June 2nd, 2012
WELCOME TO THE EMPIRE OF THE DEAD!
The Catacombs of Paris is a very interesting, somewhat creepy but ultimately fascinating experience. They are an underground cemetery beneath the streets of Paris which contains the human remains from former Paris cemeteries that were moved to old underground quarries in the 18th century (consecrated April 7th, 1786). This was done as the original cemeteries were overcrowded and had become a source of disease.
The walls of the catacombs are lined in a macabre but fascinating decorative way with the skulls and bones of Parisians – they say 6 million people are down there making it the largest underground necropolis in the world (hence it is known as the “Empire of the Dead“), yet they only cover 1/800th of the actual underground quarries of Paris. During your visit you walk through 2 kilometres / 1.24 miles of catacombs (they are of course much bigger than this though with around 290 kilometers / 180 miles of tunnels).