Month of Macabre: The Catacombes of Paris

When I was in high school, I got the amazing opportunity to travel to London, Paris and Madrid, spending a couple days in each incredible city. I now regret not being able to see this mega creepy spot when I was in Paris. Maybe I’ll go back someday…

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When you run out of room to place your dearly departed, what do you do? You can expand outside the city, you can build cemeteries on top of cemeteries or you can build yourself some charming little catacombs.

Paris ran into this problem in the late 1700s. Remains in crowded Paris cemeteries were causing some problems with the city’s water supply (ew) so they decided to go underground.

Between the late 18th century until the 19th-century, roughly 6-7 MILLION bodies were moved into underground tunnels, located 66 feet underground, were originally used as limestone mines by the Romans (around the 1st century AD).

The walls are built from skulls and various bones, making it one of the creepiest places in the world. And I very much want to go see it.

The catacombs have been open to the public as a tourist attraction since 1874.

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jillianne hamilton headshotJillianne Hamilton is an author, history enthusiast, book lover and graphic designer. Her debut novel, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, was shortlisted for the 2016 Prince Edward Island Book Award. Her debut non-fiction book, The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII is now available. She lives in Charlottetown on Canada's beautiful east coast.
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