Tourist Guide Paris

Catacombs of Paris


Large, branching passages can be found underneath Paris. Sometimes half of the city can be reached underground and hence one does not have to even come into day-light to walk through Paris. The remains of the ‘carrières’ (quarries) are mystical and mysterious and were created in the 13th century as lime-stone was removed from underground. As a result this formed passages 330km in length. Unfortunately these tunnels were never properly secured and consequently, in the 18th century entire streets collapsed!

After the middle ages Paris grew steadily and as a result space for corpses was running out hence bodies were exhumed a short time after burial. Although this created more space the stench this created was unbearable. Hence the corpses were from 1795 brought into the Catacombs. At first the remains of the bodies were simply poured into the tunnels, however after a short time the grave diggers began to make obscure figures and formations out of the skeletons. Meanwhile visitors can visit many of these artistic graves. However, the majority of the catacombs are not open to the public as the tunnels are occasionally so intertwined that one can quickly get lost. Other wells are used for electric cables or have been expanded for the Metro. Still other tunnels are used for the French national bank which deposits some of the state treasury there.