La Crypte Archéologique

(c) Philippe Ladet
The Islands

Hidden under the forecourt in front of the cathedral is a large void that contains bits and pieces of Roman quaysides, ramparts and hypocausts, medieval cellars, shops and pavements, the foundations of the Eglise Ste-Geneviève-des-Ardens (the church where Geneviève's remains were stored during the Norman invasions), an 18th-century foundling hospital and a 19th-century sewer, all excavated since the 1960s. It's not always easy to work out exactly which wall, column or staircase is which - but you do get a vivid sense of the layers of history piled one atop another during 16 centuries.

Venue name: La Crypte Archéologique
Address: Parvis Notre-Dame
7 place Jean-Paul II
4e
Paris

Opening hours: 10am-6pm Tue-Sun
Transport: Métro Cité
Price: €4; €2-€3 reductions; free under-14s. PMP
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