Paris France Catacombs

Sandy Rowley
7 min readOct 13, 2023

This subterranean world, while eerie, provides a profound meditation on life, death, and the inexorable march of time…

The Catacombs of Paris
A Journey Beneath the City of Light

Paris, often referred to as “The City of Light”, is renowned for its grand boulevards, historic monuments, and romantic ambiance. However, beneath its elegant Haussmannian facades lies a darker, mysterious world: the Catacombs of Paris. This intricate network of tunnels and chambers offers a unique glimpse into the city’s past, and its relationship with life, death, and the passage of time.

Historical Background
The Catacombs of Paris, or “Les Catacombes,” trace their origin to the late 18th century. Paris was grappling with overflowing cemeteries, and the decaying remains posed a significant health hazard. The solution? Old limestone quarries, which were present beneath the city, were transformed into an ossuary to house the remains. Beginning in 1786, bones from the overflowing cemeteries were methodically transferred to this underground sanctuary.

Paris France Catacomb Tour Guide

A Macabre Attraction
Spanning over 200 miles, but with only a small section open to the public, the Catacombs have become one of Paris’ most sought-after attractions. As visitors descend the narrow…