The Catacombs of Paris

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These underground ossuaries hold the remains of more than six million people, in a maze of galleries under Paris. When major public health issues tied to the city’s cemeteries started to concern authorities in the 18th century, there was only one solution: transfer their content to an underground site.

The location seemed obvious: the former Tombe-Issoire quarries under the plain of Montrouge since these were abandoned at the time and extended under the city approximately 800 hectares. The first bones to be removed were the ones from Paris largest cemetery, the Saint-Innocents, then those remains would be dumped and piled into the galleries by the quarry workers, 20 meters underground.

The transfers continued throughout the next century and only in 1809, the catacombs were opened to the public, with an appointment. The last bones were deposited in 1860 and, in 2002, they were attached to the Carnavalet Museum. Now, anyone can visit the ossuaries without any special authorization.

Contacts & Details

1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy 75014 Paris

Sunday:

10:00 – 20:30

Tuesday:

10:00 – 20:30

Wednesday:

10:00 – 20:30

Thursday:

10:00 – 20:30

Friday:

10:00 – 20:30

Saturday:

10:00 – 20:30