Canal Was Drained in Paris After 200 Years, These Photos Show What They FoundFebruary 28, 2019
When Paris authorities geared up to empty the 5 km long Canal Saint-Martin in the 2016 cleaning operation, they knew they’d find tons of waste and discarded items from the past 15 years. But the public knew it was much more than that, and they crowded along the banks to witness hidden treasures being dragged out of their watery grave.
The Canal Saint-Martin was officially finished in 1825, twenty-three years after it was commissioned by then soon-to-be Emperor Napoleon. At the time, Paris had a population of 550,000 people and kept growing — bringing with it diseases like cholera and dysentery. Napoleon came up with a solution to curb their spread: fresh water.