The most astonishing metro stations in Paris: the highest, the deepest...

Published by Graziella de Sortiraparis · Photos by My de Sortiraparis · Published on August 28th, 2022 at 06:11 p.m.
Paris metro stations hide some amazing features that you'd never suspect when you take the train. Find out which metro station is the highest, the deepest or the least crowded!

Over the past few days, Marx Dormoy station on line 12 has been revealing vestiges of a bygone era. And it's not the only metro station in Paris with unusual or surprising secrets. For example, an underground station on line 11 is higher than an overhead station on line 6!

  • The highest station: Télégraphe

Located on line 11, it's at the top of the Belleville hill, which despite its incredible depth to reach the tracks, makes it higher than the overhead stations. It stands at 128 meters, with the rail level at 96 meters, a height so great that until 2009, seats were installed between the many staircases, so that users could catch their breath if need be. These seats can still be found at Buttes Chaumont and Pré-Saint-Gervais stations on line 7 bis, which are also very deep. These stations boast the longest escalators in the RATP network!

  • The deepest station: Abbesses

Although the Télégraphe station is six feet underground, it's still a few meters short of the station that provides access to the Montmartre hilltop and its famous Sacré-Coeur. To reach Abbesses, on line 12, you have to go 36 meters underground, because of the difference in level on the surface. So much so that the elevators on the platforms are taken by storm, to avoid climbing the spiral staircase with its 176 steps. Lamarck-Caulaincourt and Cité stations are not far behind, with a depth of 25 meters.

  • The least-frequented station: Eglise d'Auteuil

Some stations don't see many Parisians... and that's the case at Eglise d'Auteuil, on line 10, one of the network's least frequented. Only 25 people enter every hour! However, this can be explained by its status as a half-station, as it is enclosed in the heart of a loop, where subways can only come from one side. As a result, passenger numbers are easily half those of other stations.

  • The only underwater station: Cité
Located on line 4, this is the only station built on an island, and underwater! A real headache for linking the two banks of the Seine, and one whose construction was almost abandoned! Caissons had to be placed in the riverbed to create a tunnel. Just after it went into operation, line 4 had to be interrupted due to one of the Seine's greatest floods, in 1910. Even today, the station can be closed during such events, as water sometimes seeps through the walls...
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