Tourbus Tuesdays - The Catacombs
One of our favorite places to take our friends in Paris is the Catacombs. A huge ossuary in part of the underground quarries (stone from here was used to make Notre Dame, the Louvre and the city ramparts) used to build Paris, it is a fascinating if not slightly creepy adventure into the underground world of Paris. Many cemeteries during the 18th and 19th centuries were closed due to health reasons and over 6 million skeletons were transported through the streets of Paris at night to their new home in the Catacombs. Not only is this a huge amount, but it is also what they did with the bones that makes it interesting. They used the skulls and femurs to make designs, even little chapels and huge columns.
You will find morbid little poems everywhere mixed in with signs indicating from which cemetery the bones were taken. It is fascinating. Victims of the guillotine were buried here. Even Robespierre's remains are here. It is a delicious example of the rich and often hidden history that makes Paris such a fascinating city.
* For more information, check this site: www.catacombs.paris.fr