Paris, commonly known as the City of Lights, is famous for its beautiful Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum. This is just how the whole world sees Paris. However, the French capital city has an underground side seldom known to the tourists too, which is even bigger than the Paris catacombs. This underground side can make your expeditions even more meaningful.
Hidden Paris Metro Stations
Paris Metro has one of the famous underground networks in the entire world. There are a total of 300 metro stations in Paris spreading throughout the city. Paris metro station has 18 secret metro stations too, which are abandoned now. Amongst them, Porte des Lilas metro station is the most famous one, which is also a movie set.
The Saint-Martin is another hidden metro station situated in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. It has been closed since the end of Second World War, as it was close to Strasbourg-Saint Denis metro station. This place still has beautiful and aesthetics decorations of the 30’s with its panels advertising the products of that time.
Paris catacombs are the most popular underground destinations among the tourists in Paris as it is a bit spooky. These underground quarries were reused after several years, for loading the bones from cemeteries in Paris. An inscription saying, “Arrête! C’est ici l’empire de la mort” (Stop, here it is the empire of Death) can be seen at the entrance of the catacombs.
The skulls that are piled skillfully in different designs remind you of the inevitability of death. If you were planning to visit the Paris catacombs, then it would be a good idea to buy skip-the-line ticket before you head out.
Les Carrières Des Capucins
The Paris catacombs are only 0.5% of the entire “underground city”. Paris hides many other secret places, which are hard to reach, and some are even forbidden. Carrières des Capucins is the best alternative to Paris catacombs. This awesome place is a limestone quarry maintained as a museum by a nonprofit organization. They provide you a surprising torchlight tour and help you to unveil spectacular the world of underground quarries.
Paris Sewer Museum
This interesting journey takes you through a 500m long tunnel, which plays a significant role in the history of the Paris sewer system. This museum describes the roles and duties of sewer workers and the methods of water treatment.
Roman Lutetia’s Sewer System
The famous Paris lutetia’s thermae is located at the 5th Arrondissement of Paris inside the Cluny Museum. The Romans had an efficient sewer system, which they used to supply water to the public baths from the Seine River. You would be able to see a part of this efficient Roman sewer system here. The underground galleries of this museum can only be visited during the museum’s guided visits to the underground galleries and Roman Baths.
La Maison Du Fontainier
It is King Henry IV of France, who built Aqueduct Medicis to bring water in the left bank of Paris. This aqueduct is 13 kilometers long and was accessed for inspection by 27 different inspection chambers. The 27th inspection chamber, which is also known as Grand regard de l’Observatoire, is housed at the end of the aqueduct. Above this chamber are the Fountains of the King and the house of Intendant General of Waters.
It is at the grounds of this house that the waters from the aqueduct are finally collected to distribute to the city. The grounds of this house have three different divisions of vaulted halls with each one having its own distribution pool.
The King’s distribution pool was clearly the biggest of all. The monasteries and convents of the religious people had a separate distribution pool. The third distribution pool, which was the smallest of all, was the one that brought water to the city. The engineers Lefort and Mary constructed a big reservoir-hall in 1845 to collect the water that overflows and drains at night.
A large pipe connects the tank-hall to the distribution pools. Everybody visiting this place, especially kids, love to cross the pipe connecting the distribution pools to the tank hall.
Montsouris Water Reservoir
The Montsouris water reservoir in Paris Souterrain is incredibly beautiful. This is also an important water storage base of the city, and therefore, finding a guided visit to this place is very difficult. In 1874, an enormous underground water storage unit called Le Reservoir de Montsouris was built here. This reservoir is the oldest one among the thirteen water supply facilities in Paris.
About 7.2 million cubic feet of water can be stored in this reservoir. It looks delightful with its arched stone walkways that diverge in all directions.