Les Catacombes

The Paris Catacombs. A couple centuries ago some big cemetery started leaking into the Paris city center and so they got the idea to exhume all the bodies and move them to the catacombs.

0.5 lion in square

In the turnaround next to the catacombs is this cool statue. I don’t know what it is, but i thought it was nice. You can see the typical french style architecture in the buildings behind.

1 outside

Front entrance to the catacombs. They only let you go down in groups of 10 or 20 at a time.

2 carvings under ground

You have to walk quite a distance to get to the actual rooms of bones. There are some carvings along the way.

3 hallway

Lighted hallway. Most of the passageways were quite dark.

Estimates are there are 3 million bodies down there. In each room they mark when the bones were moved and where they came from.

4 hall of bones

Hall of bones. There were many, many hallways like this.

The walls of each hallway are all made of skulls and femurs stacked up and behind this, we presume, they dumped all the rest of the bones. So you walk for a long, long time through hallways of skulls and femurs.

5 pillar of bones

Pillar of bones.

It is macabre, but not as bad as you might think. In each room an effort was made to remember the souls of the dead, and the rooms were obviously stacked with reverence…

7 heart

Bones in decorative shapes, here is a heart.
There were lots of cross shapes too.

…but still…

There are myriads of passages going every which way. All along the path we walked there is a black mark on the ceiling, because there did not used to be lights down there and back when they had candles and torches it helped them find the way without getting lost.

6 mark on ceiling

This is not a very good picture but you can see the mark on the ceiling.

On the way out there is a bag check, because apparently theft of the bones is common.


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