About the MuseumIt may sound like a joke, but the Sewer Museum (Musee des Egouts de Paris) in Paris really exists and you are really standing at its entrance! This interesting museum is located in the seventh district, on the left bank of Paris, near the Pont de l'Alma bridge and across Pier D'Orsay number 93, which is the building that exemplifies the complex sewer system in Paris. Visiting the museum is an adventurous and unique way to get to know Paris through the underground sewer system, it is a sort of underground city underneath Paris's magnificent sites. This famous sewer system was also mention in Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables."
As you enter the museum, you descend into the sewer system itself, you get to learn about the different sewer levels around and how this system is upheld, while walking closely to the sewer pipes. The tour intermixes walking around pipes that are used today, and older pipes that are outdated and are abandoned. Above these are the history of the Parisian sewer system, from different view points, including drawings from different time periods. Though today the sewers are updated, the tours include a few alleyways of the older systems, that are located down there just for display.
Beyond the tour, you can see photos from the history of the sewage history of Paris, and get exposed to different maintenance methods that these difficult logistical pipes require.
Visitors on this are asked not to bring food, and at the end of the tour are requires to wash their hands.
The Sewer SystemUntil the middle ages, drinking water in Paris was taken directly from the Seine River, where used water was drained to fields or unpaved streets. For an unclear reason, the water was able to return to the river, which lead to many health issues for the residents. This unusual museum is dedicated to the real underground city in Paris - the sewer system.
The divided sewage system is something of an achievement for the capital's residents from the 13th century, when King Philip August gave the order to build the drainage channels. At a certain point Napoleon ordered to have these channels moved underground, and in 1850 began the building of the sewage system that today reaches more than 2,100 kilometers of tunnels.
Until the 1970's, the sewage system was a fascinating tourist destinations that rode around in carriages, and later by walking tours. Today tourists are satisfied by visiting the museum, which has managed to turn this stinky topic into a chic place to visit. Here you can learn all about the Parisian sewage system.
The museum is located under the Pier D'Orsay, on the left bank of the Seine.
If you go on one of the hour long tours, you will be able to see the photos exhibited about the materials that were developed over the years to maintain and repair the sewage pipes, massive wooden balls that were used for cleaning the pipes under the rider, maps that show the expansion of the tunnels by the architect Eugène Belgrand, dolls dressed in uniforms of sanitations from different time periods.