The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries in Paris, France, which is one of the most haunted places on the Earth. It holds the remains of more than six million people in a small part of a tunnel network built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone mines. They’re some of the creepiest and most taboo places on the planet. For a city of lights that is known worldwide for its fashion, romance, and culture, Paris is hiding a dark secret. These little-known facts about the vast Catacombs of Paris will leave you puzzled.
The Catacombs remained largely bygone until it became a novelty place for concerts and private events in the early 19th century. After further reconstructions around Place Denfert-Rochereau, it was open to public visitation from 1874.
Paris’s original spot to be bury was at Saints Innocents, the city’s oldest and most used graveyard. But in the 18th century, the cemeteries were running out of space. If that wasn’t bad enough, some bodies weren’t buried properly and were spreading disease. So the Parisian officials chose to condemn the city’s cemeteries and move the remains they contained elsewhere. So all of them were taken to their final resting place which is now known as the Catacombs of Paris. The Catacombs of Paris became a curiosity for more privileged Parisians from their creation.
Every day, thousands of Parisians and tourists are unaware that they’re walking directly above a long series of underground tunnels that house 6 million skeletons. A dark history that often goes without notice as busybodies commute to work going about their daily antics whilst a mysterious world exists below. The tunnels are known as the Paris Catacombs.
Although the catacombs offered space to bury the dead, they presented disadvantages to building structures because the catacombs are directly under the main streets, so large foundations cannot be built. For this reason, there are only a few tall buildings in this area. Skulls upon skulls. Bones perfectly arranged by hand to form ongoing, never-ending walls made of skeleton pieces. What’s truly shocking is how many bones have actually been deposited there. This may seem odd to some visitors, but the whole experience is quite repetitive due to the large volume of bones that never seems to end.
A group of urban explorers known as Cataphiles has also spent vast amounts of time within the depths of the Catacombs for their own enjoyment and adventure. They have also created maps so that people who visit there don’t get lost in the vast tunnels.
Apart from bones, there’s some pretty good wine on offer within the catacombs, too. There was a case in 2017 when a gang of French thieves drilled through the walls of the Catacombs into a nearby vault, which was located under an apartment and contained around 300 bottles of vintage wine. After this, the Catacombs were closed to the public during September 2009 and reopened on 19th December of the same year.
Now it is open to public visitation as a museum. So you can also visit there if you want to.