After Draining A Two-Centuries-Old Canal, Everyone Was

Published on 03/23/2021
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A crowd has gathered on a cloudy day to observe what is going on at the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris. Everyone was unable to take their gaze away from the scene unfolding in front of them. They all wanted to see the murky waters recede as the authorities drained the river. What had been lurking in the canal’s waters all this time? They discovered things about the canal after two centuries that they had not anticipated in the least. What did they find down there, exactly?

After Draining A 200 Year Old Parisian Canal, They Were Shocked By What The Water Revealed

After Draining A 200-Year-Old Parisian Canal, They Were Shocked By What The Water Revealed

It Was Time To Drain It

As the murky waters receded, the authorities took a look at them. It’s not every day that you discover the secrets of the depths. As the building’s floor became visible, residents learned about a new chapter in the city’s history. Let’s just say none of them expected to come across what they did.

It Was Time To Drain It

It Was Time To Drain It

An Important Source Of Water

The canal is 4.5 kilometers in length. It was completed after Napoleon Bonaparte I gave his approval to the project. This canal was built primarily to provide safe drinking water to Paris’s 550,000 residents. However, he was well aware that the population would almost certainly continue to grow in the future.

An Important Source Of Water

An Important Source Of Water

A Lot More To It Than That

Furthermore, he hoped that having access to clean water would help to control the city’s health issues. Back then, there were numerous reports of cholera and dysentery. The Canal Saint-Martin encircles the city for nearly three miles. It also delivered food and building materials to Parisians all over the city at the time.

A Lot More To It Than That

A Lot More To It Than That

Its Fascinating History

Two canals were built with the same purpose in the decades that followed. The Canal Saint-Denis and the Canal de l’Ourcq were being built by authorities. The latter was 3.4 meters wide and 108 kilometers long. It ran from Port-Aux-Perches to the Bassin de la Villette, where it joined the Canal Saint-Martin. It’s best if you remember that they’re all a few hundreds of years old.

Its Fascinating History

Its Fascinating History

During The French Revolution

The Canal Saint-Martin is the most well-known of the three. From the Bassin de l’Arsenal to the Place de la Bastille, it ran beneath the ground. Many people are familiar with the latter as the site of pivotal events during the French Revolution, which took place from 1789 to 1799. This was the scene of an unexpected attack on a prison. As you can see, it has a long and illustrious history. It was for this reason that people were eager to see what lay beneath the surface.

During The French Revolution

During The French Revolution

What The Canals Are Like Now

The canal is now a popular hangout for both locals and tourists. Young Parisians frequently congregate on the banks of the Seine and in the nearby cafes. Tourists, on the other hand, prefer to photograph landmarks and bridges. But why did the authorities decide to drain the water from it in the first place?

What The Canals Are Like Now

What The Canals Are Like Now

All The Weird Things At The Bottom

The canal has certainly seen a lot of changes in its two centuries of existence. Every ten to fifteen years, authorities attempt to empty it. They’d get rid of everything that had accumulated at the bottom. This was not, however, a routine clean-up. What was it about this time that was so different?

All The Weird Things At The Bottom

All The Weird Things At The Bottom

The Draining Procedure

Paris, also known as the City of Light, hides many big secrets. The murky waters of this canal obscured some of them. What lay beneath their beloved Canal Saint-Martin piqued the interest of Parisians. The draining operation was being observed from afar. What would they find if they went there?

The Draining Procedure

The Draining Procedure

Waste From The First World War

The canal was drained for the first time in 2001. They were able to remove over 40 tons of waste from the water at the time. Bullets, bombshells, and gold pennies from the First World War were among the fascinating finds. Not only that, but they also discovered a car from the same period. It’s been a long time since that happened. What else might they come across in the water?

Waste From The First World War

Waste From The First World War

How Much It Cost Them

The massive task of draining the canal began. It would take three months to remove approximately 3 million cubic feet of water. Although the city had to spend more than $10 million on this, it was necessary. The crowd was eager to find out what had been hidden in the canal all this time…

How Much It Cost Them

How Much It Cost Them

People Gathered To Look

They had drained the canal’s remaining water on January 7. After 15 years, the waterway’s secrets were finally being revealed. The bridges attracted people from all walks of life. They wanted to look into what the authorities had discovered. Curiosity was killing everyone.

People Gathered To Look

People Gathered To Look

A Surreal Moment

It had to have been a huge occasion. After all, it’s not every day that you get to see the Canal Saint-Martin without any water. People couldn’t believe what they were witnessing. The sight of the canal’s bottom was surreal. They were all curious about what was on the canal’s floor.

A Surreal Moment

A Surreal Moment

The Living Things In The Water

The workers had to drain the canal until only 50 cm of water remained. They waded through the canal in search of the items and living “things” that had taken up residence there. Around five tons of carp, trout, and bream were caught by the working crew! They then relocated the fish to better breeding grounds. Before relocating the fish, they carefully weighed and identified it. Even though the new location would not be ideal for them, it was still preferable to the alternative.

The Living Things In The Water

The Living Things In The Water

People Threw Garbage Into The Water

Various common objects found their way into the water’s depths. Among other things, there were bicycles. They turned out to be from the city’s Vélib car-sharing system. Around 14,500 bikes were added to the city’s streets as part of the program in 2007. Regrettably, they ended up in strange places.

People Threw Garbage Into The Water

People Threw Garbage Into The Water

The Most Bizarre Findings

More items surfaced as the drainage process progressed. At the bottom of the canal, there were mopeds, bicycles, and wheelie bins! There was a toilet down there as well. It was critical to recover the toilet because it had clearly contributed to the canal’s murkiness. Its presence there was thought to be amusing. This was not, however, the only unexpected find down there. They also discovered larger objects at the bottom.

The Most Bizarre Findings

The Most Bizarre Findings

How They Must Have Gotten There

“It’s like some weird submarine treasure,” Marc, a witness, shared with The Guardian. He added, “I can’t believe the quantity of Vélibs in there. I guess they were stolen and thrown in afterward. It’s bizarre.” Furthermore, bicycles were not the only strange objects that found their way to the bottom.

How They Must Have Gotten There

How They Must Have Gotten There

Paris Is Filthy

“That’s Paris for you,” an onlooker called Bernard said. “It’s filthy.” It appears to have gotten worse in recent years. He was also present when the well was first drained. “The last time, I don’t remember seeing so much rubbish in it,” he shared. “I despair. The youth are using it as a dustbin.”

Paris Is Filthy

Paris Is Filthy

Even Weirder Than The Bikes

Wait until you hear that they also recovered a pair of motorcycles from down there if you thought bicycles were strange. Who knows how those items came to be there? We’re hoping that someone will come forward and tell us the story behind them. From there, things only got weirder and weirder.

Even Weirder Than The Bikes

Even Weirder Than The Bikes

So Much Trash

Of course, they didn’t find only alive creatures and strange things down there. There were also items that were expected to be discovered. Shopping bags, traffic cones, and glass bottles are all examples. These findings didn’t seem to pique anyone’s interest. Everyone was eager to discuss the unusual items!

So Much Trash

So Much Trash

A Random Office Chair

For starters, none of them knew how an office chair ended up there. The witnesses were skeptical of the discovery. Is it possible that an office worker took this to the 10th arrondissement? The theory may appear absurd to you, but it made us smile just thinking about it.

Random Office Chair

A Random Office Chair

There Was A Suitcase

It’s a lot of fun to come up with theories about how these things got there. Another interesting item emerged from beneath the murkiness as they continued to drain the water. They came across a rather revolting suitcase at the canal’s bottom. Is it there because it was thrown there?

There Was A Suitcase

There Was A Suitcase

A Traffic Cone

Another odd item that has people scratching their heads is this one. This traffic cone had no choice but to be retrieved from the canal’s base by a crew member. Who could possibly have placed it there? We’re betting on a vandal who felt compelled to dispose of the evidence as soon as possible.

A Traffic Cone

A Traffic Cone

A True Shopping Destination

On the Canal Saint-Martin, there was also a shopping trolley. This piqued people’s interest in the story. After loading their bags into the car, did a shopper accidentally push it into the canal? In any case, we can deduce from this that Paris is an excellent shopping destination.

A True Shopping Destination

A True Shopping Destination

Save The Fish

Workers continued to drain the water from the Canal Saint-Martin until only 20 inches of water remained. They had to get the fish to safety first. The cleanup crew spent three days in the water catching carp, trout, and bream. They captured the creatures and relocated them to a different section of the river.

Save The Fish

Save The Fish

Swimming There Might Be Possible

Even though seeing all the trash in the canal was disheartening, there is still hope. The discoveries brought attention to the city’s littering problem. Authorities used the opportunity to talk about the situation. “If everyone mucks in and avoids throwing anything into the water,” said Celia Blauel when she spoke to the MailOnline, “we might be able to swim in the canal in a few years.” She is the deputy mayor.

Swimming There Is Possible

Swimming There Might Be Possible

It Was An Expensive Process

No one would have realized how serious the problem was if the waterway had not been drained. The truth is that the canal area is regarded as prime real estate. The Parisians had to pay a high price for it. Only real estate properties located along with the arrondissement command prices as high as $9,000. They had no idea these things were lying so close to their homes, we’re sure.

It Was An Expensive Process

It Was An Expensive Process

Why The Area Is Expensive

The waterway has always looked lush and aesthetically pleasing, which contributes to the high cost of real estate there. It has served as an inspiration to a number of artists. Street art can be found on the bank’s walls, and the bank has a large multimedia space dedicated to works of art.

Why The Area Is Expensive

Why The Area Is Expensive

It Took Two Decades

All three canals were dug across the length of Paris over the course of two decades. They make up a total of more than 80 miles when combined. The most well-known of the three is the Canal Saint-Martin. It runs for 68 miles and connects the Seine River and the Canal de l’Ourcq.

It Took Two Decades

It Took Two Decades

Both Tourists And Parisians

Since its inception, the Canal Saint-Martin has attracted both Parisians and tourists. It has always been a place with a unique allure. They’re all given a look at the badges. They could also navigate through all of the locks and road bridges along the way.

Both Tourists And Parisians

Both Tourists And Parisians

The Amazing Nightlife

If you’re familiar with Paris, you’re probably aware that the Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood has a vibrant nightlife scene. The district, which was once quiet, would attract a large number of young people. Many people assumed that this would only result in more waste in the canal. They discovered if this was the case in 2016.

The Amazing Nightlife

The Amazing Nightlife

Construction Of The Canal

On Napoleon I’s orders, the canal’s constrictions began in 1802. Paris had a population of around 550,000 people at the time. That number did not appear to be going down any time soon. Napoleon believed that the waterway would bring fresh water to the city and improve the residents’ health at the time.

Construction Of The Canal

Construction Of The Canal

The Route

The canal runs from the Seine’s Bassin de l’Arsenal to below La Bastille. The latter is the location of a prison that was destroyed during the French Revolution. It then emerges near the Place de la République before ascending to the Bassin de la Villette in the north. It meets the Canal de l’Ourq there.

The Route

The Route

Strange Things In The Water

What was the object that piqued your interest the most? They discovered chairs, shopping carts, suitcases, trash cans, toilets, bicycles, and motorcycles at the bottom, just in case you forgot. A vintage stereo was also on the floor, in addition to the previously mentioned items. You never know what you’ll find when you go there.

Strange Things In The Water

Strange Things In The Water

Way Too Many Bottles And Cans

They discovered a lot of cans and bottles while draining the water out of the Canal Saint-Martin. Do you have any idea how many there were? We have our doubts that you correctly answered the question. They found hundreds of thousands of these things down there, after all.

Bottles And Cans

Way Too Many Bottles And Cans

How Long It Is

The Canal Saint-Martin, which runs through the heart of the capital, is three miles long. It runs through the 10th arrondissement, which is best known for being a fashion-forward neighborhood. The area has recently gained popularity for its nightlife and tourist attractions. It’s a must-see on your next visit to the City of Lights!

How Long It Is

How Long It Is

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