Memorial des Martyrs de la Deportation
Square de l'Ile-de-France, 7 Quai de l'Archevêché, 75004 Paris, France
Sobering & Moving Visit to MemorialThis memorial to the 200,000 people deported from Vichy France to the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War, is on the site of a former morgue and built underground behind Notre Dame. It was designed by French modernist architect Georges-Henri Pingusson and opened in 1962. Pingusson intended that its long and narrow subterranean space convey a feeling of claustrophobia. A narrow chamber containing 200,000 crystals with light shining through are meant to symbolize each of the deportees who died in the concentration camps; at the end of the tunnel is a single bright light. A stark iron gate overlooking the Seine enhances the feeling of entrapment.