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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Chateau d'eau Montmartre

Founder member Brian Light sent BWTAS a postcard while on holiday:

Our weekend in Paris via Eurostar included this gem which of course had not impinged on my conciousness twenty years ago when I was last there. Directly behind the Sacre Coeur atop the hill at Montmartre sits the water tower, obviously still in use, every bit as majestic as the three domes of that edifice.

The Paris water company puts its phone number on signs at the base of the water tower so a search for 0974 506 507 found this interesting page and the delightful knowledge that the French recognise their significant contribution to water engineering and now offer tours of the Parisian 'water route'. 

Translated from original website with the help of Google:

Fontaine Verlaine
Launched in April 2008 by Eau de Paris in partnership with five specialized agencies, the program "Water Courses in Paris" aims to offer the public, especially users in Paris, a historic tour of Paris and its neighborhoods with water as the theme. Major parts of Parisian water heritage such as Fountain House, the North Views of the Sources or large storage tanks built at the time of Belgrand are part of the program.
The tour traces the history of water in Paris since the Romans, who built in the second century the first waterworks in Paris by the Aqueduct Lutece up the most modern facilities currently in operation.
These visits make the public aware of the value of fresh water through centuries of inventions and efforts made over time to supply the city. By understanding where water comes from, its history and how it is produced and distributed today, the value of water infrastructure can be understood by public and at the same time, the works and memory of men and women who have worked for the water supply of Paris.
Tours require registration, please contact:
the Water Pavilion at 01 42 24 54 02 or email:

Free tours 

Participation in the water tour is now free. 
Each tour lasts approximately 2:00 hours. The hikes last about 3:00. 
Children must be accompanied by an adult. 
Pets are not allowed. 

Advance registration for some of the water tour is mandatory for safety.

This concerns mainly visits giving access to the inside of old buildings or still active water infrastructure.
Download the brochure of the Water Course (in French) .