Paris Catacombs

The Catacombs of Paris (the “municipal Ossuary”) have been created at the end of the 18th century. The cemetery of Innocent (close to Saint-Eustace, in the district of the "Halles") had been used during nearly ten centuries and had become the origin of infection for all the inhabitants of the district. After multiple complaints, the Council of State, by decision of November 9, 1785, pronounced the removal and the evacuation of the cemetery of the Innocent ones.

The removal of the bones began after the blessing of the place on April 7, 1786 and was continued until 1788, always at night and according to a ceremonial made up of a procession of priests who sang the burial service along the way borrowed by the tipcarts charged with bones and covered with a black veil. Thereafter, this place was used, until 1814, to collect the bones of all the cemeteries of Paris.


  • Andy fromholmfirth 6y

    Quite a beautiful image ! Lovely black & white tones.
  • Lynette Lawlor 6y

    Cool image! What was it like down there? I have always wanted to go.
  • Andrew Mills 6y

    It's well worth a visit - there are about 2km of tunnels to walk through, about half of which are lined with bones.
    The sheer volume of remains is pretty staggering ( these are the bones from all the cemeteries of Paris up to 1814 - about 6 million people, and the way they have been arranged to make patterns out of the skulls an femurs is a little macabre.

    unfortunately, we were short of time and had to hurry through in about 20 minutes, as we had a eurostar to catch, but I plan to go again on a future Paris trip.
  • Jerry Webb 6y

    I'd love to go also - eerie pic
  • Lynette Lawlor 6y

    I think a camera club field trip is in order, he he!
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Taken on August 26, 2009
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