A Strange History
When the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris was drained, it revealed a history that many weren’t aware of. Onlookers peered into the canal as workers gradually drained the water, they were met with a shocking surprise that would eventually tell-all. Hidden treasures were about to shock the locals, as what they discovered haven’t seen the light of day since Napolean ruled the lands.
Over 200 years ago the construction of the canal was put into motion as Napolean deemed it necessary to bring fresh water into the city for the rising population. There were nearly 550,000 people living within city limits during the time and the idea was, that the fresh water would prevent any disease from spreading. This lead to many more canals being constructed over the next two decades.
Three Major Canals
Three more canals were dug across the city, connecting freshwater flow throughout. The most popular of the three is the Canal Saint-Martin, which connects the 68-mile Canal De l’Ourcq to the River Seine. They make up the unique landscape of Paris and are now known as sites to see in the city of love.
The canal itself runs under La Bastille, an old prison site that was destroyed during the French Revolution. Combined, all three canals run over 80 miles throughout the city. The portions between the Rue du Faubourg du Temple and the Place de la Bastille were covered during the 19th century to create larger boulevards and streets for pedestrians, cutting the canal’s length in half.