Travel

Paris original – Musee des Egouts de Paris (Paris sewers)

Throughout our stories about Paris it would be desirable to stop on one more interesting place interesting for visiting while in this city. We dedicate this article to one of the most original museums of the French capital – to the museum of the Parisian water drain. However, before talking of the museum, we will address directly to the history of water supply of the city.

So, in the first millennium of our era Parisians used to take drinking water undertook from the Seine, and sewage was distributed on street channels which went back to the river. In the thirteenth century king Phillip August has decided to build streets with special drainage channels for sewage in Paris.

The seventieth of the fourteenth century were marked by building of drainage channels from stone which were led to Montmartre. However this system remained imperfect as sewage still evaporated in city air that led to a constant stench and unsanitary conditions.

During King Louis XIV, and later Napoleon, there was a building of the big sewer collector systems the extent of which has reached more than thirty kilometers.

And only in the second half of the nineteenth century there appeared a good-working system of water supply and the water drain in Paris, by Baron Haussmann and engineer Eugène Belgrand. Thus, the city has received a separate system of water pipe with non-drinking and drinking water; the extent of the collector has made about six hundred kilometers. Certainly, the given system was not perfect, but thanks to it the city has received sewer system which corresponded to sanitary code much more and had modernization possibility.

But, we will return to the museum of the Parisian water drain. The starting point of excursions, that is the entrance to the museum premises, is on Seine left-hand side nearby with the Alma Bridge (Pont de l’Alma). This place is a fragment of the nowadays water drain system. Visiting the museum, you have a possibility to make excursion on the real sewer tunnels, equipped with both modern and used at various times equipment. The visitors will see numerous mechanisms showing the way the water drain had worked long time ago and works nowadays.

Besides, during excursion alongside with units it is possible to see numerous, stands with information, construction equipment, modern systems of computer monitoring. Each tunnel is equipped by a plate with the street name under which it passes. The water drain tunnels repeat the relief of the city streets located over them to the full extent, which is also very remarkable.

For today the museum of the Paris water drain is very popular among the tourists coming to capital of France. The first excursion has been organized in 1867, and since then they became regular.