I must be full of merde, right?
Well, not totally. The next time you’re visiting the city of love, don’t forget to stop by La Musee des Egouts de Paris, located at 93 quai d’Orsay in Paris, France – or, the Paris Sewer Museum.
More totally wacky and offbeat travel spots? Visit the Iceland Penis Museum for a one-of-a-kind educational showcase; book at night at the Hobbit Hotel in New Zealand; or find out where you can find the Best Doughnuts in the World.
History of the Sewers in Paris
As one of the most intricate and historical sewers in any major city of the world, there’s no wonder they have a museum.
These underground tunnels were made famous by Victor Hugo himself, writer of Les Miserables, telling the story of the French Revolution from the view of the infamous Jean Valjean. Valjean hid and smuggled himself and others in the sewers to hide from the French armies looking to subdue those uprising against the feudal system. From Hugo’s lifetime from the mid-1800’s and onwards, sewer tours of Paris became popular and have evolved into the Musee d’Egouts today.
It began in the 13th century when the king of France, Philippe Auguste, ordered that the streets be paved and drains be built throughout. Later, Napoleon Bonaparte introduced covered sewers during his lifetime, but it wasn’t until the 1850’s that the first sewer tunnels of Paris were built (now reaching more than 2,100 km!).
The Paris Sewer Museum had first offered tours in the mid-1800’s in carts that were suspended on the tunnel walls. Later, tourists were brought through the tunnels via a small train of carriages. Even later in the 1970’s, tourists were brought through the tours on boats along the sewer’s path.
Today, there are no longer carriages or boats but this museum brings you through the history of the sewers, machinery, older models used, and how water and other discarded waste is processed in its sewers. From displays to audio-visual shows, exhibition rooms and future plans, don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind tour.
Who knows, maybe you’ll see alligators!
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