The Catacombs of Paris

June 2nd, 2012


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.

Paris Catacombs empire of the dead
“Here is the Empire of the Dead”
Catacombs of Paris
Catacombs of Paris

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).

Catacombs of Paris Tunnel Skull
The long and winding tunnels of the Catacombs of Paris
Catacombs of Paris skull
Can you imagine placing all these skulls and bones there?
Catacombs of Paris skull and cross bones
Skull and cross bones!
Catacombs of Paris Skulls
Empire of the Dead
Paris Catacombs
So many bones
Skull Catacombs of Paris Empire of the dead
The identity of this person is lost for ever…..such mystery!
Empire of the dead Paris
Somewhat creepy, but ultimately a fascinating place

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