Catacombes (Les)

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by pointofnoreturn on July 20, 2007

One of Paris’ most unique experiences – it is said that the catacombs span more than 300km in length although a small portion of it is open to the unsuspecting public. The Catacombs were established back in the 1800s due to the lack of space in cemeteries. Admission is €2.50 for students, €3.30 for seniors and €7 for adults. You can get to the site by taking the metro (Line 4 - Direction: Porte d'Orleans , Station: Denfert Rochereau).

The Catacombs is definitely not for those who are faint of heart, elderly, young children, claustrophobic, or basically anyone who can’t handle narrow steep winding steps. You need not to worry about heat because it is very cool down in the tunnels, which is a great way to beat the heat on hot days in Paris.

The walls are lined with endless amounts of bones and skulls, all neatly arranged in patterns – which were out of respect for the dead. The lighting down in the Catacombs is very dim. Photography is not really allowed, especially with a flash. There were no signs when I used my camera (at the time, I didn’t know it was basically a no-no) so after snapping a few shots, a guard gave me a polite warning which I heeded afterwards.

I found the Catacombs to be a strange yet interesting experience but at the same time, a morbid one. It is an experience that is not to be missed and would most likely give you a good break from all the museums and their endless lines. I say that because when I showed up in mid-morning, there was no one in line so that meant no waiting time for me. But be forewarned, when you exit the catacombs after climbing what seems to be an endless number of steps, official employees will search you and your belongings. This is to ensure that no bones are taken out of the Catacombs.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this place and would definitely recommend this for it is a true (yet creepy) Parisian historical experience!
Catacombs of Paris
1, Place Denfert-Rochereau
Paris, France, 75014
33 (1) 43 22 47 63

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