Underground Gardening in Paris

In the 1800s, farmers cultivated mushrooms in abandoned quarries underneath the French capital.

Within these catacombs, in dark, cavernous chambers, farmers once cultivated a button mushroom variety that bears the name of the French capital: the Paris mushroom.

While locals have used the natural limestone resources since Gallo-Roman times, it wasn’t until the massive medieval churches (such as Notre Dame) were built that Parisians quarried underground. Over time, they created another, cavernous city below the streets.

By 1880, more than 300 mushroom farmers worked in Parisian quarries to produce 1,000 tons of Paris mushrooms each year. Most of the quarries were not accessible by foot, so farmers used wooden ladders or pulley systems to lower themselves down in baskets.

More information: www.atlasobscura.com

Mushroom gardening underneath Paris
Mushroom gardening underneath Paris

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