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.