A veritable labyrinth in the heart of underground Paris, the Paris Catacombs are a must-see among Parisian monuments: a route 1,500 meters long and 20 meters deep, for an extraordinary visit.
A real phenomenon
The history of this place actually begins in 1785 when the cemetery of the Innocents was declared to be suppressed and evacuated. Old quarries were then chosen to deposit the bones and the transport of the remains could begin, all at night of course. Until 1814, the site will collect the bones of all the cemeteries in Paris and become a real phenomenon. From 1809, the Catacombs became accessible to the public by appointment. A register is opened at the end of the route to collect visitors’ impressions; it fills up very quickly because these visits quickly become a great success with French and foreigners alike.
Many famous people
Over the years, the ossuary has welcomed many famous people: in 1787, the Comte d’Artois, the future Charles X, went there in the company of ladies of the court; in 1814, the Emperor of Austria Francis I visited them in his turn and, in 1860, Napoleon III went there with his son. Now accessible to everyone without authorization, the Paris Catacombs receive nearly 550,000 visitors a year.
1, avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy (place Denfert-Rochereau)