"Catacombs" Catacombs Tip by Dabs

Catacombs, Paris: 56 reviews and 106 photos

by Dabs
  • Catacombs - Paris
    by Dabs
  • Catacombs - Paris
    by Dabs

I was extremely relieved when Ed (kaspian) said that the Catacombs were creepy, I'd be a little worried about someone who didn't find stacks of the skulls and bones of an estimated 6 million people, artfully arranged into endless walls, just a little eerie. Where did all these bones come from? The bones were relocated from cemeteries that were dug up and moved over the years starting with the Cimitiere des Innocents in 1786 when the decomposing bodies started oozing into the cellars at the nearby Les Halles market. Knowing this, it was a little disconcerting when you felt dripping from above, even if most of the dead bodies surely would have decomposed over the course of 200+ years, right? The dead are organized by cemetery, not by person, the bones stacked by type of bone. Prostitutes, beggars, doctors, farmers, shopkeepers literally rubbing shoulders with prominent Parisians such as author Charles Perrault, composer Jean Baptiste Lully, politician Jean-Baptiste Colbert, playwright Molière and figures from the French Revolution such as Robespierre and Danton.

There was a long line when we arrived but it went quickly, note that the last entrance is at 4pm as it closes at 5pm. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm, cost currently 8E. Wear good walking shoes, we were there for at least 45 minutes and some of the path is wet, my shoes were covered in mud. Don't think about taking a souvenir skull, they have attendants checking your bags at the exit, I think they even confiscated one the day we were there.

Address: Place Denfert-Rochereau, 14e
Directions: Metro Station: Denfert-Rochereau
Phone: +33 1 43 22 47 63
Website: http://www.catacombes-de-paris.fr/english.htm

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 13, 2011
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