Sunday, March 1, 2015

Catacombes de Paris


The Catacombs of Paris is the name given to some ossuaries found in Paris France. Those ossuaries have the remains of more than six million people which fills the renovated tunnels and caverns. This makes it considered the largest grave in the world. It was opened late into the 18th century and became a small scale tourist attraction, being opened to the public from 1874. Some form of vandalism took place causing its closure in 2009 but it was later reopened in December within the same year.


The earliest grounds for burial in Paris were located on the southern outskirts of Left bank city. The fall of the Roman empire in the 5th century left ruins that caused Parisians to abandon the settlements and move to the Right bank. With lands being filled rapidly, they begun to bury the dead in cemeteries located right at the center of the Right bank.


Saint Innocents was already overflowing by the end of that same century. They had to make more room by exhuming the long dead and packing their bones on the walls and roofs of charnier galleries. The central burial ground became filled with the dead from diseases, wars, famine, and the Hotel-Dieu morgue and hospital remains. The conditions were also deteriorating despite the series of decrees that limited the use of the cemetery.



In 1785, a well was dug for receiving the unearthed remains of Les Innocents, with the property itself being transformed to a museum. The opening ceremony was within the same year the Tombe-Issoire and Les Innocents a possession of wagons carrying millions of dead Parisians.


The Catacombs underwent renovations in 1810 which transformed the underground caverns to a mausoleum that could be visited. The femurs and skulls were arranged into the patterns seen today with cemetery decorations being used to complement the bone walls.















You can use the metro station of San Giovanni to reach San Sebastino, then take bus number 218 and alight near Fosse Ardeatine. The catacombs entrance is a short walking distance from there.

Admission fee - €10


10 comments:

  1. Arlena3/01/2015

    I can't imagine a more somber or depressing place to visit. Though oddly enough, the skulls form a bizarre art work piece in the underground catacombes. I would have been very sad there being surrounded by the remains of all those who had gone on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I myself am unsure if I could even enter that place. The history among so many people who passed away. I do agree it looks like an art piece with how they're all arranged in such a kind way. It's as if it was set up this way to respect the dead. I think this is just a way to praise the dead.

      Delete
    2. (: I felt a little bit sad when for the first couple of minutes. Then I got used to it.

      Delete
  2. I really felt touched glancing through these pictures because it made me have a sober reflection about the entire world and mans existence generally. I really think this is a place people should visit often, and maybe juveniles and prisoners too because the images alone passes a lot of silent comment that can correct anyone with dysfunctional behavior back to the right part. Above all, its a good way to immortalize these dead and may their soul continue to rest in peace. Nice Job Kate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Joseph. Sorry about my late response.

      Delete
  3. Hi Kate, from your article, you said there was a sort of vandalism that took place at the catacombs. Please, was the vandalism on property or the bone remains?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catacomb was closed due to vandalism in 2009. The piles of bones were destroyed by unknown people for unknown reasons. :(

      Delete
  4. It's a new and wondering information to me....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is new to a lot of people. I learnt about Catacombs recently.

      Delete
  5. I might have to visit Paris to explore the catacombs

    ReplyDelete