Crypte archéologique de l’île de la Cité

Useful Information

Location: 7, place Jean-Paul II, Parvis Notre-Dame, 75004 Paris.
Metro: Cité or Saint-Michel (line 4).
(48.85365040000545, 2.347720164418369)
Open: All year Tue-Sun 10-18, last entry 17:30.
Closed 01-MAY, 25-DEC, 01-JAN.
Online booking recommended.
Fee: Adults EUR 9, Children (0-17) free, Students (18-26) EUR 7, Disabled free, Unemployed free.
Audioguide EUR 5.
Classification: SubterraneaUnderground Museum
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=118m, W=29m, AR=2,200 m²,
Guided tours: V=140,000/a [2008]
Photography: not allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Crypte archéologique de l’île de la Cité, 7, place Jean-Paul II, Parvis Notre-Dame, 75004 Paris, Tel: +33-155-42-50-10. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1965 to 1972 archaeological excavationson the square in front of Notre-Dame de Paris.
1974 creation of the crypt by the creation of a car park on top.
1980 converted into an exhibition and opened to the public.
2000 the crypt is officially attached to the Musée Carnavalet.


Crypte archéologique de l’île de la Cité (Archaeological Crypt of the Île de la Cité) is located under the square in front of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. The archaeological excavation was between 1965 and 1972 and revealed a unique overview of urban and architectural development of the Île de la Cité, the historical heart of Paris. The oldest parts are from the Gallo-Roman town of Lutetia, which was founded on the left bank of the Seine during the reign of Augustus (27 BC to 14 AD). The Gaulish tribe named the Parisii lived here. During the first century several small islands were joined together to form the current Île de la Cité.

After the Romans left Gallia, Lutetia was threatened by the first Germanic invasions. Between the mid-3rd and 5th century, it was a strategic site for the defense of the crumbling Roman Empire. The Île de la Cité was fortified in 308 and thus became the city center.

The cathedral Notre-Dame was started in 1163, the works were enormous, and included the creation of a new street, the rue Neuve Notre-Dame. In the 18th century, many medieval buildings were destroyed. The main reason was to widen the roads and improve both traffic and sanitation. In the 19th century, with the industrial revolution, both the needs and the possibilities changed massively. The city was radically restructured and many old buildings and roads destroyed.

The Crypte Archéologique (Archaeological Crypt) below place Jean-Paul II in front of the Notre Dame church, is a part of the Paris Underground collection of underground sites. And it is the oldest subterranean structure in the city. In the early 1960s an underground car park was planned, but when the works started, Roman remains were found. The owner of construction company was probably not happy, but the archaeologists definitely were. They excavated the Roman remains and even parts of the Roman harbour at the Seine, and transformed it into an underground museum. And again, times change, today it is a very rarely visited site in modern Paris. With so many spectacular museums and so many artworks, buildings, and fashion shows, this site has become a sort of insider tip. But it is definitely worth a visit.