The Catacombs of Paris is a place that might change your perception of the romantic city of Paris. Just below the picturesque town of Paris, there is a crypt that is one of the scariest attractions in the world and one of the most important tourist attractions in Paris. These are Narrow and long tunnels that hold the bodies of 6 million dead. It is terrifying to walk among many skulls and skeletons; that is why we recommend visiting the Catacombs of Paris only to brave people interested in dark tourism and seeing little, unclear, and scary places. In fewer places, you will have the opportunity to walk among the remains of the dead and take a souvenir photo with them! So if we have ever drawn your attention to this terrifying crypt, join us at the Lilimag. We want to tell you more about this crypt and tell you about its adventures.
History of the catacombs of Paris (Les Catacombes de Paris)
The Catacombs of Paris (or Les Catacombes de Paris) and the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame Cathedral are some of the most popular attractions in Paris and France country. But Why Were the Paris Catacombs Built? What is the history of this spectacular attraction? Who is buried in the Catacombs of Paris? What happened in the catacombs of Paris? When were the catacombs built? How big are the Paris Catacombs?
Paris was getting bigger and bigger and becoming a metropolis on the continent of Europe. Of course, the growth of the city had a lot of problems for the people, which gradually showed itself. One of them was the rising population. By the 17th century, the people living and dying in Paris had grown to the extent that all the city’s cemeteries were filled. Under these circumstances, there was practically no land to bury the bodies, and there was even a time when the bodies remained on the ground. Until they found a way to solve this problem, and that was the way to transport the bodies to the underground tunnels of Paris, which were built centuries ago (13th century AD). The tunnels were, in fact, the remains of a limestone mine that was a significant factor in the prosperity of Paris at the time.
Those living in the Les Halles neighborhood, near the city’s largest and oldest cemetery (Les Innocents), were the first to protest the deplorable state of the cemetery. They reported that the pungent odor of decomposing corpses was constantly wafting and disrupting their lives. Even perfumers believed that the stench was so strong that they had practically lost their jobs. In 1763, King Louis XV of France declared that the burial of the dead was forbidden in Paris, but the king’s order took no action due to opposition from the church and their belief that cemeteries should not be destroyed or relocated. Louis XVI, however, carried out the order of the previous king and even declared that all cemeteries should be moved outside the city of Paris.
However, no action was taken until 1780. That year, spring rains intensified, causing the wall of Les Innocent Cemetery to collapse. After the wall collapsed, the bodies practically entered the city, and finding a place to move the bodies became the only option for Parisians. So, they started moving the bones from the 5th floor of the basement to the old limestone tunnels of the city. In 1786, cemeteries were gradually being emptied, the first of which was Les Innocents Cemetery. It took 12 years for them to be able to transport all the bodies to the tunnels. Eventually, the bodies of 6 million Parisians were placed in tunnels and renamed the Catacombs.
The Connection of French Revolution with Paris Catacombs History
With the beginning of the French Revolution, the direct transfer of the dead to the catacombs began. Some of them were famous people in history for whom the catacombs became an eternal tomb. Among the most notable are Jean-Paul Mart, one of the most radical voices of the revolution, and Maximilien de Robespierre, an influential figure and the subsequent assassination. Finally, in 1860, the transfer of bodies to the catacombs was stopped.
Visit the Catacombs of Paris as a Tourist Attraction
Today, curious visitors who want to test their courage can walk the 1.5 km route that is open to the public and discover the mysteries of the world of the dead.
For more about the Paris Catacombs history, you can see the video below:
Practical Information for Visiting the Paris Catacombs
Visiting the Catacombs of Paris is one of the fun things to do in Paris. Here is the essential information about opening times and access to the Paris Catacombs:
Catacombs Paris Hours
The Catacombs of Paris hours and opening times are as follows:
- Open daily, except Mondays and certain holidays (January 1, May 1, and December 25), from 10 AM to 8:30 PM.
- The ticket window closes at 7:30 PM.
It takes an average of 45 minutes to visit Catacombs. There are guides in the tunnel that tell you about the history of this area. Of course, if you have followed us so far, you do not need to follow them anymore. You can also use the audio guide on the Catacomb for 3 €. As mentioned, the length of the tunnels is more than 300 km, and only 1.5 km of it is accessible to the public. Leaving this area is considered illegal.
Be sure to bring warm clothes such as a jacket when visiting the catacombs, because the temperature of the tunnels is constant and is always 13.8 degrees Celsius. For more information, it is better to visit the official website of the Catacombs of Paris (click here).
Paris Catacombs Tickets
Catacombs Paris ticket price are varied and according to the table below:
|Children 4-17 years old
|Special fares for ‘last minute’ tickets
- Access to the Catacombs of Paris is free for Children 4 and under.
- Youth and young adults (18-26) can use reduced rate tickets.
- To book tickets online, click here.
Paris Catacombs Map & Location
Address: 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 43 22 47 63
In the continuation of this article, Follow eight things you may not know about the Catacombs of Paris.
Fascinating Facts about The Catacombs of Paris
Every year the city of Paris receives more than 82 million visitors and tourists that travel to France to capture that perfect romantic getaway they constantly desired to experience. Seen as a city of love, Paris is a hot spot for newlyweds-lasting couples, those looking to find someone in their lives, and even those that wish to travel alone and experience the city. However, Paris is more than just a city of love and holds a darker past and terrifying nature. Underneath the city of love are long tunnels and catacombs known as the catacombs of Paris, and if you are looking to travel there someday, you need to understand this darker past. So here are eight things that you may not know about the catacombs of Paris:
Catacombs of Paris Facts No.1: The Catacombs are a Cemetery
As the city grew, so did the natural death toll; it became apparent to officials and residents that the cemeteries were becoming massively overcrowded, which proved to be a massive issue for both religious groups and public health. Those who found themselves handling the deceased were unable to perform proper burial rites, which angered the local religions and the spreading of disease as bodies would be exposed to the elements and sometimes even unable to be buried entirely. These problems led to the creation of the catacombs, which saw massive tunnels and rooms carved out from underneath the city to house the deceased’s bones and make the room a vast and unending Cemetery. What is incredibly unsettling about this is that the bones were often placed as a display and in rows against the walls of the tunnel that seemed to go on nearly forever. It is estimated that the bones of roughly six million people are stored down in the catacombs, which is a number that continues to grow as new rooms, tunnels, and areas are continually discovered each day in the underground cemetery. The catacombs of Paris have also been used as a cemetery even in the modern era for criminals and killers wishing to toss a needle in a haystack and hide evidence of their actions that would make it impossible for police to find and recover.
Catacombs of Paris Facts No.2: The Massive Size
The sheer size of the catacombs is another matter entirely. Many people do not understand, even those who have helped to map out the tunnels in the past, are the vastness of the tunnel systems carved out rooms and layers of floors that continue in all directions. So far, estimates place the tunnels themselves to stretch over 200 miles, which is a number that continues to grow as new tunnels are being discovered every day. This is still dwarfed compared to rooms and larger areas of layering steps that can be as large as a five-story underground building. This has led many people who enter the tunnels without proper equipment or experience to become lost in the vastness of the catacombs and has even extended to the most experienced travelers to have to turn around in fear of becoming lost in the complex and disorientating sizes and distances the tunnels and rooms provide. If you plan on visiting these catacombs, be sure to bring a reliable guide or to bring the proper equipment to prevent any disastrous opportunities from arising.
Catacombs of Paris Facts No.3: Pools of Water
Considering the vast distance the tunnel offers, it is no surprise that some regions of the catacombs can stretch into areas of running water and deeper pools that build up from aquifers over time. This appears to be the case as swimming holes have been discovered in deeper sections of the catacombs that can even temporarily hold tiny fish species tadpoles and various small aquatic animals. This has also caught the attraction of those who visit the tunnels regularly as they will travel to hidden swimming spots to enjoy a cool swim in the underground tunnels. Some of these swimming spots require special gear to reach, such as trekking through underwater rooms to enter into the other side for the perfect secret getaway. Getting to these areas is also not a matter of equipment as you will either need an experienced guide to reach those hidden places or know someone with influence to get you into the tunnels, to begin with. Be sure to bring your lights and spare batteries, however, as getting lost in these sunken rooms could lead to terrible consequences and the inability to fly your way back out in the pitch-black darkness of the catacombs.
Catacombs of Paris Facts No.4: Criminal Operations
Back in 2004. the police were going through the motions of training exercises down in the tunnels to help them better understand how to move through cramped spaces, retain information, and proper techniques to entering and exiting rooms in a secured manner. During these training exercises, when exploring a separated and hidden area of the vast tunnel system, the police uncovered signs of clandestine operation in the area. The group found a giant room converted into an underground cinema that could have been used to display illegal footage and other darker secrets. The room was equipped with white screen cinema equipment such as a projector and electricity to run entirely on its own, a fully furnished restaurant and bar that had professionally installed phone lines and power lines. The police began treating the area as a crime scene and waited for its inhabitants to return before noticing a small camera snapping photos of the officers as they passed into the entrance. A note was later left at the scene, warning the officers not to pursue and not to attempt to find those that established the underground facility. Further information could not be gathered, and it is more than believed that other illegal operations could be spread out amongst the vastness of the catacombs.
Catacombs of Paris Facts No.5: An Underground Community
Though it is seen as an incredibly illegal practice and generally discouraged by the area’s law enforcement, the community has spawned from the fascination of exploration that continues to grow and secretly map out and understand the catacombs in detail. This remote community refers to itself as quatre files which are made up of urban explorers who spend a vast amount of time and resources to explore the depths of the catacombs for their enjoyment of the adventure. They keep entrances and exits hidden by law enforcement to prevent them from being blocked off and create highly detailed maps and catalog further information to uncover the darkest secrets of the city. Finding a member of this tightly knit community could prove to be the most experienced and reliable guide available that will allow you to experience a side of the tunnels no one has seen for hundreds of years.
Catacombs of Paris Facts No.6: Cults and Rituals
Possibly one of the most notorious scandals and claims of the modern era, many people believe that the catacombs are used by satanic cults and other secret organizations that work to perform evil rituals in the depths of the catacombs. Suppose it members of these cults range from random civilians to business owners and even quite possibly government officials looking to fulfill dark desires it is pretty common for the bones in the tunnels to go missing, which has led those who are familiar with the areas to believe that the human remains are being used as potential sacrifice or items for these underground cults. Given the evidence of clandestine criminal operations along with the lack of resources to locate hidden rooms, it could very well be within the realm of possibility that this occurs.
Catacombs of Paris Facts No.7: Mushroom Farming
Starting back in the early 19th century, a French explorer named Mont short Jean berry entered the catacombs to help map out and explore the area and better understand the history of the underground tunnel systems. As he ventured through, he began noticing patches of wild mushrooms growing in the underground rooms and realized that the environment was perfect for special sensitive mushrooms that had a hard time being produced on a commercial scale previously. Sean berry then began to understand that the tunnel had an ideal mixture of humidity, darkness, cool temperatures, and sources of minerals that could help mushrooms grow in the tunnels naturally. This led to him and soon many other growing button mushrooms and other variations, which soon became recognized by the horticultural society of Paris and exploded into vast new business opportunities. The practice is still followed even to this day, though be warned that the mushrooms are usually growing alongside the bones of long-dead individuals. Perhaps this could be the reason for accessing growth and minerals (ref).
Catacombs of Paris Facts No.8: Hauntings
One of the scariest facts of the catacombs of Paris has to be the strange reports of creatures sighted in the deeper tunnels of the underground rooms. Many times, explorers report eerie noises such as strange footsteps following them or echoing throughout the tunnels but uncover nothing along with noises that sound similar to whispering or breathing around them. What is even more interesting about this phenomenon is that many quatre files report seeing humanoid-like creatures quickly scurrying around corners or staring at them from the ends of long tunnels with only the reflection of their eyes noticeable. As more and more rooms and layers are uncovered that stretch further down into the catacombs, more reports and witness accounts of these strange sightings also occur. Could it be the case that some subterranean species live deep down within hidden rooms stretching further down than previously imagined?
We suggest you watch the video below to learn more about the Catacombs of Paris History :
Let us know what you think of the underground tunnels and catacombs of Paris. Be sure to leave your questions and answers in the comment section below and share your thoughts on the matter with us. Thank you so much for being supportive and sticking around to help grow our community and solve these unexplained mysteries.