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"Les Halles and des Innocents" Forum Des Halles Tip by illumina

Forum Des Halles, Paris: 24 reviews and 44 photos

Les Halles was Paris's main food market for over eight hundred years until it was moved out to the suburbs in 1969 and replaced by a large shopping centre (much of it underground). Most of the area above ground was landscaped into a park.

On the other side of the Forum des Halles (the shopping centre), is the Fontaine des Innocents, a beautiful Renaissance fountain, which takes its name from the cemetery that once occupied this site, the Cimitiere des Innocents. In use from the 12th century, and by then full to overflowing, this cemetery was closed down in 1786 and its roughly two million 'inhabitants' exhumed and transferred to the unused subterranean quarries now known as the Catacombes.

The soil of the cemetery had a reputation for decomposing a body rapidly, apparently with 24 hours (although more likely it would have taken at least 5 years!).

Des Innocents was probably also the site of the earliest Danse Macabre (Dance of Death), painted on the wall of the cemetery (see the website below).

Address: Metro: Chatelet, Les Halles
Directions: Between Rue Berger & Rue Rambuteau.
Phone: +33 1 44 76 87 08

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 12, 2006
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