Fire and Graffiti in Paris’ Underground

National Geographic hat einen schönen Artikel inklusive Bildstrecke über die Katakomben von Paris, die voller dunkler Gänge, Knochen, Gold, Clubs, Feuerspucker und Graffiti sind: Under Paris – Getting There: It involves manholes and endless ladders, What to Wear: Miner’s helmets are good, What to do: Work, party, paint—or just explore the dark web of tunnels. Ich hatte da vor knapp zwei Jahren schonmal was drüber: Feuerspucker und Graffiti in den Katakomben von Paris.

A man in blue coveralls is emerging from a hole in the sidewalk. His hair falls in dreadlocks, and there is a lamp on his head. Now a young woman emerges, holding a lantern. She has long, slender legs and wears very short shorts. Both wear rubber boots, both are smeared with beige mud, like a tribal decoration. The man shoves the iron cover back over the hole and takes the woman’s hand, and together they run grinning down the street.

Paris has a deeper and stranger connection to its underground than almost any city, and that underground is one of the richest. The arteries and intestines of Paris, the hundreds of miles of tunnels that make up some of the oldest and densest subway and sewer networks in the world, are just the start of it. Under Paris there are spaces of all kinds: canals and reservoirs, crypts and bank vaults, wine cellars transformed into nightclubs and galleries. Most surprising of all are the carrières—the old limestone quarries that fan out in a deep and intricate web under many neighborhoods, mostly in the southern part of the metropolis.

Under Paris – Getting There: It involves manholes and endless ladders, What to Wear: Miner’s helmets are good, What to do: Work, party, paint—or just explore the dark web of tunnels (Bild oben: Zoriah Miller)