Egouts of Paris, The Paris Sewer System
As the sewer museum pamphlet explains: Sewers…the underground Parisian point of view. And it certainly is a different way of looking at, and thinking about, the city.
**See my earlier article on this remarkable sight.
I finally got back here after a few years and Rod came for the first time. A great way to complement what we learned at the Catacombs the other day. The tour has extended and improved since I last went—-there’s lots more information on bright boards in various galleries and all are in French and English. It’s a fascinating glimpse of the underground tunnels of Paris and all that they handle, plus it’s a good way of approaching the city; how it handles waste-water and drinking water. These two are paralleled with a history of the development of the city (people, buildings) and the ecological/environmental impact of it all.
It’s really well done and easy to get around once you get down the stairs. The smell is not too bad at all, really, considering that we are walking over actual moving waste-water.
We see some examples of pretty rugged pieces of equipment used in the sewers, such as dredgers and enormous metal cleaner balls. We get a much deeper appreciation of the job and work that these sanitation workers do!
An unusual museum but well worth the effort. We enjoyed the quirky facts, such as; apparently tours of the sewer system have been popular since the 1800s during Victor Hugo’s time, so the off-beat has been around in this city for quite a while. Tourists were moved in the sewer tunnels in carts suspended from the walkways on the tunnel walls, and later by small carriages pulled by a locomotive. In the mid-1900s, you could do an underground boat cruise, but those were stopped after a bank heist in which the robbers made their getaway via the sewers.
Nowadays it’s much easier—just wander through tunnels and galleries.
Admission charge: €4.30 for adults, €3.50 for 6-16.
Open Saturday-Wednesday, May-September 11am-6pm, October-April 11am-5pm. Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and for two weeks in January for maintenance.
Address: Quai d’Orsay and Pont d’Alma
Entrance at ground level between Quai d’Orsay and the Seine. Look for the blue and white sign and the booth behind it.
Metro: Alma-Marceau (line 9)
RER: Pont d’Alma Line C