The Lazy Historian

Month of Macabre: The Catacombes of Paris
October 18, 2015

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 is a history enthusiast, a hoarder of books, and the author of The Lazy Historian’s Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII. Jill launched The Lazy Historian in 2015. She lives in Charlottetown on Canada’s beautiful east coast. Learn more.
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Hi, I'm Jillianne.

I'm a lover of history, a hoarder of books, and the author of The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII.

The Lazy Historian is a history blog featuring stories from the past with sass. With a focus on Western European and women's history, I delve into anything fascinating. Learn more.

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