Paris Catacombs top tourist attraction for vacations in France
This chilling underground graveyard opened being a tourist attraction in 1874, and houses the remains of over 6 million Parisians.
With its eerily ornate bone formations, the Paris Catacombs looks like some macabre artwork but it really actually spawned from practicality. Overcrowded graveyards from the late 1700s were causing health problems inside city, for example the spread of
disease through contaminated water. From 1786 to 1814, the exhumed bones from your city’s cemeteries were moved to the abandoned underground limestone quarries, plus the result would be the haunting catacombs. The passageways will be more than a mile long (1.6 kilometers), with wall-to-wall skeletal remains neatly arranged around memorial plaques. The bones are arranged as outlined by bone type – skulls, femurs, tibias. Some bones will be more than a century old, with many that go back to the French Revolution.
Visitors enter inside 14th arrondissement, descend underground via 130 steps after which wind from the low-ceilinged, candlight tunnels. The walls feature intricate carvings, called the Sculptures of Decure. Dating back to 1777, the works are created by Decure, an army veteran and quarry inspector, who perished each time a sinkhole opened while on an upper level on the tunnel.
Rent a customized audio tour, which walks you throughout the winding passages and still provide background on some on the ossuary’s highlights. These include the Fountain of Samaritan, a little spring encircled by way of a wall of bones. The oldest artifact within the catacombs could be the Sepulchral Lamp, that has been lit by quarrymen working within the corridors. Allow sixty minutes to wander over the tunnels, which can be open daily except Mondays. Adults must accompany children under the age of 14.
The entrance on the Paris Catacombs is nondescript, hidden in a patch of trees within the Place Denfert-Rochereau. Be prepared to wait an hour or so or more in line to go into the catacombs. Take a sweater since it gets cold underground even during summer. It can also be slippery so be careful, especially for the many stairs in and out on the tunnels. Stay on track, since you don’t need to find yourself lost within the further 180 miles (290 kilometers) of quarry tunnels. There is paid parking nearby, and riding on the bus stops nearby too.