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Abandoned places in Paris

ecotourism

* Goussainville (Ghost Village)

This might be one of the largest abandoned places because the entire village is abandoned. Indeed, a lot of French Movies were taken there. Goussainville is located 30-minutes drive from the heart of the city towards north and was once a peaceful village until 1970s. In 1972, Charles de Gaulle Airport was built, the biggest airport in France and Goussainville happened to be right under their flight path. The noise from frequent flights was unbearable and left residents with no choice but to leave their homes to be the abandoned places. The village is deserted but houses remained as ruins. Also in 1973, during an airshow took place nearby in Bourget and one of the planes crashed in the village and damaged a few houses and killed several. After hundreds of residents left their homes, CDG airport was actually forced to purchase the abandoned places and sold for a symbolic price of 1 euro recently back to the community. Even though most of the residents have moved to a town nearby, there are a few faithful residents still living under the deafening condition among the ruins.

* Human Zoo

This is one of the most embarrassing abandoned places from our past. Located in Vincennes, just outside Paris, Human Zoo was a real thing in the past. It was built in 1907 and once a popular destination for the tourists. It looked exactly like the zoo except, instead of animals, there were real people from countries like Congo, of Sudan or Madagascar. These people who were forced to live in this human zoo had to move all the way from their homeland and settled down in a foreign land and pretend nothing was bothering them by entertaining the tourists. Some of the buildings are still remained as ruins but abandoned places like this surely makes us reflect.

* L’abattoir de la Nausée (Former Slaughterhouse)

This is a former slaughterhouse. The title of this place might have scared off some people but it is one of the underestimated abandoned places near Paris. Located in Nozay, the south of Paris along the Rue du Ruisseau, there lies the former slaughterhouse. From the ruins you can almost imagine what was going on when this slaughterhouse was running such as weighing the pigs, warehouse for the meats and etc. It is a popular spot among paintball enthusiasts, graffiti artists and many photographers now.

 

* Le Sanatorium de la Langue (Former Sanitarium)

This Sanitarium was built to treat patients with chronic illness. It was built in 1929 and closed in 90s. We don’t have many abandoned places in or near Paris but just like the slaughterhouse from above, you will encounter a very special ambience when you enter this building. Also, it is still lesser-touched by the graffiti artists. The basement of the ruins still has massive amount of medical records of all the patients that were treated there. If you pick up one of the records and read it, it might say something like this: there are only a few days left for this patient before death and the patient has asked to see his family.

* Ghost Metro: Croix-Rouge

Croix-Rouge metro station was once the terminal station of line 10. This is one of the abandoned places where usage period of the space was very short. It was built in 1923 and was closed in 1939, just 16 years later when France joined Second World War. The station never reopened and instead, it became popular tourist destination for those who seek something unusual and a playground for the graffiti artists.

* Le Cea de Vautours (Contaminated)

Would you believe it if there is a nuclear contaminated space near Paris? This might be one of the most dangerous abandoned places in the world. Just 15-minutes drive from Paris, there is a fort built in late 19th century. It was used to test explosives which contained uranium in 1950s. The test undertook either in underground spaces or in the open air in the field. The waste from this test had been burned in the open air or discharged into a 30-meters deep well.  Ever since the scandal broke out to public in 1996, it closed down permanently. However, the contamination left from the experiment still remains as invisible ruins. The radioactive level appeared to be 10 times higher than the safe or normal level. And it was also announced that patients with thyroid cancer around this region has been doubled in the last 10 years.

* Petite Ceinture

We are sure that you have heard of Petite Ceinture at least once. It is probably one the most well-known abandoned places in Paris. Well, it makes sense because it is an old train tracks connecting different points of Paris in circular route and it is abandoned. It was built in 1862 and once it was the main transportation route to get from one place to another in Paris. It was closed shortly after Metro was built and for more than 150 years, it was left to be abandoned right in the center of Paris. The access to ruins is illegal to public officially but somehow graffiti artists always find their ways to access. Also, some of the old Gare (the train station) has been transformed into a bar/ café.

* Rothschild Castle

Does the name Rothschild sound familiar to anyone here? In fact, they were one of the wealthiest family in Europe. This castle of ruins is located in the ‘Parc Edmond de Rothschild’ in Boulogne region near to Paris. Once occupied with high society meeting and events by the wealthy family was abandoned since Second World War. The Rothschild left for England in order to escape the German occupation. And they never came back. The castle is still abandoned and welcomes graffiti artists. Probably, this castle could have been one of the most valued abandoned places in the world.

* Abandoned Supermarket

This abandoned supermarket is located in 19th arrondissement in Paris and it might be the most secretive abandoned places in Paris. Located in Porte de la Villette, access is illegal but it has been known as the temple of graffiti artists. You can just imagine the scale of this abandoned supermarket from the picture.

 

 

* Le Fort de Buc

Behind the elegant castle of Versailles, there is an abandoned fort along the street of Fort de Buc. The ruins are one of the few abandoned places that often, parties are organized. However, the access is forbidden for public but the fort surrounded by misty forest seems irresistible for a visit.

* Abandoned Building in 16th Arrondissement

There is an abandoned building in 16th arrondissement, in the heart of Paris. It is one of the few abandoned places where rehabilitation attempts were not made yet. Situated between Maison de Balzac and the Embassy of Turkey, so little is known about this abandoned building. There are some artworks done by graffiti artists but the access to this place is very tricky so it is not recommended for everyone.

* Abandoned Orphanage

The orphanage was founded by CGT France (EN: General Confederation of Labor) in 1974. It started welcoming the children from 1976 but a labor dispute emerged by CGT in 1987. In 1988, the situation got worsened and children escaped the place. Children lost their new family they had rebuilt at the orphanage. Many years have passed but nothing was done to rebuild the orphanage until this year. It has been announced that the former orphanage site became the new orphanage. This might have disappointed a few enthusiasts of abandoned places but it is always nice to hear that ruins are rehabilitated instead of remained abandoned. There was another attempt in rehabilitating this orphanage into a hotel back in 2007 but nothing much was done. Also, it might be interesting to hear that the former orphanage was in fact also built from the ruins from 18th century.

* Ghost Metro: Saint-Martin

This is yet another ghost metro station in Paris. Saint-Martin station is located in between Strasbourg-Saint-Denis and République from line 8 and 9. The station was closed with the start of Second World War just like Croix-Rouge station but it was actually reopened in 1944. However, shortly after its reopening, it was closed permanently because it was only 100 meters away from the nearest stop which was Strasbourg- Saint-Denis. And unlike many other abandoned places, the access is still possible through the old metro entrance

* Untouched for 70-years

Parisian apartment which was abandoned for 70 years were discovered near Opera, Paris. Just before Second World War began, Mrs. De Florian, the owner of this apartment, fled to south of France and never returned to the apartment ever since. The apartment was discovered after Mrs. De Florian passed away. As if we time traveled to early 20th century, the apartment looked well-reserved but just very dusty. Mrs. De Florian was an actress and had many admirers including George Clemenceau, the 72nd Prime Minister of France as well as renowned Italian painter, Giovanni Boldini. In fact, one of Boldini’s paintings was discovered and was sold for 1.78 million pounds during auction. Perhaps it is time for us to snoop around other abandoned places to find one of our own Boldini too.

* Jean Quarre High School

Ever since Jean Quarre High School, located in 19th arrondissement, was abandoned in 2011, it was left with no purpose but only for graffiti artists. However, in July 2015, this abandoned high school turned into a temporary shelter for refugees. It was initiated by a group of volunteers and in September, the city announced that they will turn it into an official shelter. From July to September, more than 1000 refugees joined the shelter until in September, the city suddenly gave one-month notice for leaving the place. And in October, after a month, the police showed up in the building to evacuate the migrants. More than half a year have passed and city of Paris announced a few weeks ago that there will be a new humanitarian office for the refugees in Northern part of the city. Nevertheless, even though it was for a short period of time and a temporary shelter, it warms our heart when the abandoned places are used for some humanism.

* Tour Paris 13

This is one of the abandoned places where it transformed into something amazing before it got demolished. The Galerie Itinerrance’s owner, Mehdi Ben Cheikh had an amazing idea to transform this abandoned building into the largest gallery and open for a public show before it had to be demolished. He invited 105 graffiti artists from all over the world and they painted their artworks everywhere in 36 apartments across 9 floors including exterior of building, hallway and stairs. The idea was brilliant and it attracted more than 30,000 visitors in the short period of time. Even though it is demolished now, they have done an amazing job in documentation so check out their website to see how it looked like before it got demolished.

* Ghost Metro: Arsenal

Unlike abandoned metro stations introduced before, this one may not be abandoned anymore soon. Arsenal Metro station became one of the abandoned places in Paris because there was a very little number of passengers using this station. In 2014, Oxo Architects, architectural firm proposed some ideas to redevelop Arsenal metro station into swimming pool, park, theater or restaurant. However, it has been nearly two years since the announcement yet nothing has been done. Also, some of the officials at RATP mentioned that making underground metro station into a public pool will be very complicated and involve major investment from the city.

Spooky Tour of Widetrip

* Scary Paris

This may not be the tour of abandoned places in Paris but it will deliver the similar eerie feeling. Napoleon once said that secrets travel fast in Paris. And when it comes to the darker secrets, it travels even faster. This tour offered by Widetrip will let you discover all the dark secrets that Paris is keeping from you. The trip includes not only storytelling but also legends, myths and scary places you never knew existed in Paris.

* Macabre Paris

Similar to Scary Paris from above but here we investigate mysteries. Yes, content of murders, tortures and executions are part of this tour. French Renaissance writer Rabelais once wrote that “Paris is a good place to live but a bad place to die”. Well, we need to find out about what he really meant by investigating ourselves.

* Père Lachaise

You will find it less eerie during this tour at Père Lachaise cemetery because you will see so many familiar names such as Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Chopin, Edith Piaf, Molière and Jim Morrison! It is not only a cemetery but an open air museum of important figures from the past at their final resting place.

Also, if you are looking for somewhere that is very little-known by tourists, Widetrip has a list for you. It is a TOP SECRET and risked a little to revel the secret tours by locals!