Top 10 creepy things hidden in French cities

History lugs around its share of scars, these more or less jump out at us during our city wanderings. We had already told you about small glaucous details in famous cities, or more specifically about unusual places in Paris. You will find certain points in common with this top which focuses this time on the cities of France.

1. We can see in Paris the marks of the location of a guillotine

To do this, go to the 11th arrondissement on rue de la Croix Faubin at the level of the pedestrian crossing. As the photo shows, it is quite discreet and no one can imagine walking quietly on such a morbid vestige. The guillotine was then installed in front of the former prison of La Grande Roquette which was destroyed at the end of the 19th century.

2. Traces of bullets and shellfire hidden everywhere in Paris (and in France)

The capital has not erased all traces of its history, quite the contrary. If the traces of bullets and shells are not obvious, they can be found everywhere. On the Ile de la Cité, but also on a section of the former Crédit Lyonnais headquarters on rue de Choiseul, a plaque even reads “Airplane bomb 30 January 1918” or even on the Hôtel de Brienne, former Ministry of the war which was also bombarded in 1918. Finally, if one drags behind the Madeleine, the statue of Saint-Luc was decapitated by a balanced shell on May 30, 1918. Suddenly we left it like that pépouze.

3. There are still shells embedded in the walls of Strasbourg

Just like any city marked by history, Strasbourg has some testimonies of its past with traces of Prussian bombardments dating from 1870. These can be found on the facades of several buildings, in particular on the Place de la Cathédrale where the there are still shells in the walls. Niceaaaa.

4. The Brotteaux crypt in Lyon

Like all crypts, the Brotteaux crypt is not a super fun and relaxing place. But the place being not very touristy, one does not always suspect that behind 145 rue de Créqui in the 6th arrondissement hide at least 2000 skeletons, terrible victims of the Terror in 1793, massacred by the revolutionary army of the Convention.

5. Many bullet and shell impacts on Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseille

As always, bullet and shell impacts are of course part of the landscape of certain cities, we are not going to list them all here because even a century later, two world wars reshape the skyline quite a bit. Still, despite the restoration work, you can still see discreet traces on La Bonne Mère.

6. The plague wall in the Luberon

Yes, yes, a plague wall. Super nice as blase. Extending over 27 kilometers in the mountains of Vaucluse, this small dry stone wall was intended to prevent the plague present in Marseille and in part of Provence from spreading towards the Comtat Venaissin. Today this wall is no longer useful (and certainly not to prevent the spread of Covid) except to be an excuse for a nice walk.

7. Groundwater polluted by Brebières shells

Suffering from pollution we know what it is, even if we are not all housed in the same boat, we have a little idea. Polluted air, we know. Polluted soils, we know. Polluted waters, we know. But what we don’t know (well you, I don’t know, but I didn’t know) is that the water tables of certain cities are polluted by the presence of unexploded shells from the First World War. The stupid thing! In fact, we must keep in mind that between 14 and 18 about 1 billion shells were dropped on our soil. Yet 25% of them would not have exploded. So at the time, we had to say YAY TOO COOL, but the bottom line is that a century later these unexploded shells are proving to be dangerously polluting. We thus find in the tap water of certain cities like Brebières traces of perchlorate, mercury or even lead. Not nice when history catches up with us with disgusting pollution.

8. Traces of a terrible millennia-old massacre in Achenheim near Strasbourg

In archaeological research, something we often say to ourselves is “Enchantier, my name is teuse! “. But that’s because archaeologists have a lot of humor. Sometimes they also wonder at what point in history violent relationships between men, wars, scenes of torture or massacres were born. This recent discovery partly answers this question. The bones discovered in Achenheim seem to be the trace of a massacre dating from the Neolithic period. The skeletons of six men were found there, with multi-fractured bones, which is proof that the “victims” had a bad time.

9. Shells in Lille

In Lille, there are cannonballs in the walls of rang de beauregard, place du Théâtre in Lille. They date from the siege of Lille in 1792. Since then, one of them has even been repainted pink above the Morel et Fils brasserie.

10. Mummies in the collegiate church of Saint-Bonnet-le-Château in the Loire

Yes, we also have mummies around here. Discovered in 1837, they are still a mystery. We just know that the bodies were murdered…

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