The Catacombs: A History


A Very Creepy Workout

A few weeks ago I decided to visit the catacombs of Paris. I had in my head that this would be an amazing experience, that I would learn so much and see a great history. Instead I was creeped out by the amount of skulls and femurs stacked up like Lincoln Logs. That and the questionable water dripping from the ceiling, which I hope wasn't sewer water since it got in my hair. And while very morbid, it was an interesting experience and a great workout. Yep nothing like 100+ stairs to start your day. So here's the history behind the catacombs of Paris. 

Worlds largest necropolis

Taking up the equivalent space of 1/800 of Paris, millions of people are buried in the catacombs of Paris. All of these remains were originally in cemeteries but they were moved to the underground catacombs in Paris.

Neatly Stacked Bones
Must have taken some time

Paris needed more space

By the 18th century, Paris was running out of room and overflowing with people. And instead of building it's cemeteries on the outskirts of the town, Paris had built quite a few in the center of Paris, preventing it from expanding. So Louis XVI ordered that the cemeteries be consolidated and the bones moved underground in order to allow more space for the growing city.

It was intended to be a museum

Instead of throwing all the bones in the cave, they stacked them nicely and in patterns. This means that people had room to walk around and it was a little easier on the eye. This surely took more time than just putting the bones underground, and the reason why is because they planned on making it a museum. Originally people were only allowed in once a year, then it became once a month, then once a week. Today people can visit any day, but just may have to wait in line as no more than 200 people can be down at once.

Get ready for a workout

130 stairs in just one direction. Since these were built like mines, there are no elevators, only stairs, spiraling so much it's like spinning around with your eyes closed before pinning the tail on the donkey. And I don't care what shape you're in, you're going to be winded when you finally do resurface from the caves of death.

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