Tour the attraction most Parisian never visited: The Catacombs
Most Parisians, I know, never visited the Catacombs (spelled Catacombes in French). I never did when I lived there. I finally visited them and I have to say it is truly unique. I recommend strongly touring the Catacombs.
This is one of the rare tourist attractions in Paris, where for just a few seconds you wonder if engineers have studied the place. They must..right...
A brief history:
The origin starts at the end of the XVIII century. After being used for 10 centuries the cemetery of the "Innocents" was starting to become a health hazard in this Paris neighborhood. After much complaining by the Parisians, the state decided to use old quarries (created when Paris needed raw materials) to store the bodies. After receiving the appropriate blessing, the "move" began on 7 April 1786 and continued at night until 1788. This "move" was orchestrated by surpliced priests carrying the tombs full of bones, covered with black veils, while singing the prayer for the dead (In French, l'office des morts). Then this process continued until 1814 with the bones of all other Parisian cemeteries. It is evaluated that 6 millions people rest in the catacombs.
Practical Information: map
Address: Catacombes de Paris
1, avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
Métro et RER B: Denfert-Rochereau
Closed on Monday and Holidays.
Opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00AM to 5:00PM (access available until 4:00PM)
Guided visits/tours (duration 1h30):
Tuesdays at 10:30AM and Saturdays at 3:00PM
For tall people watch your head or you will hit it on the ceiling (in some spots).
If you visit the Catacombs of Paris, please remember to respect the sanctity of it. The Catacombs will continue to exist for 100s of years if we all do.
When you get out of the subway at " Denfert-Rochereau" it is hard to find. Do not hesitate to ask (do not give up...).