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Abbesses-Subway Station-Paris Metro-Hector GuimardImage via Soundscapes

Art aficionados, culture vultures and unashamed aesthetes flock to Paris to see some of the best art in the world. From world class paintings, sculptures and architecture the city is bursting with top museums and art galleries–however, let’s not disregard what lies beneath the cobbled city streets.

The travel experts at the Paris Pass have gone underground to uncover the true beauty of Paris’ metro stations. From original art nouveau entrances, to cleverly curated platforms, the Paris subway system is a network worthy of much more than getting from A to B! There’s plenty to appreciate in terms of art and culture, so take your adventures to another level: under the busy streets of the French capital.

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Paris-Metro Station Villiers-Storage Track-Abandoned Metro Subway Trains.36 AM

Parisian trainspotters have for years hoarded a special secret. It’s located next to the Metro Station Villiers in the 17th arrondissement, in a storage track that used to be a terminal loop for Metro Line 3 before it was extended. Inside, some very old trains lie dormant, their slumber undisturbed by regular visits by spray painters and photographers. Most of them are in an advanced state of decay.

Soon, this heritage will be gone, the trains will receive judgement: damned to dismantlement, or, for a select few deemed the most emblematic and unique, blessed with preservation. Take a tour with us today in this photo series taken over the course of two months from December 2014 to January 2015 of the abandoned trains, as well as a warehouse for restored metro cars.

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Gustav Eiffel Apartment-Paris-Eiffel Tower-Vintage Photographs

We previously published about Gustav Eiffel’s fabulous apartment inside the Eiffel Tower, with a modern-day image but Messy Nessy just surfaced some vintage photographs of the shabby chic apartment where he entertained guests like Thomas Edison. The photographs were taken by the “Neurdein brothers” the official photographers of the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. Here is a link to more of the images of the apartment which was on the fourt floor (285 meters above the ground, reads the caption).

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Assassin's Creed-Paris-French Revolution-Damien Hypolite-Bastille-Notre Dame-9

It’s often said (and most often by Parisians it seems) that Paris is its own museum, frozen in time. For preservation and cultural memory, this is a wonderful thing–though the architecture can make the city feel less progressive at times. One thing this level of preservation does assist–before and after photography. The latest Assassin’s Creed video game takes place in Paris, but the Paris of the French Revolution when heads were being guillotined and there were barricades in the streets. Damien Hypolite, the chef de projet infographie at Sciences et Avenir, matched up the images from the game to present day. Here’s are the images of the famous landmarks side-by-side:

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Cemetery Cities-Jardin del Humaya Cemetery, Cuilacan, Sinaloa Mexico Cartel-2Jardin del Humaya Cemetery, Cuilacan, Sinaloa Mexico

Conspicuous wealth isn’t limited to life on earth, it seems. There are many amazing examples of architectural masterpieces built for the afterlife. While much of the focus is often on the tributes to single individuals–Lenin, Sun Yat Sen–or creepy crypts full of skulls and bones, we’d like to highlight the cemetery cities we’ve been coming across recently. From a distance, some of these may look simply like a suburban residential neighborhood. Look closer, and you’ll realize they’re cities of the dead.

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Hehe-Railroad-Vehicle-Deisgn-Untapped Cities-NYCThe Métronome (Image via Hehe)

Before The High Line became “The High Line” it was an abandoned railroad track covered in vines and graffiti. It has become one of the most visited and welcome additions to NYC since it first opened. However, some of us do miss the graffiti the city washed away to keep the eyes of tourists free and innocent. Sure, if you look really closely, you can see an old COST and REVS roller, but if  you want to see anything done this decade, all you will get is art that looks like weird birdhouses.

For us who follow the art of the streets, some of NYC’ most creative graffiti pieces are on many of the cities abandoned and active railroad tracks. To venture into these tracks to see what these Picasso’s of the streets have created does come with consequences: the threat of being arrested, getting into a losing fight with a train, or worse, abducted by mole people (just kidding, maybe). So how can a family of four see what graffiti artists do under risk of being incarcerated?

Well thanks to the guys over at Pop-Up City, we may just have the answer for you. Hehe, a French urban design studio is working on a series of vehicles designed to transport urban explorers scared of the risks of urban exploration. Hehe’s goal is to open up these hidden urban museums, but to still keep the seclusion of this hidden world inside major cities. (more…)