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  • Day3

    Catacombs, Paris

    September 1, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    After a very busy morning getting lost and walking for what felt like ages, we headed back to our room to rest our feet for a bit before heading to the famous Catacombs of Paris.

    This time we didn’t get lost and found the Catacombs quite easily, although we were very surprised by the appearance of the entrance as it looked like an abandoned building. After an hour and a half long line-up in the sun we finally got to enter the Catacombs. Heading down underground was a bit daunting to start with but I quickly got use to it, and it was so hard to believe that these ancient man-made tunnels are still accessible today.

    The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries which hold the remains of more than six million people as part of the effort to eliminate the city's overflowing cemeteries. Work began in 1774 after a series of gruesome Saint Innocents-cemetery-quarter basement wall collapses added a sense of urgency to the cemetery-eliminating measure. From 1786, nightly processions of covered wagons transferred remains from most of Paris' cemeteries to the mine shaft opening.

    The ossuary remained largely forgotten until it became a novelty-place for concerts and other private events in the early 19th century. It was open to public visitation from 1874.

    This is one of those places that you have to see to believe. It is almost too much to take in - the rows and rows and walls of bones and skulls placed in perfect formation, and the sheer size and quantity of tunnels filled with remains. It also makes you wonder who decided to create different patterns with the bones and skulls. It feels so disrespectful yet interesting at the same time.

    Certainly an experience I will never forget.
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