Catacombs of Paris . It is an ossuary created at the end of the 18th century with the bones of all the cemeteries of Paris until 1860 . It is one of the most curious and beautiful places in the world. One of the most famous “cemeteries” in Paris .
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- 1 Origin
- 2 History
- 3 Description
- 4 World War II from the Catacombs of Paris
- 5 Present
- 6 sources
Its origin dates back to Roman times, when galleries began to be excavated to extract limestone. Over the centuries, these mining galleries grew until they became a gigantic labyrinth. In 1780 , the cemetery of the Holy Innocents, one of the most important in Paris, was closed for endangering public health. It was so crowded that you could hardly breathe in the Les Halles neighborhood. It was in the year 1786 when they had the brilliant idea of moving the bones from the unhygienic cemetery of Les Halles, taking advantage of the quarries excavated in the Gallo-Roman era 20 meters deep at the base of three hills: Montparnasse , Montrouge and Montsorius .. the remains of some 6 million Parisians rest in the Catacombs.
It was Monsieur Thiroux de Crosne and Monsieur Guillaumont who in 1786 established that the old mines would be used as ossuaries because at that time, so many people died, that the local cemetery was not enough and diseases caused by poor handling of corpses were very frequent. . The catacombs of Paris (the “municipal ossuary”) have been created at the end of the 18th century. The Innocents’ Cemetery (near Saint-Eustace , in the “Halles” district) had been in use for almost ten centuries and became the source of infection for all the inhabitants of the district. After multiple complaints, the Council of State, through the decision of November 9 ,1785 , pronounced the removal and evacuation of the cemetery of the Innocents.
The Quarries “de la Tombe-Issoire” were the object of work including the masonry and consolidation of the galleries, and by the excavation of a flanked staircase. The removal of the bones began after the blessing of the place on April 7, 1786 and continued until 1788, always at night and according to a ceremonial consisting of a procession of priests who sang the burial service on the path taken by the tipcarts charged with bones and covered with a black veil. From then on, this place was used until 1814 , to collect the bones from all the cemeteries of Paris. From the first day of its creation, the Catacombs caused curiosity. in 1787, the lord of Artois d’, who will become Charles 10, went there, in the company of the ladies of the Court. The following year, the visit of Madame de Polignac and Madame de Guiche is mentioned. In 1814 François 1st, Emperor of Austria, residing as a winner in Paris, visited them. In 1860, Napoleon III went there with his son.
The Paris Catacombs reopened on June 14 , 2005, after several months of closing for work. The lighting was revised, the arches were consolidated and the walls reinstalled the bones. For 15 months millions of bones were moved from multitudes of cemeteries, in carriages and across the city at night. They were deposited without any type of “artistic” intention, piled up, until the General Quarry Inspector decided to place the bones in the front part in the form of a wall, giving it the appearance they have today, with a plaque identifying the origin of the remains and small altars with epitaphs in Latin that adorn the path. The millions of bones in the catacombs have witnessed many events, from the party organized by Carlos Xbefore the revolution, passing through a refuge for the French resistance in the Second World War , or, more recently, for satanic rites, which is why they have been closed and only open to the public as if it were another monument at the service of tourists.
The walls of the catacombs are covered in graffiti from the 18th century and its tunnels have been immortalized by various events. Victor Hugo based his novel From Him Les Miserables on them; during the During World War II they were used by the French resistance to avoid detection by enemies and the Germans installed an underground bunker in these ossuaries.
The bones housed in the Parisian catacombs are arranged in the form of a wall with plaques citing the origin of the remains and altars with epitaphs in Latin. Currently only one and a half kilometers of the 300 that occupy the catacombs of Paris are allowed to be visited; while the mines of the fourteenth municipality, and those of the fifth, sixth, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth arrondissement remain closed to the public.
This is because a few years ago the site was used by sects to celebrate their black masses and make sacrifices. It is easy to get lost in the catacombs, narrow passageways abound and as they have very low ceilings they tend to flood with the rains, for this reason entry is only allowed with a guide, but there are still secret accesses through which you can enter the catacombs, and some daring adventurers have dared to infiltrate them.
World War II from the Catacombs of Paris
During World War II, after the surrender of Paris, the catacombs became the headquarters of the resistance, as the complex passageway was a hideout like no other. The German troops also occupied part of this complex underground network to form bunkers, which generated that during the Second World War there were strong clashes between both sides in these catacombs. These clandestine clashes continued in the catacombs from the occupation of Paris in June 1940 until its liberation in August 1944 . After the end of the war, free access to the catacombs was prohibited, being only legal since 1955visit them accompanied. But because the complex underground network has countless entrances throughout its city, there are still clandestine visits.
Currently the bones are arranged in the form of a “wall”, a decision made by the Inspector General of Quarries at that time, where plaques can be found identifying the origin of the bones and even small altars containing epitaphs in Latin. Of the more than 300 kilometers of galleries, only less than 1 kilometer is open to the public. However, there are secret entrances throughout Paris, allowing access to the catacombs via sewers, the subway, etc. On rare occasions people make use of these accesses to enter them.
Currently only one and a half kilometers of the 300 that occupy the catacombs of Paris are allowed to be visited; while the mines of the fourteenth municipality, and those of the fifth, sixth, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth arrondissement remain closed to the public. This is because a few years ago the site was used by sects to celebrate their black masses and make sacrifices. It is easy to get lost in the catacombs, narrow passageways abound and as they have very low ceilings they tend to flood with the rains, for this reason entry is only allowed with a guide, but there are still secret accesses through which you can enter the catacombs, and some daring adventurers have dared to infiltrate them.