Below Paris

This blog is called Below Paris Rooftops, as it chronicles the joys and challanges of living a life somewhere between the grey slate roof tiles and uneven streets of the city. However, there is essentially an entire additional city even further below.

If you have ever visited the Catacombs, you have at least a little bit of an idea of what I am talking about. There is a vast network of over 300 kilometres of tunnels covering most of the city. The old quarries were used for mushroom cultivation, production and storage of beers and other useful stuff after quarrying was banned inside the city limits, but nowadays it is illegal to enter the underground passageways and those who do can be fined €60 for their little adventure (although, obviously, lots of people do anyway).

Beyond its quirkiness and fascinating character, the 300km network of abandoned quarries that lies beneath may be the most misunderstood and underrated piece of architecture in the French capital.

This interesting The Guardian article explores the current use of the Paris underground tunnel system and also ways the space can be exploited in a modern city, especially when it comes to find sustainable ways to expand an ever growing city. It is a really good read.

Photo credit top photo: Justinien Tribillon for The Guardian

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