An underground adventure..Paris Catacombs

les Carrieres de Paris
Known as the quarries of Paris

The Paris Catacombs is one of the famous burial places in Paris, France. Although widely known as the catacombs its official name is “les Carrieres de Paris” translated as quarries of Paris. It is an arrangement of cavernous tunnels and rooms located in what were Roman-era limestone quarries. It was in the late 18th century, the quarries were converted into a mass tomb.

Remains of the dead from the riots which took place in the places of Greve, Rue Meslee and the Hotel de Brienne were relocated in catacombs on August of 1788. Victor Hugo practiced his expertise for the tunnel structure in Les Miserables which was later used by some Parisian members of the French Resistance during World War II. An underground bunker was also established in the catacombs below Lycee Montaigne by the German soldiers. Though, the underground tunnels and chambers were long keep safe during the construction of Paris, quarries do sprout which results in a hole in the ground causing damage to buildings.

After incidents like this, for means of prevention the Inspection Generale des Carrieres was established to supervise the quarries and forbids digging of new ones.  On the other hand the IGC dig some parts and thus make them legal for the purpose of observation and preservation of the catacombs and quarries of Paris. Until this day on the IGC, continues to monitor the quarries of Paris.

The entrances to the catacombs are classified. Although there are portions of the catacombs for public viewing but nothing more fulfilling than to see the catacombs at its best. The tunnel system of the catacomb is yet multifaceted. The tunnel for public viewing is at least 300km path. Although in some tunnels there are plaques indicating the name of the street above, still you will be need a guide to manoeuvre in the tunnel.

Paris Catacombs has a lot to discover. If you plan to explore it, you should also have a expert guide with you.

7 thoughts on “An underground adventure..Paris Catacombs”

  1. By far the creepiest and the coolest thing I have ever seen! When I visited Paris Catacombs last year, I knew I was gonna see some bones. But not in my wildest dreams did I expect to see that much bones. Being inside the Paris Catacombs gives you a cold feeling especially when you think that the bones lining the walls are REAL bones of REAL people rich and poor alike. From afar the bones look like small stones, but when you take a closer look you see skulls, and other bone parts of human beings. While walking through the catacombs, sometimes I actually get an eerie feeling that the skulls were looking at me! Still, I appreciate the fact that they opened this to the public. The atmosphere inside the catacombs is a bit depressing, and yet it is an experience well worth the trip to Paris.

  2. It is nice to hear that there were organizations like Inspection Generale des Carrieres (IGC) that were established for the maintenance of such tourist spot. It should also be done to other tourists spots that needs to be preserved. All the hard works of those who created it will be gone to waste if we, at present, does not take the responsibility of preserving it.

  3. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing.
    I have had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.

    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost
    just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any suggestions or hints? Many thanks!

  4. I’ve been in the catacombs in Rome, and they were asmowee; so much history. But we never got a chance to check out the ones beneath Paris. Interesting story about the guy who claims to have gotten attacked an dragged away, and also that there are people who enjoy staying down there for days I wonder how/if they sleep!

  5. Thanks Angie! The Catacombs are sooooooooo cerpey! I have a lot of unexplained things in my photos too. I have been there twice now and its definitely a must see when you visit! Jealous that you are headed there next week, I hope you have a great time!

  6. Haaaaaan comme je te déteste déjà, tu es belle comme tout, tu écrit super bien tu es drole et tu sais comment camoufler les cernes. Dis moi que t’as plein de gros défauts cachés .Merci pour ce blog j’ai déjà dévoré trois page (et suis restée en fascination devant la vidéo ou du fond de teint. Allez ça m’a motivée, je peux le faire aussi.

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