The Catacombs of Death in Paris

The catacombs of Paris hold the remains of about six million people. from the 18th century  instead of burying its dead away from inhabited areas as per usual human customs, the Paris Right Bank settlement began its life with cemeteries at its very centre.

paris catacombs
The Paris Catacombs

The catacombs became known as the Empire of the Death when they became the solution to overcrowding in the city’s cemeteries.
The number of dead bodies buried in Paris’s cemeteries and beneath its churches was so great that they began breaking through the walls of people’s cellars and causing serious health concerns.

The Paris Catacombs
The Paris Catacombs

So the human remains were transferred to the underground quarries in the early 1780s. There are now more than 6million people underground.

The space was the perfect solution to ease overcrowding in cemeteries but it presented disadvantages elsewhere.

The Paris Catacombs
The Paris Catacombs

It is the reason there are few tall buildings in Paris; large foundations cannot be built because the catacombs are directly under the city’s streets.

The tunnels also played their part in the Second World War. Parisian members of the French Resistance used the winding tunnels

And German soldiers also set up an underground bunker in the catacombs, just below the 6th arrondissement.

Visit the Catacombs or see all the other things to do here in Paris.

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