5 Bizarre and Unusual Attractions in Paris
If you enjoy visiting unusual attractions, Paris is home to a wealth of bizarre tunnels, cemeteries, museums and secret apartments open to the public. Five of the most bizarre and unusual attractions in Paris include:
The Paris Sewer Museum, Paris, France
In this very offbeat underground tour, you’ll get to explore the 19th century Paris sewers to experience the underside of the city from ancient times through the era of Belgrand, the engineer who designed the sewer system in its current form. While strolling through the underground tunnels, you’ll learn about the water cycle and all the work of the French capital’s sewer workers. While history buffs are likely to be fascinated, everyone else is probably going to be at least a little weirded out.
The Pere Lachaise Cemetery
A large cemetery by itself wouldn’t seem too odd; even one containing famous remains might not be enough to more than raise an eyebrow. Instead, it’s the culture and atmosphere that set Pere Lachaise apart. Originally established by Napoleon, the cemetery languished in obscurity until its directors conducted an elaborate publicity campaign culminating in their claiming the remains of Moliere. After this, citizens clamoured to be buried with the stars, so to speak, and demand sky-rocketed. Today, the cemetery is home to several notable graves. That of Oscar Wilde is worth visiting; traditionally, devoted fans kiss the grave while wearing lipstick.
Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures
The macabre collection of Jacques Sirgent, an expert scholar on the undead and all of their trappings. At the end of gravel paths in the middle of Les Lilas, a black and scarlet entrance opens up to a door leading into a creepy garden mimicking a cemetery. Plastic bats and genuine human remains attached to trees linger like a dark omen for visitors. Be warned: You have just entered into the Museum of Vampires.
Secret apartment at the Eiffel Tower
When the Eiffel Tower opened in 1889, designer Gustave Eiffel soaked up the praise. He also built himself a small apartment near the top of the world wonder making him the envy of the Paris elite. In contrast to the steely industrial girders of the rest of the tower, the apartment was reported to be, “furnished in the simple style dear to scientists.” The walls were covered in warm wallpaper, creating a comfortable atmosphere, perched nearly 1,000 feet in the air. Today, after being off limits for years, the apartment is on display for visitors to come and peer into. Much of the furnishings remain the same and there are a couple of rather wan looking mannequins of Eiffel and Edison.
Duluc Detective Agency
Tucked away in the 1st arrondissement in Paris is a green neon sign that marks the location of the mysterious sounding Duluc Detective Agency.The striking Prussian-blue door underneath has a doorbell and a brass plate, simply inscribed, “Duluc. Enquetes 1er etage” — “Duluc. Investigations. 1st Floor.” The sign and doorway may look like part of a movie set, but they belong to one of the last — and oldest — private detective agencies in France. Still family run, the current head is one Madame Duluc, who inherited the agency from her father, who in turn inherited it from his father — a former policeman in the “La Sûreté Nationale” (the detective branch of the civil police force in Paris at the time). The original license for the agency inside the office shows the founder, Jean Duluc, a well-dressed man with a bow tie and an elegant handlebar moustache who founded Duluc in 1913. If you are planning a trip to Paris, book a guided tour before you leave home so you will not waste any time seeing the most unusual and ‘off the beaten track’ attractions when you arrive.