The Paris Catacombs

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Paris Catacombs virtual

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– Strengthen the bond between parent and child through a shared love of travel.
– Encourage families to leave their comfort zone and embrace diverse cultures.
– Forge a more meaningful connection between our kids and the world.

Here at Travelnitch, we believe:
– The hard questions in life are best approached with curiosity.
– Diversity is essential to creating a richer society.
– Embracing the unknown is key to learning resiliency.
– Change begins at home, but transformation takes place on the road.

Paris Catacombs virtual

About the Catacombs

In the late 18th Century, Paris struggled with a major public health crisis tying back to their local cemeteries. In response, city officials made the decision to transfer all remains to the abandoned quarries hidden 20 meters below the city. They began clearing out tombs under the cover of darkness to avoid hostile reactions from the public.

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

This work took place for decades, beginning in 1786 and going until 1860—pausing only briefly for the French Revolution. During the Revolution, many guillotine victims ended up there, including Maximilien Robespierre, Antoine Lavoisier, and Georges Danton, all of whom were beheaded in 1794. Other illustrious people believed to have been transferred to the underground tomb include writer Charles Perrault (known for fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Puss in Boots), painter Simon Vouet, and architect Salomon de Brosse (who designed the city’s Luxembourg Palace).

In 1809 the Paris Municipal Ossuary, as it came to be known, opened to the public. Austrian emperor Francis I took a tour in 1814 and in 1860, Napoleon III descended into the catacombs with his son. The Paris Catacombs now welcome nearly 550,000 visitors each year!

Enjoy a free virtual peek at the catacombs!

This indoor burial chamber covers 11,000 square meters of underground space. Above the entrance, carved into a stone, are the words “Arrête, c’est ici l’empire de la mort” translating to “Stop, this is the empire of the dead.” Six million bones from various Parisian cemeteries were laid to rest in its extensive labyrinth of tunnels. The passages reach a height of 1.8 meters and the temperature averages a brisk 57 degrees celsius. Don’t forget your sweater!

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