Interesting places in Paris - Catacombs

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Paris, known as the city of lovers, is a place of excursions not only for couples. Enthusiasts of history, architecture, fashion, cinematography and people who want to learn the magic of this amazing city come here. Paris is undoubtedly a city where a lot is happening, after all, it is a cultural and political center of France. From the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, discover the must-see places in Paris! However, we will start our cycle from a place where couples are not necessarily going to go on their first date. Explore the Paris Catacombs.

Catacombs, or the city of the dead

The network of corridors beneath the city are remnants of the Roman Empire. Their total length exceeds 50 kilometers, but they have not always been used to store human remains. For many years, they were just quarries, covering an area of ​​770 hectares, from which lime was extracted to build the city walls. Only in the 18th century, due to the threat of an epidemic in overpopulated Paris, King Louis XVI commissioned an architect who was involved in the renovation of tunnels to place the corpse from a nearby cemetery in the catacombs. With time, the dead from all cemeteries in the city were brought there.

Some of the crypts and tunnels can be visited. These include, among others, the Crypt of the Passion (Rotunda Piszczeli) and the Tomb of Gilbert. The route does not exceed two kilometers. Visiting this place is a controversial issue to this day, as it is not a typical tourist attraction. Visitors, surrounded by thousands of skeletons, descend more than 20 meters underground. There, through narrow corridors, in the dark and cold, more skulls pass. Right in front of the entrance there is the inscription “Stop, here's the kingdom of death.” The quarry authorities emphasize, however, that the opening of the catacombs is not intended to create a house of fear, but a place where tourists can reflect on life and death.

Catacombs in culture

Despite the statements of the quarry authorities, from the moment the corridors were made available in the 19th century, the place attracted artists fascinated by the subject of death. Victor Hugo, among others, was a regular visitor of the underworld, who set the plot of his novel Les Miserables there. There are also terrible legends about the place about daredevils who decided to explore the catacombs on their own and never came back, which is very often used by filmmakers. Therefore, from time to time we have the opportunity to watch another horror movie with the catacombs in the background, one of the latest images is As in Hell, and on Earth.

The entrance to the tunnels is in a small green building next to the Denfert-Rochereau underground station, which can be reached on metro lines 4 and 6. The catacombs are open every day, except Mondays, from 10am to 5pm. The admission ticket costs 8 euros for adults, and 4 euros for people up to 26 years old.