Catacumbas de Paris are underground ossuaries in the City of Lights. If you’re planning your trip to Paris and want to find something unique and off the beaten path, look no further than the Catacombs of Paris!
The Catacombs of Paris are an often-overlooked historical attraction you should take notice of if you’re in the city. Unlike most tourist attractions, this one doesn’t have much to do with the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre or Versailles, although it’s very close to them (it’s just below).
It has to do with, well… the dead. The ossuary contains the remains of over six million people, making it one of the largest known cemeteries in the world.
If you’re ready to go on an adventure through some dark and eerie tunnels, read on to learn how to visit the Catacombs of Paris and why this is an experience you won’t soon forget!
What are the Catacumbas de Paris?
The Catacumbas de Paris comprise a network of underground tunnels and chambers stretching over 300 kilometres beneath the streets of Paris.
These catacombs were created to house the remains of more than 6 million people from the 18th century onwards. The catacombs were originally quarries, but with the rapid growth of Paris’ population and limited cemetery space, the city’s cemeteries became overcrowded.
As a result, many of the deceased were relocated to the Catacumbas de Paris to free up land for housing and other developments. Visiting the Catacumbas de Paris can be a unique and memorable experience, giving visitors a peek into the past and a chance to explore something extraordinary.
These underground caverns offer respite from modern life above ground; they provide a sense of tranquillity while still being close enough to the hustle and bustle of the busy world we live in today. Due to its sheer size, one may explore several different sections:
The most famous part is Les ICatacombs of Parisnnocents, completed in 1780 and about three stories deep. It was designed by architects Pierre-Adrien Puget and Jacques Gassier as the new burial grounds so that the graveyards outside of town could finally be emptied.
History of the Catacombs
Here is a brief history of the Catacombs:
The Catacumbas de Paris are an intricate underground burial site located beneath the streets of the French capital. The story of the Catacumbas de Paris started when people realised the public health problems associated with its cemeteries. It then decided to bury them below ground.
When they first started excavating, they found a place that would be easy for those not used to getting around the city. They happened upon an area just outside of Paris – it was right beneath Montrouge, where some old quarry mines dated back centuries ago.
These Tombe-Issoire quarries had been abandoned for years now. When officials came across them, they knew it would be perfect because they could take care of all the preparation there while securing the bones once they got them out of the ground; at least this way, there wouldn’t be any chance for anyone else to get their hands on them!
In 1785, the first catacombs were dug and spanned seventeen years until they were filled up entirely. It wasn’t just one or two people who benefited from this discovery but many people because it was very convenient to bury their dead relatives.
However, these weren’t just any normal caskets; the ones buried deep underground held the remains of their deceased loved ones instead of being put in crypts or above-ground burial places where it’s natural for animals to dig them back up.
This may seem morbid, but there is a good reason behind doing this. If you bury someone’s remains higher up, there are more chances for predators to try to scavenge through what could have been left behind and plain out dig them back up.
When you bury someone lower down, there aren’t as many chances for creatures to come along and find themselves some food, so they won’t bother digging around.
Starting in 1809, the Catacombs were opened to the public for guided tours. They had quickly become successful among locals and foreigners alike.
Years after it was first discovered, in 1787, the Count of Artois (soon to be King Charles X), accompanied by a group of courtiers from Paris, visited this tourist attraction.
One year later, Austria’s Emperor Francis I toured them with some friends and family members; near the end of the century, he would make yet another trip when he came down here with his son Napoleon III… During the 19th century, customs for visiting arrangements were in constant flux.
They ranged from totally closed to monthly or quarterly openings. The Catacumbas de Paris are now available to all who want to visit without requiring authorization and welcome nearly 500,000 visitors each year.
What to Expect When Visiting the Catacombs
Visiting the Catacumbas de Paris is an experience unlike any other. With a history stretching back centuries, the Catacombs have become a top attraction in Paris.
They are a must-see for anyone interested in exploring the city’s hidden secrets. But before you go, you should know a few things about what to expect when visiting the Catacombs.
First, it’s essential to understand that the Catacombs are not for the faint of heart. The underground labyrinths can be extremely dark and disorienting, so it’s best to visit with a guide.
Make sure to bring a flashlight and comfortable walking shoes since you’ll be walking on uneven ground and stairs.
The Catacombs contain the remains of millions of people, which can make it a painful experience. It’s important to remain respectful while exploring the tunnels and avoid touching or disturbing any bones and artefacts.
The Catacombs are typically open from 10 am to 8 pm and can get crowded during peak hours. Tickets usually sell out in advance, so purchasing them ahead of time is best to ensure your visit.
Visiting the Catacombs can be a fascinating and memorable experience, but it’s important to remember that it is not like a traditional tourist attraction.
Make sure to follow all safety precautions and respect the history and artefacts within the Catacombs, and you’ll be sure to have a great visit.
Tips for Visiting the Catacombs
Exploring the Catacumbas de Paris can be a thrilling and awe-inspiring experience, but it’s essential to take the proper precautions and know what to expect before you go is vital. Here are some tips for visiting the Catacombs:
- Visiting the Catacombs of Paris entails a lengthy but worthwhile trek down 131 stairs, followed by about a 1.5km walk through dimly lit tunnels on uneven and potentially slippery surfaces, then back up 112 stairs to street level. If this sounds like too much of an undertaking, then the catacombs in Paris won’t be worth your time – or energy!
- The Parisian catacombs offer a temperature of 14 degrees Celsius all year round, though it might also get damp. As such, you need to wear both comfortable and durable clothing to withstand the slightly uneven terrain while you’re exploring this wonderful wonderland – which is why we recommend wearing shoes with a grip on them and bringing along an extra jacket for warmth.
- Anything over 40 cm x 30 cm isn’t allowed inside, and there is no luggage storage on site. You also can’t carry your backpack as usual – instead, the catacombs ask that you have it either by hand or in front of you.
- Be sure to follow all posted rules and respect the catacombs during your visit, as this is a place of history and culture. While photography is allowed, make sure you turn off your flash and take extra care not to disturb any historical artefacts or graves you may encounter on your journey.
- It’s also important to be mindful of your safety, so keep an eye out for any potential risks and let someone know Catacumbas de Paris where you’ll be going beforehand.
With these things in mind, you should have a safe and fantastic experience exploring the Paris Catacombs.
Is it worth visiting the Catacombs?
Is it worth visiting the Catacumbas de Paris? This underground labyrinth of tunnels, filled with the remains of millions of people, is one of the most unique and fascinating places in the world.
If you’re an adventurous traveller looking for a fantastic experience, then the Catacumbas de Paris are worth a visit.
The Catacumbas de Paris are a unique system of tunnels and galleries carved out of stone, stretching over 400 miles. Initially built to store the city’s excess dead, they became a major tourist attraction over time.
When you visit the Catacombs of Paris, you’ll see hundreds of thousands of skulls and bones arranged in macabre patterns on the walls.
You’ll also get to explore the vast and mysterious underground tunnel system, which can be a bit eerie, but ultimately very rewarding. It’s like nothing else in the world!
The Paris Catacombs also offer a unique insight into the history of Paris and the people who lived there centuries ago. You’ll learn about how these underground tunnels were created and how they evolved.
Visiting the Catacumbas de Paris is an unforgettable experience. Not only will you explore this unique place, but you’ll also learn about its fascinating history.
So if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, add the Catacombs of Paris to your list of places to visit!
Frequently Asked Questions About the Catacombs
Exploring the Catacumbas de Paris is a popular and exciting experience, but it can also be intimidating for first-time visitors. To help make your journey as easy and enjoyable as possible, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the Catacombs.
The Catacumbas de Paris are an underground ossuary, or cemetery, located in the City of Light. The network of tunnels contains the remains of more than 6 million people, arranged in carefully organised galleries and stacks. Although a dreadful thought, the catacombs remind us of Paris’ past, a kind of time capsule preserving the city’s history and its inhabitants.
- Are the Catacombs Open to Visitors?
Yes! They are open to the public, although space is limited, and only 200 people are allowed in at any time. You should purchase tickets online in advance to ensure your entry.
- Is the Experience Scary?
It depends on how you look at it! Many people consider the Catacombs a thrilling experience, not necessarily a terrifying one. That being said, the dark tunnels filled with bones can be pretty eerie for some visitors. If you’re feeling uneasy about exploring the Catacombs, consider visiting with a friend or two for moral support!
- How Long Does It Take to Visit the Catacombs?
Most visitors will spend around 1.5 hours in the Catacombs, although this varies depending on how many stops you make. The tour of the ossuary usually takes approximately 45 minutes.
- Are Photography and Videography Allowed?
Yes, photography and videography are allowed in most parts of the Catacombs, although no flash photography is permitted inside the ossuary.
- Are There Other Places of Interest Nearby?
Yes! Nearby attractions include the Museum of Natural History and various monuments such as Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle.
For a truly unique experience, consider booking one of the Catacombs guided tours. These tours are led by experienced guides who can tell you all about the history of the Catacombs, as well as some interesting stories about their past.
It’s a great way to learn more about this fascinating underground world and discover its secrets. Plus, you’ll get a chance to ask any questions!
How to Get to the Catacombs?
If you’re looking to explore the mysterious underground of Paris, visiting the Paris Catacombs is an absolute must.
This underground ossuary contains the remains of millions of Parisians and provides a unique window into the past of this iconic city.
Tours Travel Finder can help make your journey more straightforward if you’re planning to visit the catacombs.
Tours Travel Finder offers customised catacombs tours and will plan the entire trip for you, from accommodation to transport. Not only that, but they provide a range of other activities, such as wine tasting and walking tours, so that you can make the most of your time in Paris.
They also have expert guides who know the history of the city and its surroundings, allowing you to get the whole experience.
- Their knowledgeable guides will give you an unparalleled understanding of the Catacombs’ rich history and culture.
- Their customised trips save you time and effort by organising everything.
- Their all-inclusive packages include accommodation and transport, meaning you don’t have to worry about finding your way around.
So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience exploring the dark secrets of the Paris Catacombs, Tours Travel Finder can help make it happen.
FAQ for Catacumbas de Paris?
What is the largest catacombs in the world?
The Catacombs of Odessa in Ukraine are considered one of the largest catacomb systems in the world. Stretching for hundreds of kilometers beneath the city, these catacombs have a complex network of tunnels and chambers and have been used for various purposes throughout history.
Who is buried in the Paris catacombs?
The Paris Catacombs house the remains of approximately six million people. These skeletal remains were transferred from various cemeteries in Paris during the late 18th century to address issues of overcrowded cemeteries and public health concerns. The Catacombs serve as an ossuary, a repository for bones, and provide a unique historical and cultural experience for visitors.
How many bodies were found in the catacombs?
The Catacombs of Paris contain the remains of approximately six million people. These skeletal remains were transferred from various cemeteries in Paris to the Catacombs during the late 18th century to address overcrowding and public health concerns.