Thought you knew the Paris Metro map off by heart? There are a few stations you have never discovered, but perhaps one day will.
But over time a number of stations have been closed and forgotten about. They have become known as the Ghost Stations, or Stations Fantômes, and lie abandoned in the tunnels under the city.
The when and why is a fascinating story. Some stations have been replaced by newer ones, whilst others never actually opened. Most of the stations fantômes however were closed at the start of the Second World War and have remained untouched ever since.
Ghost Metro stations of Paris
2. P. des Lilas Cinéma
3. Martin Nadaud
5. Gare du Nord UFSRT
6. Les Halles
7. Croix Rouge
10. Victor Hugo
11. Porte Molitor
12. P. de Versailles
Visiting them alone isn't recommended and is illegal, but some are open to the public for the Journées du Patrimoine (Annual Heritage Days).
Abandoned for war
As France entered the Second World War, workers were called up to fight in the army. The lack of personnel and the need to cut costs meant that many stations were closed. Stations such as Arsenal (near Bastille in the east), Champ de Mars (by the Eiffel Tower), Saint-Martin (in the centre next to the Place de la République), or Croix-Rouge (in the Latin Quarter in the centre) were among these.
The Saint-Martin station still has adverts from the 1940s on its walls. Situated between Strasbourg-Saint-Denis and République, the Metro lines 8 and 9 pass through it and thus has been used by Nissan or Microsoft who've attempted to catch travellers' eyes with hip advertising. The halls are currently used as a foyer for the homeless.
Many of these ghost Metro stations have undergone transformations and are still used for a variety of different reasons, whether for filming some of the greatest films made in France or for training staff.
The old Metro station at Gare du Nord, known as known as Gare du Nord USFRT has been converted into the training grounds for new Metro drivers and Arsenal is used to train technicians, engineers and electricians.
The former Porte Maillot station in the north-west of Paris is now used for maintaining the trains.
The entrance to the Martin Nadaud station near the Pere Lachaise cemetery in eastern Paris is now used to access Gambetta. Its platforms however, remain deserted.
The original Victor Hugo station in western Paris has also been rebuilt. New trains that came into service in the 1930s couldn't handle the initial sharp corner safely and it was decided to move the station a few metres north.
Portes des Lilas - Cinéma, on the north eastern edge of Paris is now used for films and adverts, with film crews changing the sign on the wall to a current station. Did you know that smash hit Amélie was actually shot here?
I've gotten the chance to visit several of the ghost stations - spooky!
Cara - Tuesday