Catacombs The Chilling Side of the City of Paris?

Paris, the infamous city of France is known for its neoclassical architecture, impeccable cuisine, its romantic atmosphere and culture.

But, little is known about the numerous stacks of human bones which the City of Love stands above – The Paris Catacombs.

The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries which hold the remains of more than six million Parisians. At a depth of 20 meters below the grounds of Paris, lie miles of tunnels bursting with bones telling a story. A story of the city which could no longer contain its dead.

The city that stands above its dead

Via – parisperfect.com

In the 13th century Paris, the mining of limestone quarries gave birth to an enormous underground city. It consisted of an intricate web of tunnels. Five centuries later, the growing European Hub ran into a major problem: their cemeteries started overflowing.

Residents of the Les Halles neighbourhood near Paris’s oldest and largest cemetery, Les Innocents complained about the unbearable stench of decomposing flesh that filled the air. Even perfume stores claimed that they couldn’t continue their business because of the unpleasant smell.

As a result, in 1763 Louis XV banned further burials in the capital. But, since the Church didn’t want the cemeteries to be disturbed nothing was changed.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

In 1780, a prolonged period of rain caused a wall around the Les Innocents to collapse. The property was flooding with old bones and rotten bodies which even caused some outbreaks of diseases. The city authorities then turned to the abandoned quarry tunnels as a solution to their problem. They used them as a dumping ground for these human remains.

It took the inhabitants of several cemeteries to fill each catacomb. To avoid disturbing the locals, they moved the bodies in the dead of night, hidden under a dark cloth on carts. By the end of the process, millions of late Parisians had been moved to the ossuaries with their bones lining the walls from head to toe. Eventually after 1860, as other facilities became available, no fresh bodies were buried in the tunnels.

Apart from this, the tunnels were also used by farmers to grow mushrooms, as hide-outs during World War II and as a home to German bunkers.

Via – flickr.com

The Empire of Death

Today, a little over a mile of the catacombs are open for visitors to explore. The 45-minute walk-through provides visitors with a glance of the narrow and dingy passages of the catacombs, taking them centuries back in history. Inside the ossuary, bones are neatly stacked along the corridors, arranged in different patterns, such as crosses and hearts.

The chilling catacombs have also attracted a group of rebellious individuals who call themselves the ‘Cataphiles’. These Cataphiles spend most of their time exploring off-limit areas of the underground tunnels.

The sign above its entrance reads, “Arrête, c’est ici l’empire de la mort!” literally translating to “Stop! This is the empire of death!” which then leads one to the vast labyrinth of the underground catacombs whose mysteries are yet to be discovered.

Read Also: Paris Syndrome: A real thing?

Follow us

8,430FansLike
2,100FollowersFollow
239FollowersFollow

Trending

International Women’s Day: Why This Important Day Is Celebrated

0
To celebrate the spirit of women empowerment every year, the 8th of March is celebrated as International Women’s Day worldwide. In the 21st century, we are...
What Should You Do When You Are Sent To Debt Collectors?

What Should You Do When You Are Sent To Debt Collectors?

0
Each month, there are a number of bills that we have to sort and pay on time. These bills include regular household activities as...
world heritage sites

Did You Know About These World Heritage Sites In India?

0
"India is the only country whose basic of life is Dharma. We have developed the path of spirituality." - Swami Vivekanand Notably, India is one...
Why We Can’t Stop Playing Solitaire And How To Avoid Such A Problem

Why We Can’t Stop Playing Solitaire And How To Avoid Such A Problem

0
Solitaire is said to have appeared more than 200 years ago. Today, there are dozens of Solitaire online options while long before the invention...
fear of happiness

Cherophobia- The Fear of Happiness

4
Cherophobia is also known as the fear of happiness or the aversion to happiness. In this case, a person is in a position where...

Recent post

Shit bus

Did you Know About the Shit Bus?

0
Point to worry Every now and then, screens of TV and mobile phones flash up the news of depleting the mineral resources. Petrol and diesel...

Kinds of Stuff You Can Legally Do In These 5 Nations!

0
Of course, life turns out to be restrictive at times. Certainly, we have the liberty to seek peace and comfort simply within the speculations....

Motivation: The four ways to a happy life.

0
What is Motivation? Anyone would say encouragement to do something. Exactly, motivation is defined as, "Process of stimulating people to action to accomplish goals."...

Does Smelling Food Causes Weight Gain?

1
In a recently published in the journal study of Cell Metabolism, researchers have concluded that mice, who cannot smell their food do not gain weight! The...

These Amazing Theories Prove That Parallel Universes Really Exist!

0
Do Parallel Universes Really Exist? Parallel Universe is the concept of hidden and undetectable reality. Let us begin this with an instance. Following the laws...

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.