Delving into the subterranean world of the Paris Metro and its ‘ghost’ stations
Published on 5 March 2020, dans Visit Paris
The Paris Metro is one of the most famous public transport systems in the world. With its 14 lines totalling some 205 km of track carrying more than 4 million passengers per day, it has transformed the lives of residents both inside and outside the city. But did you know that this gigantic network also has some ‘ghost’ stations? They’re no longer to be found on the official network map but are nevertheless very real, lurking just a few metres under your feet. The Hotel Opera Vivaldi gives you the lowdown...
One of the largest Parisian construction sites of the 20th century
The Metro revolutionised Paris. Its construction was a massive undertaking designed to align our city with other capitals like London and New York that had already set up mass rapid transit systems beneath their streets.
The construction of this urban rail network was given the green light in 1895 after several years of discussions, with the aim of being ready for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. Work began in October 1898 and in 1900 the first line was inaugurated. It linked the Porte de Vincennes to the Porte Maillot and provided access to the site of the Summer Olympic Games.
14 ghost stations beneath our feet...
You wouldn’t suspect their presence, but the Paris Metro has several stations that off limits to the public. Called ‘ghost stations’, some were closed in 1939 at the start of the Second World War as there was a shortage of personnel to operate them. Following the Liberation, some such as Arsenal, Porte-des-Lilas, Martin-Nalaud, Croix-Rouge and Champ-de-Mars were not put back into service because they were too close to other stations. Some have simply disappeared as the Metro network developed. The last category of ‘ghost stations’ are those that were built but never used and still stand intact and eerily empty down in those subterranean depths…
Hotel Opéra Vivaldi, a 3-star hotel a few minutes from Opéra Garnier and the Department Stores