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The sea in Paris

The sea in Paris
  • The sea in Paris
Exposition

The sea in Paris

45 million years ago

Until december 31th 2015

This presentation invites visitors on a journey through time and space, 20 metres underground and 45 million years ago…

Under the paving stones is the beach! This new installation will highlight a little known aspect of the Paris Catacombs: their geological heritage, a real treasure-house in the subsoil of the capital. It reveals to visitors the traces of an era when Paris was occupied by a tropical sea, approximately 45 million years ago.
Better known for housing the Paris municipal ossuary, the former building stone quarries commonly known as the “Catacombs” are currently the only place in Paris open to the public where it is possible to see the recent history of Earth in situ. In fact, the geological profile of this land, identified in the early 19th century and still in use, has served as an international reference point for defining a period of time in Earth’s history between 48 and 40 million years B.C. This geological age is known as Lutetian, in reference to Lutetia, the Roman name for Paris. 
In the stone, visitors can thus discover the history of the Lutetian sea which covered the site of Paris and the far-reaching geological events which accompanied the birth of the Pyrenees and the Alps. Paleogeographical maps, chronological profiles, photographs, drawings and engravings presented along the four stages of the route (quarry reception rooms, Quarrymen’s footbath, entrance to the ossuary and subsidence room) allow a better understanding of the formation of the Paris subsoil and the operation of its quarries.

Organisers
Sylvie Robin, chief curator of the Archaeological Department of the Carnavalet Museum
Rose-Marie Mousseaux, curator of the Archaeological Department of the Carnavalet Museum
Jean-Pierre Gély, researcher fellow at the University of Paris I, LAMOP (Laboratory for Occidental Medieval Studies), UMR (Mixed Research Unit) 8589

La visite aux Catacombes

La visite aux Catacombes

La visite aux Catacombes

La visite aux Catacombes

Bain de pieds des carriers

Bain de pieds des carriers

Cloche de fontis aux Catacombes

Cloche de fontis aux Catacombes

Intervention de géomètres dans les carrières de  Paris au début du XXe siècle

Intervention de géomètres dans les carrières de Paris au début du XXe siècle

Dents du requin Sriatolamia macrota

Dents du requin Sriatolamia macrota

Cérithes dégagés d’un calcaire tendre des environs de Versailles

Cérithes dégagés d’un calcaire tendre des environs de Versailles

Propalaeotherium Dessin d’après Franzen et al., 1988

Propalaeotherium Dessin d’après Franzen et al., 1988

Effondrement d’une maison située passage Gourdon, au-dessus des Catacombes Estam

Effondrement d’une maison située passage Gourdon, au-dessus des Catacombes Estam

La formation et l’évolution d’un fontis

La formation et l’évolution d’un fontis

Useful informations

Catacombes de Paris
1, avenue du colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
75014 Paris
Tél. : 01 43 22 47 63 ; Fax : 01 43 22 48 17
Tarifs : 10 euros (tarif plein), 8 euros (tarif réduit)
Ouvert tous les jours, de 10h à 20h (fermeture des caisses à 19h) sauf lundis et jours fériés
Gratuit pour les moins de 18 ans