Deeper Underground Paris : The Empire of Death

As well as the amazing fossil finds the old quarry of Catacombes de Paris in the 18th Century it was filled with the bones of 6 million Parisians. If you are squeamish look away now. If not, please hand in your permission slip, tick the box to say you are over 15 and let's get spooky...

Stop! This is the Empire of Death

Stop! This is the Empire of Death

underground paris catacombs doorway.JPG
paris catacomb wall sign skulls.JPG

The cavernous quarries became home to the remains of six million Parisians in the 18th Century when the overflowing Cemetery of Innocent had to be moved as it was causing infections in the area.

paris catacombs skulls green moss ceiling.JPG

Port Mahon Sculptures of the palace in Minorca in memory of the first Quarry Inspectors including  Decure who was imprisoned opposite the palace in the Balearic Islands for a long time. He was killed in a cave in during work in the quarry.

The styling of the bones and surrounding caverns is  known as "romantico-macabre".

The styling of the bones and surrounding caverns is  known as "romantico-macabre".

piles of bones paris catacombs.JPG

"The removal of the bones began after the blessing of the place on April 7, 1786 and was continued until 1788, always at night and according to a ceremonial made up of a procession of priests who sang the burial service along the way borrowed by the tipcarts charged with bones and covered with a black veil. Thereafter, this place was used, until 1814, to collect the bones of all the cemeteries of Paris."

paris catacombs bones close up.JPG
spooky rock face paris catacombs.JPG
paris catacombs twisted skull.JPG

This macabre labyrinth has attracted many visitors to satisfy their curiosity, including Ladies of the Court, Charles X, an Austrian Empoper and Napolean III and his son. To follow in their footsteps details can be found here.