This article is courtesy of our resident Paris expert and her blog, Ms. Keene as Mustard – the Paris you didn’t know.
Under Paris’ petites rues and grands boulevards there lurks 177 miles of man-made tunnels and disused quarries (only accessible to those in the know) which have, over centuries, been used both as a place of safety and also of self-expression. Urban graffiti artists, given an absolute creative freedom, have transformed sections of the catacombs (technically not catacombs as the bones are limited to certain sites). Mapping France’s colourful political and cultural history, new material is added regularly- and nothing is removed. Certain cataphiles take it upon themselves to protect their underground safe-house, cleaning up after groups of touristes. As a result, artwork from the early 1980s remains on the walls alongside etchings made during their construction…
I would recommend anyone who loves urban art to go along and have a look, but firstly I would never advise going down without a cataphile, or someone with a map at least…and secondly my own personal cataphile would kill me if I told you where the secret entrances are 😉
Sorry! Here are some photos which will have to do instead.
The Chateau ,the Plage and, of course, the Mushroom Room: