"The Catacombs" Catacombs Tip by Tom_Fields

Catacombs, Paris: 56 reviews and 106 photos

  Entrance to the Catacombs
by Tom_Fields
 
  • Entrance to the Catacombs - Paris
      Entrance to the Catacombs
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  • Last chance to turn back! - Paris
      Last chance to turn back!
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  • Skulls and bones stacked up to the ceiling - Paris
      Skulls and bones stacked up to the ceiling
    by Tom_Fields
  • A macabre sight - Paris
      A macabre sight
    by Tom_Fields
  • Historical plaque - Paris
      Historical plaque
    by Tom_Fields
 

While not on everyone's to-see list, this is one of the most unique attractions in Paris--or anywhere. There is simply nothing else quite like it. Some other sights may be forgotten over time, but this one will stay with you forever.

In 1786, just before the Revolution, it was decided to move remains from the old cemetery at Les Halles to this location. Rock quarries had created vast underground spaces, where the bones could be reinterred. This huge task went on for years. By the time it was complete, the remains of about six million people had been relocated here. And here they have stayed. During World War II, it was the headquarters of the French Resistance. Today, this is one of the city's tourist attractions.

The narrow corridors, lined with human bones, stretch on for over half a mile. It's an incredible sight, one of the strangest things you'll ever see. The good part begins at a narrow archway with a sign reading: "Stop! This is the Empire of Death."

Address: Place Denfert-Rochereau, 14e
Directions: On the Left Bank, near Montparnasse. Open Tuesday-Sunday 2-4 (also 9-11am on weekends). Metro Station: Denfert-Rochereau.
Phone: +33 1 43 22 47 63
Website: http://www.catacombes.paris.fr/en/homepage-catacombs-official-website

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 15, 2008
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Tom_Fields

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