It's just unforgetable to be 20 meters under ground and see hundreds of thousands human bones correctly layered as ordinary fireplace logs...
Use of the photo tripod is forbidden. Too bad... Flash is forbidden too but as the security person said 'little flash is ok".
I went off season so there were very few people. You buy a ticket and proceed down several stairways to enter the catacombs. At first I was the only person there. Veeeeery scary! You walk through a display of pictures that I guessed decribed how the catacombs were built and renovated to become the tourist destination they are today. Then you get to the area were bones from different cemetaries are stacked upon each other. The skull and leg bones are stacked in design patterns. The names of each street above you are inscribed on the wall. You can easily imagine the Jewish resistance setting up in these tunnels. I finally saw other people, two men that I practically walked into in my effort to stay close (it was scary in there!). They had a good laugh about that.
I didn't pay attention to where the exit let you out and I was a little lost, you walk a long way through the tunnels. I found a metro and figured out where I was.
This was my husband's "Must See" more than mine, but I have to admit going down flights and flights of stairs underground and following along dark tunnels lined with skulls and bones was quite...intriguing (I think they were located from a full cemetery which had to be moved.)
As we were walking down the long spiral stairs into the Catacombs, I thought we'd never reach the bottom. It's a freaky thing to know that you're going to be surrounded by bones for an hour.
The silence is what you notice first. You're below the streets of Paris and it's so quiet. You notice the soot path along the ceiling from torches that were carried through the halls before electricity was installed. And then come the bones.
The ossuary covers a surface of 11,000 m². In 1785, six million bones from Parisian cemeteries were transferred to Montrouge and assembled in the former Montrouge quarries.The labyrinth of corridors covers a lengh of 1.7 km.
The first and only time I went there it was with my school. This excursion was organized by my Philosophy Teacher... Interesting, no?
It is very popular sight in Paris. These underground tunnels are lined with the neatly stacked bones of millions of Parisians which were placed in a disused quarry around 200 years ago to solve the problems of the city's crowded cemeteries.
An underground walkway lined with human bones. Some of the cemetaries of Paris were filling up...causing a bad aroma and attracting rats and so on...therefore they began to put many of the human remains in these underground quarries. There are the bones of around 5-6 million people kept here in a small portion of the 300km of the underground corridors. It makes for an interesting (not to mention different) tourist spot. I liked it. They search bags at the exit to make sure people don't steal the bones. People over the age of 60 can get in for free.
There is a whole different world below your feet in Paris that is worth a visit! I highly recommend visiting the Catacombs. There is also the Musee d'Egouts (sewer museum) which is a must if you are a fan of Les Miserables or don't mind dank dark foul-smelling places. Both are very interesting places to visit that many people miss out on when visiting Paris.
The Catacombs- This place is really cool! You head down a lot of spiral stairs and find yourself deep beneath the city in the catacombs. The atmosphere is dank, dark and creepy with some unknown liquid dripping from the ceilings. Once inside the main section, you will pass by huge stacks of bones decorated by skulls. These are the remains of Parisians who were dug up from a cemetery. Don't lean back or you may end up resting against a pile of bones!
The sewer museum invites you into the world that Victor Hugo wrote about in Les Miserables when Valjean made his journey through the sewer system. Each road has a comparable one below- with its own street sign. A very fascinating world to see, the sewer museum is not for the weak-stomached, though. I must warn you that a lot of the time you are walking on metal grills above rushing sewer water and the smell can be overwhelming.
LES CATACOMBES Humans are curious creatures. Thousands of people flock to the Catacombes every year to see millions of human bones buried in this underground. The idea of seeing skeletons and skulls may seem repulsive but there is a fascinating story behind this place. These bones were excavated and brought to this place in 1785 when the overflowing cemeteries were deemed a health threat. And imagine it served as the headquarters for the French Resistance. Now do you still want to complain about your cubicle at work? And don't ask why I am smiling in the picture! :)
The coolest thing to see in Paris! So surreal it is almost hard to beleive what you are seeing. Probably not for the faint of heart, or clausterphobics. HIGHLY recommended!
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