In the underground of Paris, there are surprisingly various spaces which are used for different purposes. All of these spaces were made by human. Some are indispensable and some others are not. What differs the underground from the ground is the fact that there is no sun light in the underground. This makes completely different aspects which also fascinate the people.


  • Underground of Paris - Cemertery Pere Lachaise
  • Underground of Paris - The Catacombs, 2013
  • Underground - The Catacombs
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  • Underground of Paris - Cemertery Pere Lachaise
  • Underground - The Catacombs
  • Underground - The Catacombs
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  • Sewers
  • Sewers
  • Underground of Paris - Canal St-martin, 2013
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  • Underground of Paris - Aquarium CINEAQUA, 2013
  • Underground of Paris - Aquarium CINEAQUA
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  • 16-TH20130401-383
  • Last mushroom of Paris
  • Last mushroom of Paris
  • Last mushroom of Paris,
  • Last mushroom of Paris
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  • 22-TH20130414-063
  • 23-TH20130509-040

The first utilization of the underground by human is probably the burial. According to archaeological studies, the oldest burial so far found is dated about 150,000 years. Since then, the underground was considered as residence of dead.

The first utilization of the underground of Paris other than burial is the exploitation of limestone and gyps which started in the 12th century because of depletion of open air quarries in the region of Paris. Enormous amount of stones were needed for building the city of Paris and the most of them came from the underground quarries. The total length of mine cavity under Paris is nearly 300km. The exploitation of the underground of Paris ended in the 19th century. Some of the old quarries are used today for Catacombs, Aquarium of Paris, wine caves, mushroom cultivation, event spaces, etc. But the most of them are closed and prohibited to enter.

The following exploitation of the underground of Paris is the sewers. The history of underground sewers starts in the 17th century but comprehensive system was built during the time of Napoleon 1st to Napoleon 3rd. By the Haussmann’s renovation of Paris, the total length of sewers reached 600km.

Metro of Paris was planned in 1845 as the world first metropolitan train network. But it was realized only in 1900 at the occasion of World Expo. In the meantime, the world first metro was realized in London in 1863. Why the French took so much time? They were just discussing whether to build in the underground or not. There were strong objections against underground as it was considered as the world of dead. It is only in the 20th century that general public started to use the underground of Paris.

During the 20th century, exploitation of the underground of Paris was accelerated and huge networks were built. On the ground of Paris, there are in total 6,100 streets which make about 3,000km while the networks in the underground are:

– Water network : 2,460km(470km for intake and 1,990km for distribution)
– Sewer network: 2,417km
– Quarries: about 300km
– Metro: 211km
– Parking: 124 places for 140,050 cars
In addition to these, electricity and telephone cables are also in the underground.

The underground of Paris was developed so much but there is no place which can be considered as “underground city”. Forum des Halles could be one but not so successful. It was planned as new modern face of Paris and opened in 1979 but the place is rather chaotic with full of passengers and the shopping mall has no attraction. Only after 30 years, Le Forum des Halles is now under renovation which will be completed in 2016. The concept is to provide a green park on the ground and an open and comfortable underground city which accommodates 750,000 daily passengers and visitors. Thinking about the development of the underground of Paris for the next 100 years, the new Forum des Halles can be a good hint.

Photos :
Cemetery Pere Lachaise 1, 5
Catacombs 2, 3
Crypt of Pantheon 4
Underground Quarry 6, 7
Cellar of the House of Ourscamps8
Sewers 9,10
Canal Saint-Martin 11, 12
Aquarium of Paris 13, 14
Metro 15, 16
Mushroom cave 17, 18
Carrara city 19, 20
Cave restaurant 21
Underground parking 22
Forum des Halles 23





・ 上水網    2,460km (取水網470km+給水網1,990km)
・ 下水網    2,417km
・ 地下坑道 約300㎞
・ 地下鉄 211㎞
・ 地下駐車場 124か所、140,050台


ペール・ラシェーズ墓地 1, 5
カタコンベ 2, 3
パンテオン地下霊廟 4
地下採石場 6, 7
ウルスカンプ館地下貯蔵室 8
下水 9,10
サン・マルタン運河 11, 12
パリ水族館 13, 14
地下鉄 15, 16
マッシュルーム栽培洞窟 17, 18
展示会スペース 19, 20
地下レストラン 21
地下駐車場    22
フォーラム・デ・アール 23

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