This was such a cool thing to do in Paris!! I highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about the dark history there. It’s eerie but so interesting!! It’s a little tricky, but definitely try to buy your tickets online before your trip. I wrote a step by step guide on how to do this on my blog. The site is entirely in French with no option for translation so it’s really hard to navigate. Send me a message if you want more info!
Beneath its boundless boulevards, charming buildings and iconic landmarks lies Paris' darkest spectacle – Les Catacombes. A 3,000km (1,864-mile) tunnel network of skulls and bones spans most of the city. In 1785 during the Revolutionary Terror, due to public burial pits overflowing, it was decided that the skeleltons of six million deceased be stored in the catacombes. The 20 metre descent below street-level leads you down to the dark passages packed with these human remains. You walk 2km finally reaching the ossuary, where just in case you needed reminding, a sign screams: 'Stop! This is the empire of death.'
If you haven't done it before, check out the Catacombs of Paris. While it can be a bit macabre (it's estimated that between six and seven million Parisians call the Catacombs their final resting place), during my trip I found the Catacombs to be a unique and interesting piece of Parisian history.
Tunneling through the 1.2 miles of nearly airless ossuaries that contain the disturbed bones of the six million Parisians whose remains were transferred here in the 18th century is spooky enough. But then you’ve also got to contend with 130 claustrophobic steps that spiral down from the sunny skies above into the somber catacombs below.
Once inside the catacombs, you are surrounded by the remains of about 6 millions Parisians within the 780 meters of galleys. The first human remains were deposited around 1786 in a disorganized manner. It was not until about 1810 where Hericart de Thury (1776-1854), ordered the organization of the bones in a decorative way as facades, as they are shown today.
An eerie, deeply philosophical trip that reminds us of how little time we actually have here.