Paris Catacombs -Warning Graphic Photos ahead…

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to see the Paris Catacombs or not.  On the one hand it seemed like a can’t miss opportunity.  I mean who else buries 6 million people underground and makes it a tourist attraction?  On the other hand, it’s kind of gross and sad.  I left it up to my travel partner.  If she was game then so was I.  We took the train out there and saw the line to get in to the ossuaries was literally around the block.  We left and meandered the lovely streets of La Butte-aix-Cailles instead thinking the line might die down later in the day.  Turns out one needs to prepare to wait a long while if they want to stare at a bunch of dead people miles underground.

The catacombs were created to solve the problem of overcrowding in the cemeteries which had been closed due to health concerns.  The bones of millions of people were transferred in to the  abandoned quarries in 1786-1859 and only opened later in the 19th century as a tourist attraction.  I still don’t know how I feel about taking money from people to go and visit a “cemetery” but I hope the money goes to the upkeep of the place.

I am grateful I was with my friend because it would have been pretty creepy to do on one’s own.  After descending and ascending what felt like a million stairs we got our minds off of the fact we had just walked by and photographed human remains and ate dinner at one of the best Italian Restaurants I have ever attended @ Cafe Latarantella.  All was right in the world once more after that dinner.

This post was inspired by Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge.  Check out my last Odd Ball Challenge from Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

39 thoughts on “Paris Catacombs -Warning Graphic Photos ahead…

  1. Wow!! Fascinating!! I would Love to visit this. Cemeteries and graveyards truly amaze me! Since I was a small girl I’ve always felt an attraction to this type of thing. IMHO We have more to fear from the living than the dead.

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  2. Thanks for sharing these great photos. The catacombs were one of the most unique and memorable things that we did in Paris. The sight of millions of bones meticulously stacked was just incredible, although we did have to sit down for a glass of wine afterwards to shake off the creepiness.

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  3. Absolutely fascinating, even if macabre! I quite like bones and cemeteries in general but I think this would freak me out a little just for the fact that they have been ‘artistically’ arranged. I’d still check it out though!

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    • Well said! It is creepy and fascinating all at the same time. I read somewhere that the people thought it disrespectful to just pile them down there so they started arranging them in an interesting fashion which somehow makes it more respectful. I must admit it does. But, then at the same time one doesn’t know which bones belong to which person.

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  4. Hmm… I don’t know that it would bother me to see all of this. I just can’t quit thinking about the people who actually did the arranging. I mean, it’s one thing to look at these bones hundreds of years later and have no connections to these people, but to touch freshly deceased bones? How does that even work?!

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  5. Pingback: Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 31 – Cee's Photography

  6. I love cemeteries! I’ve not been to this one despite having visited Paris several times. I really need to rectify that. I’m glad to see, though, they allow photos – I visited the catacombs in Lima but photography was forbidden 😦

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  7. Pingback: Cee’s Weekly Wrap August 6, 2016 and WPC-Morning – Cee's Photography

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