" The sewer is
the conscience of the city. In this lurid place there is darkness,
but there are no secrets."-Les
Miserables, Jean Valjean Pt.2
Fun "clean" facts about the
- Bruneseau was the man to captain
the first cleansing process of Paris' sewer system since it had
been built (masonry dated back to 1412) in 1805
- Thanks to Bruneseau, when the
1860's rolled around the Paris sewer was no longer the "stink
hole" but "neat, cold, straight, correct."
- Bruneseau was the one to say,
"Health of body reflects cleanliness of soul."
- Paris sewers in 1860's was estimated
to be $35 a yard, there being 140 miles of sewers totaling $9
Felix Nadar: autoportrait
dans les catacombes, 1861
The Sewers according
to Victor Hugo
Hugo's sewers were the places
where the criminal class went to escape after committing a crime
including the character Thenardier who posessed keys to open
the iron gates which sealed the sewers shut.
The sad state of cleanliness
of the sewers almost always guaranteed a sucessful getaway, but
police quickly caught on; for example Javert waited outside for
Jean Valjean to emerge from the depths.