History and visit the Catacombs in Paris


History and visit the Catacombs in Paris

The Catacombs of Paris are located in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. These are old underground quarries managed to collect some six million remains from cemeteries in Paris, the cemetery of the Holy Innocents in particular. We can not, strictly spoken of "Catacombs", it is more a question of an ossuary, it would be more appropriate to called the "municipal Ossuary" site. The term "Catacombs" was inspired by the underground necropolis of ancient Rome. The municipal ossuary was opened in 1810, it is officially classified as a museum of the city of Paris, also affiliated with the Carnavalet museum. It is a popular site because it receives more than 300,000 visitors per year.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the cemeteries of Paris began to fill dramatically, it was imperative to develop a career to prevent safety hazards. The Cemetery of the Innocents was particularly alarming state: mass graves alone accounted more than 1,500 corpses, to add to that, individual burials of about 200 per year. Doctors at the Royal Academy and the University of Paris were concerned about potential risks of epidemics. In 1780 the smell of putrefaction was becoming unbearable and the city needed more space for circulation and expansion of the adjacent market … closing the cemetery thus became an emergency, it was later reported by the inspector of the city of Paris Antoine-Alexis de Vaux. In 1782 we began to develop an ossuary in a former underground quarry and install the remains saturated cemeteries. Thus the transfer of corpses made his way in 1785 with the religious practices necessary, it took a whole century to transfer countless corpses (estimated at over 6 million) from cemeteries, monasteries, convents …

The Catacombs of Paris contain 1.7 km long and yet 11,000 m2 area in the ossuary itself is only a small part of the underground quarries, there is even more underground ossuaries still unknown which remain unattainable public. The site is known for its morbid scene: the bones aligned and adorned with disturbing patterns. The alignment of bones consist of femurs, skulls, crossbones arranged to present gruesome friezes. Behind these "strips" are tidy tingling bones intertwined. Here and there by rocks engraved with religious quotations, literary, philosophical, there are also plates informing visitors year transfer and the cemetery where they carried the bones.

One of the most interesting parts of the ossuary is the fountain of the Samaritan (also known source of Oblivion or source of Lethe) that was conducted in 1810 and refers to a biblical story. There is also the crypt Saccellum a kind of mortuary chapel where the requiem was celebrated, this room is equipped with an altar. The ossuary has only one tombstone, that of Françoise Géllain, a woman who lived a touching romance with a prisoner. Near the exit of the ossuary, there is the crypt of the Passion, also called shin rotunda, there is a sculpture made entirely of shins. Aside from the underground chambers and tunnels as the Catacombs of Paris integrity several workshops and galleries.

Transfer to the Catacombs in Paris
The Catacombs of Paris are located at a distance of 15 km from Orly Airport, 33.1 km from Charles de Gaulle Airport and 96.6 km from the airport of Beauvais.

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