Nord-Sud Paris Metro Line 12-Solferino Wooden Bench

While most of Paris’ subway stations have been modernized with plastic “anti-homeless” chairs that replaced former wooden benches, you can still get a glimpse of the old Paris metro on line 12 and part of line 13. These lines were built by the Nord-Sud Company starting in 1904 and had more elaborate decoration and rolling stock than the other lines.

Between stations, none of the wooden benches are quite the same, lending the decor an air of authenticity. Directional signage on tiles were on the ends of each station:

Nord-Sud Paris Metro Line 12-Direction Montparnasse

Nord-Sud Paris Metro Line 12-Direction Montmartre

Nord-Sud Paris Metro Line 12-Concorde

Nord-Sud Paris Metro Line 12-Sevres Babylone

Although lines 12 and 13 are not some of the earlier subway lines in Paris, they do have the distinction of being engineered more similarly to the London Tube. They went deeper than other Paris metro lines and could thus take more direct routes, without constraint from street systems.

For more on old Paris, check out photos of the vintage subway ride that happens twice a year.