A strange place, gloomy but that tells the story of Paris. The catacombs of Paris, a term used to name the municipal ossuary, are originally part of the former underground quarries located in the 14th district of Paris, connected by inspection galleries. They were transformed into a municipal ossuary at the end of the 18th century with the transfer of the remains of about six million people, evacuated from various Parisian cemeteries until 1861 for public health reasons. They then take the abusive name of “catacombs” by analogy with the underground necropolises of ancient Rome, though they have never officially served as a burial place.
Located 65.62ft (20m) below the surface, the part open to the public is about 1,056mi (1.7 km) long. But this is only a small part of the vast underground quarries of Paris, which extend under several arrondissements of the capital. There are also other underground ossuaries in Paris, inaccessible to the public, and which remain particularly unknown.
Among these bones, many celebrities in the history of France buried in Paris also join this final burial place. Thus, Nicolas Fouquet (an intendant of Louis XIV), the minister Colbert, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Charles Perrault, Racine, Blaise Pascal, Montesquieu, Danton, Robespierre; Marat’s executive Charlotte Corday, Lavoisier, and many others have joined these pillars and walls of anonymous people.
Catacombs do not only receive official visitors. In 1897, a clandestine concert was given to a hundred guests from the Parisian world. There are also non-official catacombs, most of which are difficult to find. There are floor plates in Paris that we would take for simple sewer plates, but that allow access to service tunnels. Then, deeper, to the catacombs. There are a lot of different places. Notably, the Beach, where one can settle comfortably, some even organized a party for Halloween, with a DJ and mirror balls. You can also discover other rooms, such as the Electro Room, with super high ceilings or the bunker, built by the Germans during the war. All possess a soul, works of art and arrangements made by the cataphiles.
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