Back in the mid-18th century, the city of Paris faced a gruesome and real issue – overflowing cemeteries. So, feeling the sense of urgency, Parisians decided to create an ossuary underneath the city, in the endless tunnels of Paris’ former mines. Millions of remains were transferred from Paris’ cemeteries, to lay them to final rest in the Catacombs of Paris. Today the catacombs hold the remains of over 6 million people, 3 times as much as the current population of Paris.


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While at first, the remains were disorganized, in the early 19th century the catacombs were slowly transformed into a visitable mausoleum, with skulls and femurs stacked into patterns. The catacombs always attracted people’s attention, from privileged individuals back in the 19th century, to modern urban explorers known as cataphiles. Scroll down to find out more about the mysterious catacombs that lie beneath the city of love.

Paris is known as the city of love, but only on the surface, as millions of people were laid to final rest underneath the streets

Back in the mid-18th century, Paris faced a real and gruesome problem, when cemeteries became severely overcrowded

People decided to use the old tunnels of Paris’ mines to transport human remains and create ossuaries

This seemed like a perfect solution, especially when burial within the city walls was outlawed in 1780

Dozens were moved to the catacombs and today they hold the remains of over 6 million people

While at first, the remains were disorganized, in the early 19th century the catacombs were slowly transformed

With skulls and femurs stacked neatly to create a visitable mausoleum

Since then, the catacombs of Paris attracted people’s attention

From privileged individuals visiting the tunnels back in the 19th century

To modern urban explorers known as cataphiles avoiding the law to navigate the labyrinth

While the catacombs are known as the realm of death, they are more than alive…

Watch the video below to find out who brings life to the haunting catacombs of Paris

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