Paris, the capital of France, is known as the City of Light and in its streets travelers have lived millions of stories, taken thousands of photos and found hundreds of reasons to return, but did you know that you can explore this impressive city from its bowels?
The Paris necropolis is one of the most famous and most visited in the world and consists of a network of tunnels and underground rooms located in what, during Roman times, were limestone mines that became a common cemetery at the end of the century. XVIII.
The ossuary, which can be visited today, houses more than six million human skeletons and if you’re planning to tour the underground heart of Paris, here’s what you need to know:
A little history
At the end of the 18th century, due to the serious health problems caused by the city’s cemeteries, it was decided to transfer their contents to an underground place on the outskirts of the capital.
It was declared the “Municipal Ossuary of Paris” on April 7, 1786, and it is then that the mythical term “Catacombs” is appropriated, referring to the catacombs of Rome, a place that has aroused great public fascination since its discovery.
The municipal ossuary of the Catacombs is one of the most important ossuaries in the world and before its opening to the public, in 1809, the inspector Héricart de Thury carried out a decorative, museographic and monumental reorganization.
The bones, which until then lay scattered everywhere, were carefully placed on the small walls of the quarry as a model. On the façade, the rows of tibias alternate with rows of skulls, while behind the walls the remaining bones were piled up and currently about half a million people visit the Catacombs every year.
Access and visits
For reasons of security and conservation of the ossuary, access to the Paris Catacombs with suitcases or large bags is prohibited.
Number of visitors to the place limited to 200 people. In the event of a large influx, it is possible that there will be a momentary interruption of the tickets.
It has 131 descending steps and 112 ascending steps. Children under 14 years of age and blind people must be accompanied by an adult. If you have reduced mobility, the visit is not recommended due to the difficult access conditions.
It is forbidden to touch the works, the bones or the decorative elements.
Average duration of the visit: 45 minutes.
The entrance is located at 1, Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy (Place Denfert-Rochereau), 75014 Paris.
How to get?
Metro y RER B: Denfert-Rochereau
Buses: 38, 68
Private car park: Boulevard Saint-Jacques
Vélib’: 2, avenue René-Coty
From Tuesday to Sunday from 9:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The ticket offices close at 7:30 p.m.
They remain closed on Mondays and some holidays such as January 1, May 1 and December 25.
Minimum Fee: €5 (under 18)
Reduced Rate*: €27 (with audio guide) for people between 18 and 26 years old
General Rate: €29 (with audio guide)
* To make it valid, you must present an identity document or passport.
There are rates for groups and guided tours that can be requested at your official page.
#QuestionAXM Would you visit the bowels of Paris in its Catacombs?