Catacombs – Bones of 6 million dead Parisian people

I stayed in Paris 2 years. Every time I wanted to go to the Catacombs. It took me a few tries, finally I visited with lots of excitement.

Paris catacombs draw several hundred thousand visitors each year, who come to practice the thrill of descending into an unknown world or who are simply interested to discover a place as unusual and mysterious as this.

This Parisian ossuary, covering 11,000 m² of underground space is called the Catacombs. The Catacombs were developed in the late 18th Century. At that time Paris cemeteries were over run with human remains causing serious health issues. The water in the city was contaminated and disease was running.  Something had to be done to save people lives. A decision was made to close several cemeteries within the city limits and moved the human remains to old quarries. After the transfer was made the quarries were blessed by priests and the bones put inside. They were meticulously stacked one upon another in a very neat and orderly fashion. These are the displays you can see today.

  • Arrive to the place as early as possible – To skip long Que.
  • There are no restrooms, No toilets and no clockrooms in the catacombs
  • 131 steps to walk down.
  • 83 steps to climb.
  • Walking distance: 2km
  • Inside catacombs they kept constant temperature of 14°C.
  • Believe it or not the Catacombs in Paris house over 6 million Bones of dead Parisian people.
  • Paris’ Main Medieval Cemetery Was Transferred to Catacombs.
  • Only a small tunnel portion is open for public. There are over 300km of tunnels.
  • Before the French Revolution, the Count of Artois (later king Charles X) threw wild parties in the Catacombs.
  • The French resistance used it for secret meetings during WWII

In 23 august 2004, during a training exercise in uncharted parts of the catacombs of Paris, the police discovered a secret fully equipped cinema that could house 20 viewers, a fully-stocked bar, a dining room, and a series of saloons along with professionally installed electricity and three telephone lines.

Visitors are  allowed to visit 200 people at a time due to space takes at least 45 minutes to complete visit.

Please note that the exit is located at 36 rue Rémy Dumoncel.

Visiting timings:

Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 20:30. Closed: on Mondays and public holidays

Metro/RER: Denfert-Rochereau (Metro lines 4,6 or RER Line B)

Price: 13 euros


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