Croix Rouge and Arsenal, Phantom Metro Stations – Paris, France

I’m that filthy guy in the metro people look at with mild contempt. Not a problem, I know it’s hard to understand why I’m covered in grime. But I’m that way because I don’t just wonder what is down those dark tunnels… I find out for myself.

So here it is, the latest from the Parisian underground, the disused metro stations Croix Rouge and Arsenal.

I decided to put these two stations into a single post because… well, while Croix Rouge is a pretty damm cool abandoned station, Arsenal is actually a bit boring, so it is tacked onto the end of this report.

If your interested in this, you might also want to check out posts on the other phantom metro stations in Paris; St Martin and Champ de Mars.


Both Croix Rouge and Arsenal share a similar story with the other abandoned metro stations in Paris, they were both amongst the non essential stations closed on the 2nd September 1939 due the mobilisation of Paris metro employees for the Second World War. Like the others, they remained closed due to their proximity to surrounding stations and have since never seen a commuter. Although the lines which run through the station are still active.

Croix Rouge was put in service in 1923 and at the time was a terminus for line 10. It is the only station amongst the Parisian phantom stations which remains as it was when closed. The station has never been reused by the RATP (Parisian metro authority) as there is no easy access for RATP staff or clandestine visitors alike. The advertisements, seats and even the station masters booth can still be found on the platform.

One of exits of Croix Rouge has been turned into a ventilation shaft and the old entrances on the street have been demolished. All that signals the existence of the station are two grills on the footpath. Take a close look and and you can catch a glimpse of the white tiles on the walls of the former station.

The station Croix Rouge (Red Cross) actually takes its name from the crossroads below which the station was built and not the international organisation of the same name which was created some time later.


The station Arsenal is situated on line 5 and is now nothing more than a storage area for RATP junk. The station was reused at some stage for the training of RATP agents (maybe still?), and there are still offices in the former corridors. In contrast to Croix Rouge, Arsenal is stripped of all that once made it a station. All of the distinct white ceramic tiles are gone except a few at one end of the station and the platform space is taken up by storage rooms.

If your interested in this, you might also want to check out posts on the other phantom metro stations in Paris; Champ De Mars, St Martin, Molitor.


23 thoughts on “Croix Rouge and Arsenal, Phantom Metro Stations – Paris, France”

  1. Thank you for this post. Do you know where the entrance to the metro de la croix rouge was located? Was it by chance where that centaur statue is located today? I say this because there appears to be a ventilation grate there. Thanks in advance!

    1. Thats it as far as I know, the other one is across the road (look for the grill on the footpath and you will see the white tiles).

  2. I was just in Paris and the outside entrance to Arsenal along the Bassin de l’Arsenal, just south of the pedestrian bridge over the Bassin, is boarded up but has a recessed doorway and a sign about a training center for RATP employees. (It has so much graffiti over the sign, it’s not clear if it’s still used for that.)

    I thought I read somewhere that Croix-Rouge is used in films, with other name-signs put up? Or was that some other station? I was thinking that would explain its more traditional look.

    1. Hey Dan, Croix Rouge is not used for filiming, there is actually another disused station (platform really) called Porte des Lilas for that purpose. The tracks at the disused Porte des Lilas platform are not in active service (although trains can be garaged there) and there is still regular access to the platform (although locked) so that is the station of choice in Paris if a genuine metro backdrop is required for filming.

  3. Are the chairs in the Croix Rouge station really orange plastic? That really doesn’t strike me as being original to the WWII era, it seems like they would have been from a couple decades later.

  4. Hey Marshall,
    could you tell me which lines I need to use to see the stations from the train? Croix Rouge, Champs de Mars, St. Martin, etc.?
    Thanks a lot in advance..

  5. Hey dude,

    I would like to visit these stations… I want to ask you how do you reach them ? Could I reach the stations by outside ? Or I MUST pass through the metro way ?

    Many thank’s

  6. Hello,

    Great photowork.
    I love to go there too.
    What is the best option, and on with entree can I go to the underground of Croix Rouge.
    Thank you, and again, great photowork.

    By, Esh.

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