s on the side of the N7 in Villeneuve-sur-Allier:


The N7 through the center of Moulins:


Already 301 km since we left Paris:


The N7 crossing a small town south of Moulins in the 1950s, with the Bar de la Route Bleue on the side of the road:


In Lapalisse the N7 went right below the majestic castle of the counts of Chavannes:


In Roanne you had to cross the Loire again. Lyon was now less than 100 km away.


After Roanne you had to climb the Monts du Lyonnais ("Lyonnais Mounts") before reaching Lyon. The steep climb started at the village of L'Hôpital-sur-Rhins.



N7 in the Monts du Lyonnais:


Finally, the first suburb of Lyon, Tassin (with its clock tower).



You crossed the Croix-Rousse tunnel inaugurated in 1955, and beyond the tunnel lay Central Lyon.



Tomorrow, I'll show you the rest of the Nationale 7 from Lyon to the Mediterranean. Stay tuned!



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Old November 20th, 2008, 04:49 AM   #112
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great job!
very interesting report
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Old November 20th, 2008, 05:10 AM   #113
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in 1937, Nissan CM



Tokyo expressway in 1964

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Old November 20th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
I don't see any motorway here.
Cause it was just that - a single carriageway.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 06:02 PM   #115
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Very interesting report about the N7
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Old November 20th, 2008, 07:48 PM   #116
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Some photos from my own archive. Almost all photos are from the late 70's

Somewhere in Germany.



The Zeelandbrug in the Netherlands.


Again, end of the 70's, somewhere Somewhere


Austria: Building the Tauernautobahn



Austria, A10, Raststätte Golling (near Salzburg)



Austria, Felbertaurntunnel


Croatia (Yugoslavia): Ucka tunnel (1981, shortly after the opening)


Ljubljana
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Old November 20th, 2008, 07:54 PM   #117
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Very nice pictures

http://img377.imageshack.us/img377/6076/1167035qu.jpg

It's in the Netherlands, in a wooded area with sand grounds. You don't find that too often. I think I can rule out the A1 Barneveld - Apeldoorn, A1 near Rijssen, A50 Zwolle - Apeldoorn and A28 Zwolle - Harderwijk because they don't look like that. I can't remember that small stream next to it anywhere, and those corridors are narrower with the trees closer to the motorway. It might be the A12 Utrecht - Arnhem or A28 near Utrecht. Perhaps A67 Eindhoven - Belgium
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Old November 20th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #118
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Nice pics, Palance! It's always interesting to see historical photos of motorways from your own country
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Old November 21st, 2008, 02:48 AM   #119
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Old November 21st, 2008, 02:49 AM   #120
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As promised yesterday, here is the rest of the N7 from Lyon to the Mediterranean.



After Central Lyon you had to cross some grizzly industrial suburbs (Saint-Fons, Vénissieux, Feyzin) before finally reaching the open countryside. You were now going due south along the Rhône River valley, travelling next to the old Roman road that linked Lyon (Lugdunum), capital of Gaul, with Rome, capital of the Roman Empire.



The first city you crossed south of Lyon was Vienne, which was a very important city at the end of the Roman Empire. The N7 passed by a monument called the Pyramid, which archaelogists believe was located inside the circus of Vienne (horse races that is). That monument gave its name to one of France's most famous restaurants, La Pyramide, located on the N7. La Pyramide got its three stars in the Michelin Guide in 1933. From Charles Trénet to Charlie Chaplin, all the rich and famous of these days stopped at La Pyramide on their way to the Mediterranean.

That's the Pyramid monument in Vienne:


In Pont-de-l'Isère you crossed the Isère River on a bridge built in 1827 (here in the foreground, with the south towards the left).



In Pont-de-l'Isère you also crossed (and the motorway which runs parallel to the N7 still does cross) the 45th parallel, which means you were (and still are if you take the Autoroute du Soleil) exactly half-way between the Equator and the North Pole.

In the 1950s the authorities of Pont de l'Isère erected a monument right on the 45th parallel, on the side of the N7. On one side of the monument was written "Ici commence le Midi" (i.e. "Here starts the South"). The monument is now abandonned, the N7 having been deviated and most people taking the motorway anyway. Here is the monument:



After Pont-de-l'Isère you reached the city of Valence and drove through the city center.



After Valence the climate and the vegetation started to change. You were now really entering "le Midi" (i.e. "the South"): the Rhône valley was becoming larger, orchards could be seen everywhere. In Livron you crossed the Drôme River on a bridge built in the end of the 18th century.



You then reached Montélimar whose traffic jams during summer holidays were a well-known nightmare until the motorway opened in the beginning of the 1970s. On the shaded boulevards, some ladies would walk between cars stuck in the traffic jams and try to sell to unfortunate motorists the famous delicacy of Montélimar, the nougats (a confection made from a sugar or honey paste into which nuts are mixed).





South of Montélimar you crossed the canal of Donzère-Montdragon, an engineering marvel built in 1953 to tame the Rhône and provide water for France's first nuclear complex, of which French authorities at the time were extremely proud (the symbol of a modernizing France after the tragedy of WW2).



South of Montélimar you crossed the border with Provence and arrived in Orange, the first Provençal city on the road, where the N7 passed right by the beautiful Roman arch of triumph erected 2000 years ago. No doubt, you had really arrived in the Mediterranean world!





South of Orange you reached Avignon, the capital of the Popes during the Middle Ages, and the N7 passed near the city walls of the medieval city.



Just outside of Avignon you crossed the Durance River on a bridge rebuilt in 1954.



Orchards were (and still are) everywhere, providing fruits daily for the big metropolis of Paris 700 km to the north. Here a Berliet truck from the Parisian transport company Mighirian in the 1960s near Avignon, ready to take fresh fruits and vegetables to Paris where they'll be sold at Les Halles wholesale food market the next morning.



The N7 crossing the village of Orgon just outside Cavaillon (a name that evokes images of Provence and sunshine).



Finally you reached Aix-en-Provence, the historical capital of Provence, with the N7 arriving at the Place de la Rotonde ("Rotunda Square"), which has now been renamed the Place Charles de Gaulle.



Here ended your southward journey: the N7 circled around the fountain and took the Boulevard Victor Hugo due east towards the Italian border (leaving Marseille south of Aix-en-Provence which the N7 didn't cross).

A few kilometres east of Aix-en-Provence the N7 passed at the feet of the very famous Montagne Saint-Victoire, painted many times by Cézanne.



In the village of Tourves, between Saint-Maximim-la-Sainte-Beaume and Brignoles, the N7 was only 4 meter-wide, and two trucks could not pass each other!



You then crossed the sunny town of Brignoles.



The N7 right after Brignoles. The N7 was enlarged in the 1960s. To the left is the original N7 as it stood before the 1960s, and to the right is the N7 built in the 1960s.



You then crossed Vidauban. It's hard to see on the picture, but the street to the right is actually the D48 road, and the sign on the building actually says "Saint-Tropez"!! Way to go if you wanted to reach Saint-Tropez, otherwise if you continued straight you would reach Nice after a couple more hours. After seeing this Saint-Tropez sign, no doubt, you were really on holidays.



Continuing straight on the N7, you arrived after about 25 km in the ancient Roman port city of Fréjus. This is the first time that you were actually seeing the Mediterranean Sea since you had left Paris!



In Fréjus, the N7 ran next to the Via Augusta (the road from Rome to Marseille and Lyon).



After Fréjus you had to cross the Estérel mountain range, perhaps the most beautiful mountain range in France, with the N7 cutting its way between the mountain and the sea. The motorway now completely bypasses this beautiful area, and it's not as beautiful as driving on the old N7.



There are no less than 183 turns on the N7 as it crosses the Estérel moutain range, and since the motorway was opened in 1960, few people still drive these 183 turns. Before the motorway was opened, all the traffic went through that road, and it was almost impossible to pass cars due to the many turns, so it was a long traffic jam before reaching Cannes.



And finally, having crossed the Estérel, you arrived in Cannes, driving on the famous Croisette seaside boulevard where movie stars make famous appearances during the Cannes Film Festival. The Croisette was the only way to cross Cannes, there were no bypasses or motorways till 1960. You can see the Croisette and the Carlton Hotel on the picture.



After Cannes the N7 crossed Juan-les-Pins, the place where Napoleon landed in 1815 on his attempt to get back in power. The picture shows the N7 crossing Juan-les-Pins in 1963.



A few kilometers after Juan-les-Pins you crossed the Var River, which until 1860 marked the border between France and Piedmont-Sardinia, and then on the other bank of the Var River you finally reached Nice, entering the city by driving on the world-renowned Promenade des Anglais.





After Nice you basically had to cross the Alps as they plunge into the Mediterranean, the so-called Maritime Alps, to reach the Italian border, and this was (and still is) a spectacular journey. There were two roads to cross the Maritime Alps. One was the Grande Corniche ("Great Corniche"), the other was the Moyenne Corniche ("Middle Corniche"). The Grande Corniche is probably the most famous road in Europe. It is the road you see very often in TV commercials for luxury cars. The Grande Corniche was built by Napoleon I who had noticed how difficult it was to move troops from France to Italy during the French campaign in Italy in 1796 when his troops had to cross the Maritime Alps on the back of mules (there existed no road at the time).

The Grande Corniche is the highest above the Mediterranean, it's narrow and curvy, so between WW1 and WW2 the French authorities built the Moyenne Corniche, which is closer to sea-level, wider, and less curvy, but also less scenic than the mythical Grande Corniche. The N7 was going on the Grande Corniche till the Moyenne Corniche was built, then it was the Moyenne Corniche which became the N7.

Here is the Grande Corniche in the beginning of the 20th century.



The Grande Corniche goes more than 500 meters above sea-level, providing magnificent views of the Mediterranean. Here above the village of Eze.



At La Turbie, above Monaco, the Grande Corniche passed by the so called Trophy of Augustus, erected right on the border between Italy and Gaul by Emperor Augustus 20 centuries ago in the honor of his two grandsons .



The Moyenne Corniche is a bit less spectacular, but quite scenic nonetheless. This picture was taken from the Grande Corniche above the village of Eze, and the viaduct you can see below is the Moyenne Corniche.



The Moyenne Corniche in the 1960s near Monaco, with a tunnel carved in the rock of the mountain.



French tourists on the Moyenne Corniche just before Monaco in 1951.





Both corniches met in Menton, and just after Menton the N7 arrived at the border. End of the N7. Just after the building in the middle of the road starts l'Italia!



Sometimes I wish motorways had never been built. Travelling back then was more fun, more like a real journey...



I gathered pictures and information on this website if you want to find out more about the Nationale 7:
http://www.nationale7.com/

And for our Dutch readers ():



And our francophone readers:


Last edited by brisavoine; November 21st, 2008 at 03:06 AM.
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