The Paris Archaeological Crypt is a museum in Paris located in the île de la Cité, under the forecourt of Notre Dame cathedral. You'll discover relics from the past 2,000 years of history, from antiquity to modern times.
Between 1965 and 1972, archaeologists led digs in the heart of Paris, and found evidence of ancient human occupation, which evolved over the course of centuries. The discovery of objects and foundations of various buildings, the oldest of which date back to antiquity, naturally led to the creation of an on-site museum, to preserve the extraordinary legacy of past and present generations.
Among the most monumental relics in the Archaeological Crypt of Notre-Dame de Paris, you'll find the wharf of the port of the ancient city of Lutèce, the city walls that protected locals from barbarian invasions in the early 4th century, and later, the remain of ancient Medieval streets and the Found Children hospice, a Renaissance orphanage. Notre Dame Crypt also bears witness to the more recent past and everyday, but equally important, concerns: the creation of sewers in the 19th century, designed to combat the city's regular, deadly epidemics.
Established in 1980 under the forecourt of Notre-Dame de Paris to preserve archaeological remains discovered during digs between 1965 and 1972, the crypt offers a unique perspective on urban and architectural evolution in the île de la Cité, the historical heart of Paris.
The discovery of buildings which occupied the site at various times, from antiquity to the 20th century, invites visitors on a journey through time. Ancient wharf of the port of Lutèce, establishment of Gallo-Roman public baths, city walls from the early 4th century, basement of the ancient Hôtel-Dieu chapel, Medieval remains of Neuve Notre-Dame street, foundations of the Found Children hospice, traces of Haussmannien sewers: the ancient, medieval, and classical past, relived. Bringing to life memories of the most ancient neighborhoods of Paris the crypt shows that for the past two thousand years, the City of Light has never ceased to re-build itself.
You'll enjoy the special ambiance of this unusual museum. In fact, in the Paris archaeological crypt, you'll get a chance to dive directly into history, with the site's layout enhancing the immersive experience. For example, the thermal baths, whose foundations and parts of the walls still exist, let you imagine the bathers' routine. Citizens came here to relax and chat with their friends, just as we do today at the pool.
The museum, 100 meters long and around 30 meters wide, offers 2,000 square meters of surface area to display restored remains and exhibitions on urbanism or ancient construction methods.
What are the opening hours of the Paris archaeological crypt? The museum is open every day of the week, from 10AM to 6PM, (except for Mondays). Ticket sales close at 5:30PM, so keep that in mind as it reduces access to the museum by half an hour. You can access the Paris archaeological crypt during holidays, except for May 1, August 15, and January 1.
Address of the Archaeological Crypt of the Notre-Dame forecourt: 7, place Jean-Paul II Parvis Notre-Dame, 75004 Paris
The closes metro stations are the Cité or Saint-Michel (line 4) stations.