Tourists in Paris are flocking to the famed Art Nouveau bathrooms beneath the Madeleine church which recently reopened following a lengthy renovation.
Originally constructed in 1905, the bathrooms were closed by the city in 2011 after they had become little used as they became run down, but also because they lacked handicap access. At the same time, it was classified as a historic monument.
More recently, an extensive renovation began to restore the bathrooms which boast varnished mahogany, stained glass, decorated ceramics, and floral mosaic tiles. Each bathroom stall also has an individual mirror and sink allowing for unusual privacy for a public facility, according to the city of Paris website.
Since reopening last month, tourists have been adding the bathrooms to their list of must-see places in Paris, according to Le Monde.
A private company called 2theloo was given a contract in 2015 to restore and operate the bathrooms.
The renovations took longer than planned due to other nearby construction projects around the church that caused some potential structural issues. Those were finally resolved last year and the interior restoration resumed, according to the city.
The issue of handicapped access has still not been addressed. And some work remains to be done, such as restoring some of the mosaic tiles.
For those tourists wishing to visit, it costs €2 to enter. The facilities are open every day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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