Sewer museum in paris

Museums and Galleries

The Paris Sewer Museum is undoubtedly the most original museum in Paris. This is a small fragment of a properly functioning, real sewerage system in Paris. You will be able to walk not only along the wide main tunnel, but also along very narrow ones. Naturally, the tunnels, through which tourists walk, are equipped with dry gratings and ramps, timely supply of fresh air from the surface to the museum and bright lighting, so that you will not hear an unpleasant fetid smell here.

The history of the Parisian sewerage system

In Paris, the Romans were the first to build sewers. Approximately 18 meters of sewage pipes from that time to the present time are located under the ruins of the Roman baths in the Latin Quarter. After the Roman Empire fell, hygiene was forgotten in Paris, and a fetid hotbed of infections began to prevail here.

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For several centuries, the sewerage system in Paris was just numerous channels, into which the fetid liquid waste from all over the city flowed down. In 1131, Philip the Young, the son of Louis VI, died of a dangerous infection, which he could become infected by falling into a drain, where there were mountains of garbage.

12-13 century

At this time, Philip Augustus issued a decree to pave the streets with cobblestones, and to make a gutter in the middle of each pavement, but this did not bring significant changes. Further, in 1370, Aubriot built the first sewer system, which was a vaulted tunnel under Montmartre, which went out to Menilmontant. It is noteworthy that already in 1636, the Parisian sewer already served more than 400 thousand inhabitants, despite the fact that its length was only 23 km. Further, the sewer was extended only for 3 km.

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Everything changed with the arrival of Baron Haussmann and the engineer Eugène Belgrand: he laid the foundation for today's sewerage system in Paris, and also completely redesigned the city's water supply system. He also made a check, thanks to which a detailed map of the Parisian sewerage that already existed at that time was drawn up. As it turned out, this network consisted of almost 200 tunnels, many of which had already been forgotten by that time.

Now, in 1878 in Paris, the total length of the sewer tunnels was 600 km!

The nineties

The Belgrana system has expanded over the years, doubling in size. Each channel has a house number and the name of the street under which it ran. Since the 90s, a sewer network reconstruction project began, for which more than $ 320 million was allocated.

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Following the plan, the Parisian sewer lines should be equipped with automatic cleaning equipment with a computer control system. Today Paris has more than 2 thousand km of sewer tunnels.

Museum expositions

In the underground halls of the museum and its tunnels of the modern museum, not only old, but also highly professional equipment is exhibited. The entrance to the museum is located near the Alma Bridge on the left bank of the Seine River. The numerous galleries that are open to the museum display individual mechanisms. It is possible that this museum is too clean to give a complete picture of the work, but the noise of the water and the smell is truly authentic.

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However, one should not think that the smell of the stench tunnels is the only exhibit of the museum. Here you will see various information stands, computer monitoring systems, construction equipment, and finally toilets for visitors to study and even test. In terms of its length, the sewage system is comparable to the Paris metro and is somewhat reminiscent of its structure.

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The central tunnel here is quite deep and wide for riding on a small boat; clean asphalt paths go from it to the side, along which pedestrians can walk. Numerous telecommunication wires, water pipes, etc. stretch under the ceiling.

First Sewer Tour

It is surprising that it took place back in 1867. So, in 1892-1920, tourists were taken by train, and until 1975, boats were used for these purposes. Currently, only walking tours are available. However, this is only for law-abiding residents and guests, and adventurers are happy to go on an illegal expedition.

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In this museum, you will not only see a sewer tunnel, but also be able to understand how the city's sewer network works. So, being in the museum, you will see:

  • The famous collector of Avenue Bosquet.
  • The original waste of the outlet that diverts the waste water to the station in Asher, where the purification takes place.
  • Flood protection system, which is located in the Resistance Square.

Getting there

Address: Quai d'Orsay, Paris 75007

Phone: + 33 1 53 68 27 81
Metro: Alma-Marceau
RER train: Ponte de l'Alma
Hours: 11: 00-17: 00

Ticket prices

  • Adult: 4.40 €
  • Reduced: 3.60 €
  • Child: 2.40 €